CTR Coding Break – Additional Information for Coding Melanoma Surgery

Feb. 24, 2020


The Registry Partners CTR Coding Break for February 2020 discusses The Brief, October 24, 2019 update on additional information for coding skin/melanoma surgery. The Technical Advisory Group made a consensus decision to use the pathology report as the first priority for assigning melanoma codes. If margin information is not available on the pathology report, the operative report may be used when margins are specified. Subsequently, SEER further clarified with an Exception – do not apply this to surgery codes 45-47 where specific instructions about microscopic confirmation are included. This decision only applies to skin surgery codes and does not apply to the margins data item. The coding break concludes with an example of a shave biopsy followed by a wide excision positive for focal residual melanoma with negative margins. No margins were mentioned on the pathology report but the operative report stated 2 cm margin. The surgical coding of both procedures is discussed and assigned taken into account of the Exception.