SUPERSEDED Local Coverage Determination (LCD)

Removal of Benign Skin Lesions

L34200

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Proposed LCD
Proposed LCDs are works in progress that are available on the Medicare Coverage Database site for public review. Proposed LCDs are not necessarily a reflection of the current policies or practices of the contractor.
Superseded
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Document Note

Note History

Contractor Information

LCD Information

Document Information

Source LCD ID
N/A
LCD ID
L34200
Original ICD-9 LCD ID
Not Applicable
LCD Title
Removal of Benign Skin Lesions
Proposed LCD in Comment Period
N/A
Source Proposed LCD
N/A
Original Effective Date
For services performed on or after 10/01/2015
Revision Effective Date
For services performed on or after 08/04/2022
Revision Ending Date
08/02/2023
Retirement Date
N/A
Notice Period Start Date
N/A
Notice Period End Date
N/A
AMA CPT / ADA CDT / AHA NUBC Copyright Statement

CPT codes, descriptions and other data only are copyright 2023 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/HHSARS apply.

Fee schedules, relative value units, conversion factors and/or related components are not assigned by the AMA, are not part of CPT, and the AMA is not recommending their use. The AMA does not directly or indirectly practice medicine or dispense medical services. The AMA assumes no liability for data contained or not contained herein.

Current Dental Terminology © 2023 American Dental Association. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2023, the American Hospital Association, Chicago, Illinois. Reproduced with permission. No portion of the American Hospital Association (AHA) copyrighted materials contained within this publication may be copied without the express written consent of the AHA. AHA copyrighted materials including the UB‐04 codes and descriptions may not be removed, copied, or utilized within any software, product, service, solution or derivative work without the written consent of the AHA. If an entity wishes to utilize any AHA materials, please contact the AHA at 312‐893‐6816.

Making copies or utilizing the content of the UB‐04 Manual, including the codes and/or descriptions, for internal purposes, resale and/or to be used in any product or publication; creating any modified or derivative work of the UB‐04 Manual and/or codes and descriptions; and/or making any commercial use of UB‐04 Manual or any portion thereof, including the codes and/or descriptions, is only authorized with an express license from the American Hospital Association. The American Hospital Association (the "AHA") has not reviewed, and is not responsible for, the completeness or accuracy of any information contained in this material, nor was the AHA or any of its affiliates, involved in the preparation of this material, or the analysis of information provided in the material. The views and/or positions presented in the material do not necessarily represent the views of the AHA. CMS and its products and services are not endorsed by the AHA or any of its affiliates.

Issue

Issue Description

This LCD outlines limited coverage for this service with specific details under Coverage Indications, Limitations, and/or Medical Necessity.

Issue - Explanation of Change Between Proposed LCD and Final LCD

CMS National Coverage Policy

Language quoted from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), National Coverage Determinations (NCDs) and coverage provisions in interpretive manuals is italicized throughout the policy. NCDs and coverage provisions in interpretive manuals are not subject to the Local Coverage Determination (LCD) Review Process (42 CFR 405.860[b] and 42 CFR 426 [Subpart D]). In addition, an administrative law judge may not review an NCD. See Section 1869(f)(1)(A)(i) of the Social Security Act.

Unless otherwise specified, italicized text represents quotation from one or more of the following CMS sources:

Title XVIII of the Social Security Act (SSA):

Section 1862(a)(1)(A) excludes expenses incurred for items or services which are not reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of illness or injury or to improve the functioning of a malformed body member.

Section 1833(e) prohibits Medicare payment for any claim which lacks the necessary information to process the claim.

Coverage Guidance

Coverage Indications, Limitations, and/or Medical Necessity

Abstract:

Benign skin lesions are common in the elderly and are frequently removed at the patient's request to improve appearance. Removals of certain benign skin lesions that do not pose a threat to health or function are considered cosmetic, and as such, are not covered by the Medicare program. These cosmetic reasons include, but are not limited to, emotional distress, "makeup trapping," and non-problematic lesions in any anatomic location. Lesions in sensitive anatomical locations that are not creating problems do not qualify for removal coverage on the basis of location alone.

