Coach’s Corner for Dental Coding: New code for periodontal irrigation

Dental coding can be tricky to keep up with.

Mar 19th, 2014
Teresa Duncan dental
Teresa Duncan dental

QUESTION: I see that we have a new code D4921 for periodontal irrigation. Is it being reimbursed by insurance companies?

ANSWER: This code was a welcome addition for many offices who previously charged D4999 to report the use of antibacterial or antimicrobial irrigation along with periodontal surgical procedures. The code is reported by quadrant use. Clients and audience members are reporting that although they are billing it, the amount of reimbursement is negligible. Delta Dental of most states is not reimbursing for it and is requiring the charges to be written off. In those cases it is considered part of the primary procedure (much like pulp caps for fillings). Assess the charge if applicable but always let the patient know that it may not be covered.

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Teresa Duncan, MS, FADIA, FAADOM, is an international speaker who addresses topics such as insurance coding, office manager training, and revenue growth. Her companyOdyssey Management, Inc. provides virtual, customized training in these areas. She can be reached atTeresa@OdysseyMgmt.com. Inquire today aboutOdyssey’s Billing & Coding ESupport program!

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