5 CPT® Codes to Avoid for a Happy Holiday

Posted on 21 Dec, 2018 |comments_icon 0|By Bruce Pegg

As we prepare to sit down with our families for the holidays and enjoy a day of delicious food and good company, we here at TCI hope that you, too, have a wonderful celebration — not to mention a much-needed break from your CPT® Coding Manual, ICD-10, and all your other Medical Coding Books — surrounded by those you love and who love you.

We hope that Mom’s day in the kitchen results in the most mouthwatering holiday feast ever, and not 16020 (Dressings and/or debridement of partial-thickness burns, initial or subsequent; small (less than 5% total body surface area)) as she pulls dinner out of the oven.

We also hope that Dad’s ceremonial carving of the turkey or ham provides plenty of juicy meat for the whole family and not a 12042 (Repair, intermediate, wounds of neck, hands, feet and/or external genitalia; 2.6 cm to 7.5 cm) as he slices into a finger.

We hope that Little Johnnie enjoys looking at the beautiful holiday lights and not getting tangled in them, falling and dislocating his shoulder, resulting in a 23650-54 (Closed treatment of shoulder dislocation with manipulation; without anesthesia).

We hope that Uncle Jerry didn’t overexert himself shoveling snow in the driveway and end up undergoing a 92950 (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (eg, in cardiac arrest)).

And we hope that Grandma’s mystery casserole is as scrumptious as always and doesn’t lead to a Grandpa getting salmonella food poisoning and finding himself on the receiving end of a 43752 (Naso- or oro-gastric tube placement, requiring physician’s skill and fluoroscopic guidance (includes fluoroscopy, image documentation and report).

In all seriousness, we truly hope your holiday doesn’t turn into something resembling Home Alone or National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Instead, from our coding family to yours, we wish you the perfect, happy, abundant and — of course — CPT®-free holiday.

TCI’s Holiday Celebration — You’re Invited!

If you haven’t heard, we’re spreading quite the festive table at TCI, dishing up sweet deals on our medical coding books. Be sure to visit our website for best-in-class ICD-10 coding books and specialty-specific 2019 CPT® coding guides — now 20% off with promo code FESTIVE20!


Bruce Pegg
Editor, Newsletters

An experienced teacher and published author, Bruce is TCI’s new voice of primary care, delivering advice and insights every month for coders in the fields of family, internal, and pediatric medicine through Primary Care Coding Alert and Pediatric Coding Alert. Additionally, he is the current editor of E/M Coding Alert. Bruce has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loughborough University in England and a Master of Arts degree from The College at Brockport, State University of New York. He recently became a Certified Professional Coder (CPC®), credentialed through AAPC.

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