Benign skin lesions to which the accompanying lesion removal policy applies are the following: seborrheic keratoses, sebaceous (epidermoid) cysts, skin tags, moles (nevi), acquired hyperkeratosis (keratoderma), molluscum contagiosum, milia and viral warts.

Medicare covers the destruction of actinic keratoses without restrictions based on lesion or patient characteristics.

Indications:

There may be instances in which the removal of benign seborrheic keratoses, sebaceous cysts, skin tags, moles (nevi), acquired hyperkeratosis (keratoderma), molluscum contagiosum, milia and viral warts is medically appropriate. Medicare will, therefore, consider their removal as medically necessary, and not cosmetic, if one or more of the following conditions are presented and clearly documented in the medical record:

  • Bleeding;
  • Intense itching;
  • Pain;
  • Change in physical appearance (reddening or pigmentary change);
  • Recent enlargement;
  • Increase in the number of lesions;
  • Physical evidence of inflammation or infection, e.g., purulence, oozing, edema, erythema, etc.;
  • Lesion obstructs an orifice;
  • Lesion clinically restricts eye function. For example:
    1. Lesion restricts eyelid function;
    2. lesion causes misdirection of eyelashes or eyelid;
    3. lesion restricts lacrimal puncta and interferes with tear flow;
    4. lesion touches globe;
  • Clinical uncertainty as to the likely diagnosis, particularly where malignancy is a realistic consideration based on lesion appearance;
  • A prior biopsy suggests or is indicative of lesion malignancy;
  • The lesion is in an anatomical region subject to recurrent physical trauma, and there is documentation that such trauma has, in fact, occurred;
  • Recent enlargement, history of rupture or previous inflammation, or location subjects patient to risk of rupture of epidermal inclusion (sebaceous) cyst.
  • Wart removals will be covered under the guidelines above. In addition, wart destruction will be covered when any of the following clinical circumstances are present:
    1. Periocular warts associated with chronic recurrent conjunctivitis thought secondary to lesion virus shedding;
    2. Warts showing evidence of spread from one body area to another, particularly in immunosuppressed patients or warts of recent origin in an immunocompromised patients;
    3. Lesions are condyloma acuminata or molluscum contagiosum;
    4. Cervical dysplasia or pregnancy is associated with genital warts.

Limitations:

Medicare will not pay for a separate E & M service on the same day as a minor surgical procedure unless a documented significant and separately identifiable medical service is rendered. The service must be fully and clearly documented in the patient’s medical record and a modifier 25 should be used.

Medicare will not pay for a separate E & M service by the operating physician during the global period unless the service is for a medical problem unrelated to the surgical procedure. The service must be fully and clearly documented in the patient’s medical record.

If the beneficiary wishes one or more of these benign asymptomatic lesions removed for cosmetic purposes, the beneficiary becomes liable for the service rendered. The physician has the responsibility to notify the patient in advance that Medicare will not cover cosmetic dermatological surgery and that the beneficiary will be liable for the cost of the service. It is strongly advised that the beneficiary, by his or her signature, accept responsibility for payment. Charges should be clearly stated as well.



 Other Comments:

For claims submitted to the Part A MAC: this coverage determination also applies within states outside the primary geographic jurisdiction with facilities that have nominated CGS Administrators, LLC to process their claims.


Limitation of liability and refund requirements apply when denials are likely, whether based on medical necessity or other coverage reasons. The provider/supplier must notify the beneficiary in writing, prior to rendering the service, if the provider/supplier is aware that the test, item or procedure may not be covered by Medicare. The limitation of liability and refund requirements do not apply when the test, item or procedure is statutorily excluded, has no Medicare benefit category or is rendered for screening purposes.
 

Summary of Evidence

N/A

Analysis of Evidence (Rationale for Determination)

N/A

Proposed Process Information

Synopsis of Changes
Changes Fields Changed
N/A
Associated Information
Sources of Information
Bibliography
Open Meetings
Meeting Date Meeting States Meeting Information
N/A
Contractor Advisory Committee (CAC) Meetings
Meeting Date Meeting States Meeting Information
N/A
MAC Meeting Information URLs
N/A
Proposed LCD Posting Date
Comment Period Start Date
Comment Period End Date
Reason for Proposed LCD
Requestor Information
This request was MAC initiated.
Requestor Name Requestor Letter
View Letter
N/A
Contact for Comments on Proposed LCD

