When a patient sees a health care provider for the removal of a skin lesion (almost always warts in the case of our office and our patients) and the health care provider uses medications, freezing, or other in-office techniques to remove the wart, there is a specific code that is used to charge for that treatment. This is a little different that seeing one of us for an illness that requires us to evaluate, diagnose, and treat (when applicable). The code sent to your insurance is a treatment code and carries a charge that is handled differently that the codes used to evaluate a sick child or provide preventive care.
In the past we have largely not used these codes and instead have treated wart visits much like other office visits. We've just charged for the diagnosis and management most of the time, even for children with many warts that required a lot of time. However, given the rising costs of the treatments used as well as increased demands on the provider schedules, we can no longer afford to do this.
Effective immediately, we will be using the procedure chart for any warts treated in the office. This means that you may receive a bill for the service. The exact charge will vary depending on your child's insurance and on how many warts are treated but can easily be over $200 for a single wart.
Given that there are many effective over-the-counter home treatments for warts and that warts are usually more of a cosmetic problem for children rather than a true health problem, we recommend that you treat your child's warts at home using one of the many methods available. We are happy to confirm your suspicion that your child has a wart and give you advice on treatment during your visit. If your child has a very severe case of warts (many warts, large warts, warts on the face or near the fingernails) then we recommend that your child see a dermatologist (or a podiatrist for warts on the feet) as they have access to more effective treatments.
Oregon Health Plan (including WVCH) plans do NOT cover treatment/removal of warts; OHP patients therefore WILL have a charge from our office if a wart treatment is performed. Other insurances may cover the treatment; however, if you have any questions about what conditions and procedures are covered you should contact your insurance company.