Coding can go wrong even for the most simple of treatments. A wrong CPT® code can be assigned if the coding dynamics revolving around strapping are not understood well. It is important to understand coding principles that will help in using the correct CPT codes for strapping. The following pointers will help you in applying the right codes:
Understand Payers Definitions
The first thing that needs to be done is to understand payer’s definition of strapping. Additionally, identify the method of strapping used. One method of strapping is Una boot which is basically a paste bandage. The CPT code for Una booth application is 29580. Another method of strapping is “buddy splint” which is canvas or foam strap. The CPT code for buddy splint is 29280(hand or finger) or 29550 (toes).
The body location is another determinant for correct coding. After selecting the code based on application of strapping, anatomic location (body, upper extremity, lower extremity) is used to further narrow down code options. The CPT code for strapping for body and upper extremity are in the range of 29200-29280. For lower extremity, the CPT code range is 29520-29590.
Payers Guidelines on Supplies
Payers have specific guidelines regarding the supplies used during strapping. Typically, use of non-rigid materials which allow certain degree of movement to the patient is supported by the payers. The best option is to check payer’s guidelines concerning the use of appropriate materials for strapping. In case, elastic bandage wrap is not accepted as strapping, it is possible for you to report 99070 in addition to E/M code to cover the cost of elastic bandage wrap. The code 99070 is basically used to cover costs for supplies and materials which are not included as a part of office visit but are provided over and above by the physician. The supplies description should be provided in box 19 of HCFA form.
Disclaimer: CPT® is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association