Coding Information

Bill Type Codes

Code Description
N/A

Revenue Codes

Code Description
N/A

CPT/HCPCS Codes

Group 1

Group 1 Paragraph

N/A

Group 1 Codes

N/A

N/A

ICD-10-CM Codes that Support Medical Necessity

Group 1

Group 1 Paragraph:

N/A

Group 1 Codes:

N/A

N/A

ICD-10-CM Codes that DO NOT Support Medical Necessity

Group 1

Group 1 Paragraph:

N/A

Group 1 Codes:

N/A

N/A

Additional ICD-10 Information

General Information

Associated Information

The patient's medical record must contain documentation that fully supports the medical necessity for services included within this LCD. (See "Indications and Limitations of Coverage.") This documentation includes, but is not limited to, relevant medical history, physical examination, and results of pertinent diagnostic tests or procedures.


Medical records maintained by the physician must clearly document the medical necessity for the lesion removal(s) if Medicare is billed for the service.


Drawings or diagrams to describe the precise anatomical location of the lesion are helpful. A procedural note, protocol describing indications, diagnosis, methodology of treatment, or modality is advised.

The decision to submit a specimen for pathologic interpretation will be independent of the decision to remove or not remove the lesion. It is assumed, however, that a tissue diagnosis will be part of the medical record when an ultimately benign lesion is removed based on physician uncertainty as to the final clinical diagnosis.


Documentation must be available to Medicare upon request.

Not applicable

Clinically, it would not be expected that any given lesion would have to be treated more than once in a six months interval. The intrinsic nature of the lesion will determine whether more frequent treatments are required.

This utilization guideline applies to all conditions within this LCD other than actinic keratosis.

Sources of Information

This bibliography presents those sources that were obtained during the development of this policy. CGS Administrators, LL is not responsible for the continuing viability of Web site addresses listed below.

  1. American Academy of Dermatology© 1987m Revised 1991, 1993, 1999. Produced by NetOn-Line Services. Guidelines of Care for Actinic Keratoses (1995), Nevi 1 (1992) and Warts (1995). Seborrheic Keratoses, patient information.

  2. Caforio AL, Fortina AB, Piaserico S, et al. Skin Cancer in heart transplant recipients: risk factor analysis and relevance of immunosuppressive therapy. Circulation. 2000;102(19Suppl 3):III222-7.

  3. Cosmetic and Reconstructive Procedures in Plastic Surgery published by the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, Inc. 1989.

  4. Epstein E. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, Section 10- Dermatologic disorders, Chapter 115, Viral skin infections topics, Ch 125, Benign tumors topics.

  5. Euvrard S, Lanitakis J, Decullier E, et al. Subsequent skin cancers in kidney and heart transplant receipients after the first squamous cell carcinoma. Tranplantation. 2006;81(8):1093-100.

  6. Ferris F. Clinical Advisor, Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Mosby, Inc., an affiliate of Elsevier Inc. 2006.

  7. Guttman C. Routine destruction of AKs called unnecessary. Dermatology Times. 2000;21(4):36.

  8. HARRISON'S ONLINE Part 2.Cardinal Manifestations and Presentation of Diseases, Section 9. Available at http://www.merckmedicus.com/pp/us/hcp/hcp_home.jsp.

  9. Harrison’s Practice; Kasper, Braunwald, Fauci, Hauser, Longo, Jameson (eds). Alterations in the skin, Chapter 47. Eczema, psoriasis, cutaneous infections, acne, and other common skin disorders.

  10. Ho V, McLean D. General in Dermatology tumors epithelial. 4th Ed., McGraw Hill, Inc.:855-872.

  11. Karagas MR, Stukel TA, Greenberg ER, Baron JA, Mott LA, Stern RS. Risk of subsequent basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin among patients with prior skin cancer. Skin Cancer Prevention Study Group. JAMA. 1992;267(24):3305-3310.

  12. Krusinski PA, Flowers FP. Common viral infections of the skin. Best Practice of Medicine. 1999;2:317-325.

  13. Marcil I, Stern RS. Risk of developing a subsequent nonmelanoma skin cancer in patients with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer: a critical review of the literature and meta-analysis. Arch Dermatol. 2000;136(12):1524-1530.

