When reporting dressings for wounds, it is important to indicate if the dressing is the primary or secondary dressing as well the number of wounds the dressing will be used for.
Primary Dressing: May be therapeutic or protective coverings applied to wounds either on the skin or caused by an opening to the skin or lesions may be applied to lesions.
Secondary Dressing: Examples may be tape elastic bandages or a roll of gauze used to secure the primary dressing.
Modifiers A1-A9 indicate the number of wounds the dressing was applied to. These are informational only, but very important for proper reimbursement for wound care.
NOTE: It would not be appropriate to use A1-A9 modifiers for gradient compression stocking/wraps (HCPCS A6531, A6532 or A6545).
A1 Dressing for one wound A2 Dressing for two wounds A3 Dressing for three wounds A4 Dressing for four wounds A5 Dressing for five wounds A6 Dressing for six wounds A7 Dressing for seven wounds A8 Dressing for eight wounds A9 Dressing for nine wounds
AW Item furnished in conjunction with a surgical dressing
Example: Patient has three wounds but only two need a dressing; you would use modifier A2, indicating you are only dressing two wounds.
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Be sure and check out this discussion with LaMont Leavitt (CEO of innoviHealth) and Christine Taxin (Adjunct professor at New York University, President of Dental Medical Billing, and Links2Success).
Some of the resources and tools they discuss will help you with your dental coding/billing and education.
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