The December 2011 AAP Pediatric Coding Newsletter™ (volume 7, no. 3) addressed Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) and Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services definitions of postoperative care. That article, “Reporting Postoperative Care,” did not address how Medicare applies the global period designation. Table 1 shows how Medicare payment is determined for each designated Medicare global surgery period.

Medicare revised the global surgery period for CPT codes 12001–12018 (simple repair of superficial wound) from 10 days to 0 days in the 2011 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. Prior to this change, physicians could not report a separate charge for removal of sutures when the same physician or physician of the same group and specialty had performed the wound repair. Where the repair was performed by a physician in an emergency department or urgent care center and the patient was then sent to the pediatrician for follow-up and removal of sutures,...

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