  14. Other Carriers' medical policies:
    Nationwide Mutual Ins., West Virginia -policy # 2000-08LR
    Administar Federal, Inc., In. - policy INTEG-C-0801
    Trailblazer, Maryland – policy on Removal of Benign Skin Lesions
    Noridian Administrative Services, LLC - Non-malignant Skin Lesion Removal Policy.

  15. Stone MS, Lynch PJ. Viral warts in Principles and Practices of Dermatology, Churchhill Livingstone. 1990:119-127.

  16. The MERCK MANUAL of MEDICAL INFORMATION, Second Home Edition Online:1415.

  17. White GM, Cox NH. Diseases of the Skin, Section I Diseases and Disorders.

    Additional Sources added in support of Revision 3:

  18. Asadullah, K, Renz, H, Docke, W, et al. Verrucosis of hands and feet in a patient with combined immune deficiency. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 1997;36(5):850-852. www.mdconsult.com/das/article.htm . Accessed 02/04/2009.

  19. Gui U, Soylu S, Yavuzer R. Epidermodysplasis verruciformis associated with isolated IgM deficiency. Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology. 2007;73(6):420-422. www.ijdvl.com/printarticle.asp. Accessed 02/04/2009.

  20. Noble: Nonulcerative genital lesions. In: Textbook of Primary Care Medicine, 3rd ed. www.mdconsult.com/das/book.htm. Accessed 02/04/2009.

 

Bibliography

N/A

Revision History Information

Revision History Date Revision History Number Revision History Explanation Reasons for Change
08/04/2022 R16

R16

Revision Effective: 08/04/2022

Revision Explanation: Annual Review, no changes were made.

07/26/2022: At this time 21st Century Cures Act will apply to new and revised LCDs that restrict coverage which requires comment and notice. This revision is not a restriction to the coverage determination; and, therefore not all the fields included on the LCD are applicable as noted in this policy.

  • Other (Annual Review)
07/29/2021 R15

R15

Revision Effective: 07/29/2021

07/23/2021: At this time 21st Century Cures Act will apply to new and revised LCDs that restrict coverage which requires comment and notice. This revision is not a restriction to the coverage determination; and, therefore not all the fields included on the LCD are applicable as noted in this policy.

  • Other (Annual Review)
09/26/2019 R14

R14

Revision Effective: n/a

07/13/2020: At this time 21st Century Cures Act will apply to new and revised LCDs that restrict coverage which requires comment and notice. This revision is not a restriction to the coverage determination; and, therefore not all the fields included on the LCD are applicable as noted in this policy.

  • Other (Annual Review)
09/26/2019 R13

R13

Revision Effective: 09/26/2019 Revision Explanation: Removed codes and converted policy into new policy template that no longer includes coding section based on CR 10901.

09/16/2019:At this time 21st Century Cures Act will apply to new and revised LCDs that restrict coverage which requires comment and notice. This revision is not a restriction to the coverage determination; and, therefore not all the fields included on the LCD are applicable as noted in this policy.

  • Revisions Due To Code Removal
10/01/2018 R12

R12

Revision Effective: 10/01/2018

Revision Explanation: Annual Review, no changes made

07/22/2019-At this time 21st Century Cures Act will apply to new and revised LCDs that restrict coverage which requires comment and notice. This revision is not a restriction to the coverage determination; and, therefore not all the fields included on the LCD are applicable as noted in this policy.

  • Other (Annual Review)
10/01/2018 R11

R11

Revision Effective: 10/01/2018

Revision Explanation: During annual ICD-10 update code D22.121 was left off in error from group 2 list when updating for ICD-10 annual update.

11/01/2018-At this time 21st Century Cures Act will apply to new and revised LCDs that restrict coverage which requires comment and notice. This revision is not a restriction to the coverage determination; and, therefore not all the fields included on the LCD are applicable as noted in this policy.

  • Typographical Error
10/01/2018 R10

R11

Revision Effective: 10/01/2018

Revision Explanation: During annual ICD-10 update code D22.121 was left off in error from group 2 list when updating for ICD-10 annual update.

