College of American Pathologists
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  CPT Questions


cap today



December 2004

Q: How should we code a specimen that is a right colon with attached terminal ileum and appendix?

A. For this service, do not code separately for the short segment of terminal ileum or the appendix if it is part of a right colectomy for a colon carcinoma. A small additional contiguous ileal segment submitted without pathologic change (for better anastomosis) does not constitute a second resection. However, when a separate segmental resection of small bowel is submitted for evaluation in addition to a colonic resection, it is appropriate to code for each separate specimen.

Q: Can CPT code 83912 be billed in conjunction with all encompassing molecular microbiology test codes, such as 87799 or 87497?

A. You should not use code 83912, Molecular diagnostics; interpretation and report, for the interpretation of infectious agent antigen detection tests described by CPT codes 87470 through 87801 or 87901 through 87904. According to version 10.3 of the National Correct Coding Policy Manual, code 83912 should be reported for a medically reasonable and necessary interpretation and report associated with molecular diagnostic testing described with CPT codes 83890 through 83906. This group of codes describes individual analytical procedures performed in the overall molecular diagnostic process. Each test used in the diagnostic process is reported separately in addition to 83912 for interpretation and report.

Frequently asked questions about CPT are published bimonthly in “Capitol Scan.” This section of CAP TODAY is a product of the CAP Economic Affairs Committee.

The codes and descriptions listed here are from Current Procedural Terminology, 4th ed., CPT 2006. CPT 2006 is copyrighted by the American Medical Association. To purchase CPT books, call the AMA at 800-621-8335.

For more information about CPT coding, visit the CPT Coding Resource Center on the CAP Web site.