Posts tagged ‘v58.77’

January 20, 2011

Coding guidelines direct you on unstageable pressure ulcer coding

I often get questions about how to code a pressure ulcer that now has a muscle flap. Luckily, the coding guidelines are clear on this point (and many others regarding pressure ulcers) in its Chapter 12 guidelines:

2) Unstageable pressure ulcers
Assignment of code 707.25, Pressure ulcer, unstageable, should be based on the clinical documentation. Code 707.25 is used for pressure ulcers whose stage cannot be clinically determined (e.g., the ulcer is covered by eschar or has been treated with a skin or muscle graft) and pressure ulcers that are documented as deep tissue injury but not documented as due to trauma. This code should not be confused with code 707.20, Pressure ulcer, stage unspecified. Code 707.20 should be assigned when there is no documentation regarding the stage of the pressure ulcer.

As a quick aside: don’t routinely use 707.20. I would only consider using it when there is a pressure ulcer under a cast or other device where the stage cannot be determined and it doesn’t meet the definition of unstageable in the guideline.

You can code aftercare after a flap or skin graft. Remember on OASIS that the pressure ulcer covered with a muscle flap can be classified as a surgical wound in M1340 only. This is where the coding guidelines and the OASIS guidance take a whole different path. After the now-flapped pressure ulcer has been declared a surgical wound, the coding guidelines still consider the muscle flapped pressure ulcer an unstageable pressure ulcer. (Pressure ulcers with skin grafts are still pressure ulcers!)

Consider this scenario:

Your patient has a pressure ulcer on coccyx that was repaired with a muscle flap. Code the aftercare of surgery first: V58.77, then 707.03, 707.25 for the unstageable pressure ulcer on the coccyx.
You have a surgical wound in M1340 and no pressure ulcers in M1306.
January 5, 2011

Is debridement a surgical wound?

Question: If my patient had a debridement, can I mark 1 (Yes, patient has at least one (observable) surgical wound) in M1340?

Lisa says: No, debridement is not a surgical treatment, and CMS clearly states this in its M1340 specific instructions: Debridement or the placement of a skin graft does not create a surgical wound, as these are treatments performed to an existing wound. The wound would continue to be defined as the type of wound previously identified.

However, debridement is a place where OASIS and coding may not always match up. For example, you can code V58.77, Aftercare of surgery of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, NEC, in some cases. For example, for a patient with a debrided diabetic ulcer of the elbow, you can code V58.77 in M1020, and then code 250.80, 707.1x in M1024. The V58.77 code as primary indicates that the focus of care is a wound that is resolving without complications and considering the complexity and chronicity of diabetic ulcers, the V58.77 code is likely not the best choice.

IF V58.77 is used, remember that as a Diabetes case-mix diagnosis, 250.80 and 707.1x can go in both M1024 and M1022, if active. This is still active, of course, so code in M1022.

Just because M1340 isn’t applicable doesn’t mean that you should forget your OASIS … M1350 includes any wounds or skin lesions OTHER than the pressure ulcers, stasis ulcers, surgical wounds already addressed, and bowel ostomies, which are also addressed in another item. The answer ‘yes’ on M1350 means that the skin lesion or wound requires intervention and assessment.