11/01/2018-At this time 21st Century Cures Act will apply to new and revised LCDs that restrict coverage which requires comment and notice. This revision is not a restriction to the coverage determination; and, therefore not all the fields included on the LCD are applicable as noted in this policy.

  • Typographical Error
11/01/2017 R9

R10

Revision Effective: 10/01/2018

Revision Explanation: During annual ICD-10 update codes D22.11, D22.12, D23.11, and D23.12 were deleted and replaced with the following: D22.111, D22.112, D22.121, D22.122, D23.111, D23.112, D23.121, and D23.122 in group 2. New codes from annual update were added to group 1 and 3: H02.881, H02.882, H02.884, H02.885, H02.88A,and H02.88B.

09/20/2018-At this time 21st Century Cures Act will apply to new and revised LCDs that restrict coverage which requires comment and notice. This revision is not a restriction to the coverage determination; and, therefore not all the fields included on the LCD are applicable as noted in this policy.

  • Revisions Due To ICD-10-CM Code Changes
11/01/2017 R8

R9

Revision Effective: N/A

Revision Explanation: Annual review no changes made.

07/30/2018-At this time 21st Century Cures Act will apply to new and revised LCDs that restrict coverage which requires comment and notice. This revision is not a restriction to the coverage determination; and, therefore not all the fields included on the LCD are applicable as noted in this policy.

  • Other (Annual review)
11/01/2017 R7

R8

Revision Effective: 11/01/2017

Revision Explanation: Added L70.0 to group 1 ICD-10 code support medical necessity

11/27/2017-At this time 21st Century Cures Act will apply to new and revised LCDs that restrict coverage which requires comment and notice. This revision is not a restriction to the coverage determination; and, therefore not all the fields included on the LCD are applicable as noted in this policy.

 

  • Reconsideration Request
10/01/2017 R6

R7

Revision Effective: 10/01/2017

Revision Explanation: Added L28.1 to group 1 ICD-10 code support medical necessity

10/01/2017-At this time 21st Century Cures Act will apply to new and revised LCDs that restrict coverage which requires comment and notice. This revision is not a restriction to the coverage determination; and, therefore not all the fields included on the LCD are applicable as noted in this policy.

  • Reconsideration Request
10/01/2017 R5

R6

Revision Effective: 10/01/2017

Revision Explanation: Annual ICD-10 update T07 was deleted in group 3 and replaced with T07.XXXA, T07.XXXD, and T07.XXXS.

07/31/2017-At this time 21st Century Cures Act will apply to new and revised LCDs that restrict coverage which requires comment and notice. This revision is not a restriction to the coverage determination; and, therefore not all the fields included on the LCD are applicable as noted in this policy.

 

 

R5

Revision Effective: N/A

Revision Explanation: Annual review no changes made.

07/31/2017-At this time 21st Century Cures Act will apply to new and revised LCDs that restrict coverage which requires comment and notice. This revision is not a restriction to the coverage determination; and, therefore not all the fields included on the LCD are applicable as noted in this policy.

  • Revisions Due To ICD-10-CM Code Changes
10/01/2015 R4 Revision#:R4
Revision Effective: N/A
Revision Explanation: annual review no changes made.
  • Other (annual review)
10/01/2015 R3 Revision#:R3
Revision Effective:10/01/2015
Revision Explanation: Added ICD-10 codes L72.11 and L72.12 to group two for supports medical necessity.
  • Reconsideration Request
10/01/2015 R2 Revision#:R2
Revision Effective:10/01/2015
Revision Explanation: Accepted revenue code description changes
  • Other (revenue code description)
10/01/2015 R1 Revision#:R1
Revision Effective:10/01/2015
Revision Explanation: Added ICD-10 code D48.5 to group 3 secondary diagnosis.
  • Reconsideration Request
N/A

Associated Documents

Attachments
N/A
Related Local Coverage Documents
Articles
A57044 - Billing and Coding: Removal of Benign Skin Lesions
Related National Coverage Documents
N/A
Public Versions
Updated On Effective Dates Status
07/25/2023 08/03/2023 - N/A Currently in Effect View
07/26/2022 08/04/2022 - 08/02/2023 Superseded You are here
Some older versions have been archived. Please visit the MCD Archive Site to retrieve them.

Keywords

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