April 7, 2022
I’m a general surgeon. Some of my team are reporting the negative pressure wound therapy codes 97605 and 97606 when applying wound vacs after closing at the completion of their surgical cases. As a result, I am told by my coders that billing for these wound vacs is not appropriate, since there is a Medicare NCCI edit that bundles this with more comprehensive procedures at the same anatomic area.
The physicians and coders disagree about how to handle these edits. Some of the physicians believe the wound vacs are billable because they are applied to the skin which constitutes a different body system. The coders think the wound vacs are dressings which are included in the global surgical fee and would not billable. After multiple discussions with the physicians and coders, we are unable to provide a definitive answer. Could I please ask you for your advice regarding this issue? What is the right answer?
The AMA published clarification on wound vac billing in the October 2021 CPT Assistant. Negative pressure wound therapy (97605-97606) is considered billable for both open and closed wounds. However, that does not mean that payors will reimburse separately for the service, so use caution and track results.
*This response is based on the best information available as of 04/27/22