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CPT Code 17110 Vs. Other Dermatology Procedures: A Comparative Analysis



When it comes to medical coding, precise and accurate representation of procedures is crucial for proper billing and reimbursement. One commonly used code, CPT code 17110, is central to the billing process for a variety of medical procedures. In this article, we will explore the details of CPT code 17110 and compare it to other related codes to provide a comprehensive understanding of its application and usage in the medical field.

Table of Contents

Understanding CPT Code 17110: What it Covers and How it is Used

CPT code 17110 is a specific code used in the healthcare industry to identify the procedure known as “destruction (e.g. laser surgery, electrosurgery, cryosurgery, chemosurgery, surgical curettement), all benign or premalignant lesions (e.g., actinic keratoses) other than skin tags or cutaneous vascular proliferative lesions; up to 14 lesions”. This code is used to bill for the treatment of various types of benign or premalignant lesions on the skin.

Understanding CPT code 17110 is essential for healthcare providers and medical billers to ensure accurate billing and coding for the services provided. Here is a breakdown of what CPT code 17110 covers and how it is used:

  • Coverage: CPT code 17110 covers the destruction of benign or premalignant lesions on the skin using various methods such as laser surgery, electrosurgery, cryosurgery, and surgical curettement.
  • Usage: This code is used to bill for the removal of up to 14 lesions, excluding skin tags or cutaneous vascular proliferative lesions, using the specified treatment methods.

Key Considerations When Using CPT Code 17110 for Lesion Removal

When using CPT code 17110 for lesion removal, there are several key considerations to keep in mind to ensure accurate billing and reimbursement. It’s important to understand the specific criteria for using this code, as well as any documentation requirements and potential modifiers that may be necessary.

Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when using CPT code 17110:

  • Proper Diagnosis: Ensure that the lesion removal procedure meets the criteria for the specific diagnosis code.
  • Size and Complexity: Document the size and complexity of the lesion(s) being removed, as this can impact the coding and billing process.
  • Modifiers: Understand any potential modifiers that may need to be appended to the CPT code to indicate specific circumstances or additional services provided.

Potential Complications and Risks Associated with CPT Code 17110

When using CPT code 17110, there are several potential complications and risks that healthcare providers should be aware of. By understanding these risks, they can better inform their patients and ensure that proper precautions are taken during the procedure.


  • Infection: There is a risk of infection at the site where the procedure is performed, which can lead to further complications.
  • Bleeding: Some patients may experience excessive bleeding during or after the procedure, which can be a concern for their overall health.
  • Scarring: Depending on the individual’s skin type and healing process, there is a possibility of noticeable scarring at the treatment site.
  • Discomfort: Patients may experience discomfort or pain during or after the procedure, which should be managed appropriately.

Best Practices for Proper Documentation and Reporting of CPT Code 17110

Proper documentation and reporting of CPT code 17110 is crucial in medical billing and coding. It ensures accuracy and compliance with coding guidelines, leading to proper reimbursement and reducing the risk of audits or denials. Here are some best practices to follow when documenting and reporting CPT code 17110:

– **Detailed Description**: When reporting CPT code 17110, it’s essential to provide a detailed description of the procedure performed. This includes the location and size of the lesion, the method of removal or destruction, and any complications or additional procedures performed.

– **Medical Necessity**: Ensure that the documentation supports the medical necessity of performing the procedure. This includes indicating the reason for the removal or destruction of the lesion, such as for diagnosis, treatment, or cosmetic reasons.

– **Code Bundling**: Be aware of any bundled services or codes that may be included with CPT code 17110, such as anesthesia or pathology services. Proper documentation should reflect the distinct nature of the procedure and any additional services provided.

In summary, following is essential for accurate coding, billing, and reimbursement. By providing detailed descriptions, supporting medical necessity, and avoiding code bundling, healthcare providers can ensure compliance and minimize the risk of audit or denial.


Q: What is CPT code 17110 used for?
A: CPT code 17110 is used for the destruction of benign (non-cancerous) skin lesions or growths, including warts, by any method, including laser surgery.

Q: How does CPT code 17110 compare to other similar codes?
A: CPT code 17110 is specifically for the destruction of benign lesions, whereas other codes may be used for the removal of malignant (cancerous) lesions or for other types of procedures.

Q: What are the different methods of destruction covered by CPT code 17110?
A: This code covers the destruction of benign lesions by any method, including laser surgery, electrosurgery, and cryosurgery.

Q: Are there any specific guidelines for using CPT code 17110?
A: Yes, the American Medical Association provides guidelines for reporting these services, including documentation requirements and any necessary modifiers.

Q: What should healthcare providers consider when using CPT code 17110?
A: Healthcare providers should ensure that the code accurately reflects the procedure performed and that all necessary documentation is in place to support the claim for reimbursement. Additionally, proper coding and billing practices should be followed to avoid potential audits or compliance issues.

To Conclude

In conclusion, CPT code 17110 serves as a crucial tool for medical professionals to accurately and efficiently document the treatment of common skin conditions, such as warts. However, it is imperative for healthcare providers to stay updated on the ever-evolving guidelines and regulations surrounding CPT coding in order to ensure compliance and accurate reimbursement. By staying informed and conscientiously applying the appropriate CPT codes, healthcare professionals can uphold the highest standards of patient care and billing practices.

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