Warts are local growths in the skin caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. It appears as small lumps on the skin of the hands and feet. Different types of warts are – flat, genital, tuberculosis and plantar warts. Left untreated, warts can spread to other parts of the foot or even to the hands or other areas of the body. During the clinical assessment of the lesion, podiatrist will examine the wart carefully to determine that it is not a corn or a callus. Often the wart will be squeezed from side to side. The hard skin layer around it may also be trimmed to examine the wart further. Podiatry coding solutions are available to help podiatrists report wart treatments in their medical claims.
Plantar warts or foot warts are found on the sole (plantar surface) of the foot, while flat warts may arise on the face, legs and other parts of the body, often in large numbers. Plantar warts can be solitary or mosaic. While solitary wart is a single one which often increases in size and may eventually multiply forming additional “satellite” warts, mosaic warts are a cluster of several small warts that grow closely together in one area and are more difficult to treat than solitary warts.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Warts
Clinical documentation of warts includes describing the lesions including color and any secondary changes, and checking the patient’s overall health. Depending on the size, type and location of the wart, the right treatment method will be chosen.
Treatment options include
- Applying salicylic acid solution
- Surgical excision
- Laser treatment
- Prescription creams for genital warts
Medicare Coverage for Warts
Medicare benefits will cover outpatient surgical procedures for warts, only if they are considered medically necessary by the doctor to treat medical conditions such as infection or the risk of developing cancer. Medicare Part B covers qualifying tests and procedures that are done in a doctor’s office or outpatient setting, while Medicare Part A covers medically necessary tests and procedures performed only if the patient has been formally admitted into a Medicare-approved hospital as an inpatient. However, removal of warts for cosmetic purposes or with at-home remedies is not covered through Medicare benefits.
ICD-10 and CPT Codes for Warts
ICD-10 codes for warts include –
- A18.4 Tuberculosis of skin and subcutaneous tissue
- A63.0 Anogenital (venereal) warts
- B07 Viral warts
- B07.0 Plantar wart
- B07.8 Other viral warts
- B07.9 Viral wart, unspecified
Applicable CPT codes are –
- 11300-11313: Shaving of epidermal or dermal lesions
- 11400-11446: Excision, benign lesions
- 17000-17004: Destruction, (such as laser surgery, electrosurgery, cryosurgery, chemosurgery, surgical curettement), premalignant lesions (such as actinic keratoses)
- 17110-17111, 17250: Destruction, (such as laser surgery, electrosurgery, cryosurgery, chemosurgery, surgical curettement), of benign lesions other than skin tags or cutaneous vascular lesions
- 11102-11107: Include tangential (shave) biopsy, punch biopsy and incisional biopsy
Busy practices can rely on professional podiatry billing and coding services to handle everything from verifying eligibility benefits to submitting insurance claims and tracking down payments.