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Whirlpool Therapy

Title: Whirlpool (to one or more areas)

Code: 97022

Description

The use of whirlpool is considered reasonable and necessary when used as part of a plan directed at facilitating the healing of an open wound (e.g., burns).

Indications

Whirlpool bath treatments typically do not require the unique skills of a therapist. However, therapist supervision of the whirlpool modality may be medically necessary for the following indications:

    • A condition complicated by a circulatory deficiency or areas of desensitization;
    • An open wound which is draining, has a foul odor, or necrotic tissue;
    • Exfoliative skin impairments.

Limitations

Only one (1) unit of CPT code 97022 should be billed per date of service.

Dry hydrotherapy massage (also known as aquamassage, hydromassage, or water massage) is considered investigational and is non-covered.

Whirlpool should not be separately billed when provided on the same date of service as debridement (97597-97598) for the same body part.

Documentation

If greater than eight (8) visits are needed for whirlpools that require the skills of a therapist, the documentation should support the medical necessity of the continued treatment.

Supportive Documentation Requirements for 97022

    • Rationale for requiring the unique skills of a therapist to apply, including the complicating factors
    • Area(s) being treated
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