Report CPT 10120 for a simple procedure in which a provider removes a foreign body from the lower layer of the skin.
1. What Is CPT Code 10120?
CPT 10120 covers a procedure in which a provider removes a foreign body from the lower layer of a patient’s skin.
Examples of foreign bodies are;
- a fishhook;
- a sliver of glass;
- a piece of wood; or
- a thorn.
The CPT book described the 10120 CPT code as: “Incision and removal of foreign body, subcutaneous tissues; simple.”
The CPT code 10120 procedure starts with anesthetizing and prepping the patient before the provider removes the foreign body with appropriate instrumentation.
This procedure is often simply because it does not require dissection. An incision is sufficient for the removal of the foreign body.
The provider makes an incision around the foreign body in the lower layer of the skin. Next, they use to remove the foreign body with forceps. Finally, they close the incision, clean and close it.
TIP: You can find all the CPT codes for foreign body removal here.
4. Billing Guidelines
Do not report CPT code 10120 if the removal of the foreign body is complicated. In that case, you can report CPT code 10121 instead.
If you bill CPT 10121, prove with documentation that the procedure is complicated because it needs extensive exploration, layered wound closure, and/or imaging guidance.