A Guide to the Most Common Dermatology CPT Codes

Dermatology is the discipline of medicine that focuses on skin diseases and associated ailments. Services in dermatological medical billing can range from essential beauty treatments to complex surgical operations and skin grafts. This makes medical coding for dermatology even more difficult. Regarding dermatology, medical billers must be familiar with the most frequently used codes and modifiers.

Dermatology, in contrast to other areas of medicine, has several facets. Practices can be as simple as plastic procedures or as complex as a skin graft, which must be reflected in the billing. Because dermatologists encounter a greater volume of patients than doctors in other disciplines, they must streamline medical billing and coding processes that are both accurate and fast.



Dermatology Billing: Common CPT Codes used in Dermatology

The most popular dermatology CPT codes used by dermatology practitioners are listed below.

Body biopsy


A dermatologist takes skin samples from the body’s surface during a skin biopsy. The cells obtained will be studied to learn more about specific diseases or skin disorders.

  • 11102: Skin biopsy was taken tangentially; one lesion.
  • 11103: Skin tangential biopsy; every extra or unique lesion.
  • 11104: Kin punches biopsy; one lesion.
  • 11105: Punch biopsy of the skin; each additional/separate lesion.
  • 11106: Single lesion; skin biopsy by incision.
  • 11107: Skin biopsy by incision; each distinct or additional lesion.
  • 40490: Lip biopsies.
  • 69100: External ear biopsy

Removal of Lesion


Any procedure, such as electrosurgery, cryosurgery, laser surgery, or chemical therapy, can eradicate benign, premalignant, or malignant lesions. Several procedure codes may be used if several lesions are removed.

  • 17000: Removal of initial lesions, such as actinic keratoses, are premalignant lesions.
  • 17003: Destruction of 2 to 14 premalignant lesions, such as actinic keratoses.
  • 17110: Eliminating up to 14 benign lesions outside the categories of skin tags and cutaneous vascular proliferative lesions.

Micrographic surgery using Mohs

The eradication of skin cancer is done during this surgical procedure. Typically, Mohs surgery involves the excision of tumor tissue followed by a pathologic evaluation.

  • 17311: First stage of the Mohs micrographic technique is on the head, neck, hands, and feet.
  • 17312: On the head, neck, hands, and feet using the Mohs micrographic technique at each new stage.
  • 17313: First step of the Mohs micrographic technique is on the trunk, arms, and legs.
  • 17314: Use the Mohs micrographic technique at each new level on the arms, legs, and trunk.

Removal of Lesions

Surgery is used in these treatments to remove lesions and the tissue around them.

  • 11403: Excision, benign lesion includes margins, trunk, arms, or legs.
  • 11603: Trunk, arms, or legs; excision of malignant tumor, including margins.

Wound Healing

Wound closures can be simple, moderate, or elaborate, depending on the repair’s extent.

  • 12031 and 12032: Reconstructive; ad interim; scalp, axillary, trunk, and limb wounds (excluding hands and feet).
  • 13120 and 13121: Complications; extensive; scalp, arm, and leg repair.

Pathology

Pathology methods use sophisticated laboratory tests and apparatus to examine skin and tissue at the microscopic cellular level.

  • 88305: Surgical pathology, including a gross and microscopic analysis, is required at Level IV.
  • 88304: Surgical pathology, including a gross and microscopic analysis, is the focus of a level III analysis.
  • 88312: Distinctive stain with report and interpretation.
  • 88341: Analyses involving immunohistochemistry or immunocytochemistry.

Therapy Using Laser Light

Several laser wavelengths are used in laser therapy to treat various skin problems and for aesthetic reasons.

  • 96920 and 96921: Laser therapy for inflammatory skin conditions

Treatments using Phototherapy

Phototherapy is a method of treating skin disorders, including eczema and psoriasis, with UV radiation.

  • 96900: Actinotherapy (UV light) (UV light).
  • 96910: Tar and UVB light, also known as photochemotherapy.
  • 96567: Exogenous photodynamic therapy for the treatment of premalignant and malignant lesions.
  • J7308: Intranasal aminolaevulinic acid hydrochloride.

Management and Evaluation

The CPT codes for evaluating and caring for dermatological conditions are organized into broad groups, such as consultations, office visits, and hospital visits.

  • 99203: Specifics of a new patient’s office or another outpatient appointment for diagnosis and treatment.
  • 99213: An established patient will have a 15-minute office or another outpatient visit for an examination and care.
  • 99214: Visits to a doctor’s office or another outpatient setting for a patient’s assessment and management are described.

Wrapping up

The use of CPT codes is essential in the field of dermatology. They offer a common language for dermatologists to use when interacting with other medical experts, as well as with insurance companies and government organizations. With the help of these codes, dermatologists can precisely describe the assistance they provide and obtain a just remuneration for it.




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