Documenting Melanoma This UV Safety Month

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1. Phone: 1-800-670-2809 To provide awareness about the harmful effects of UV rays, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has named…
  • 1. Phone: 1-800-670-2809 To provide awareness about the harmful effects of UV rays, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has named July as Ultraviolet (UV) Safety Month.
  • 2. Phone: 1-800-670-2809 Summer vacations, beach trips, and other outdoor activities! Have fun in the sun this summer. But beware of Ultra Violet (UV) rays. Skin, which is the body's largest organ, protects us against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection. Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells. It most often develops on areas of the skin exposed to the sun’s rays. July is observed as UV Safety Month. This is a period when patient visits to dermatology practices increase and physicians are busy documenting various skin conditions associated with prolonged exposure to the sun. Dermatology medical billing includes documenting conditions associated with UV exposure. UV Safety Month aims to raise awareness about skin cancer and help people take action to prevent it. Some tips to safeguard your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation from the sun include:  Wear proper clothing  Stay out of the sun  Avoid sunburns  Find shade  Apply sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF)  Wear a wide-brimmed hat When planning outdoor activities, you can benefit from the information of how much sun protection is needed by checking the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) UV index. This index measures the daily intensity of UV rays from the sun on a scale of 1 to 11. A low UV index requires minimal protection, whereas a high UV index requires maximum protection. UV Radiation and Skin Cancer Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Most of this exposure is from the sun and also from other man-made sources such as indoor tanning beds and sun lamps. According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer has become the most frequently diagnosed form of cancer in the U.S. Skin cancer types include Actinic Keratoses (dry, scaly patches or spots), Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the most common type of skin cancer, Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the second most common type of skin cancer, and Melanoma. Melanoma that frequently develops in a mole or suddenly appears as a new dark spot on the skin is the deadliest form of skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, an estimated 87,110 new cases of invasive melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017. Melanoma can be caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or other sources, such as tanning beds and sun lamps. Treatment for this cancer type typically includes a hospital encounter with
  • 3. Phone: 1-800-670-2809 radical wide excision, ski grafts, and lymph ode excision. Diagnosing this condition early is the best way to make sure it can be treated with success. Skin cancer warning signs include changes in size, shape or color of a mole or other skin lesion, the appearance of a new growth on the skin, or a sore that doesn't heal. The American Academy of Dermatology encourages everyone to perform skin self-exams to check for signs of skin cancer and get a skin exam from a doctor. Melanoma Medical Coding Medical coding services for skin cancers depend on two key factors such as the type of cell involved and anatomical site. In ICD-10-CM, body sites are much more specific and require documentation of laterality for paired organs such as eyes, ears, and upper and lower limbs. Documentation is required specifying whether the melanoma is in situ or if the melanoma has invaded the dermis. Melanoma in situ can be captured with ICD-10-CM code D03,  D03 Melanoma in situ  D03.0 is a specific ICD-10-CM diagnosis code D03.0 Melanoma in situ of lip  D03.1 Melanoma in situ of eyelid, including canthus  D03.2 Melanoma in situ of ear and external auricular canal  D03.3 Melanoma in situ of other and unspecified parts of face  D03.4 Melanoma in situ of scalp and neck  D03.5 Melanoma in situ of trunk  D03.6 Melanoma in situ of upper limb, including shoulder  D03.7 Melanoma in situ of lower limb, including hip  D03.8 Melanoma in situ of other sites  D03.9 is a specific ICD-10-CM diagnosis code D03.9 Melanoma in situ, unspecified If the melanoma has invaded the dermis, it is recommended to code it with  C43 Malignant melanoma of skin Medical coders at reputable medical billing companies must have a clear idea on coding melanomas. This will ensure accuracy in documentation that is important for appropriate patient care, as well as timely reimbursement for the medical services provided. Outsource Strategies International 8596 E. 101st Street, Suite H Tulsa, OK 74133
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