Q: Does the pathology section of the CPT
book contain codes that pathologists can use for consultations performed
via a telecommunication technology, such as telepathology, that permits
real time evaluation on referred material?
A: Telepathology consultations on referred material may be coded
using the pathology consultation code 88321, Consultation and report
on referred slides prepared elsewhere or 88325, Consultation, comprehensive,
with review of records and specimens, with report on referred material.
The CPT book does not differentiate telepathologic from routine microscopic
examinations. Code 88325 only should be used for consultations involving
comprehensive review of the patient’s records, laboratory results, oncologist’s
consultations, and similar information. It is not intended for use when
review of the record is limited to pathology reports submitted with the
Q: Because the FDA granted waived status to influenza A and B tests
should these analyses be reported as 86710, Antibody; influenza virus,
or 82657, Enzyme activity in blood cells, cultured cells, or tissue, not
elsewhere specified; nonradioactive substrate, each specimen?
A: The FDA recently approved two types of waived influenza tests.
One detects influenza A and B via an immunoassay with direct optical observation.
The other uses a labeled influenza neurominidase substrate with direct
optical observation. Neither can differentiate between influenza types
A and B. Neither code 82657 nor 86710 is appropriate for reporting these
tests. CPT convention states that one must select the code that most accurately
identifies the service performed. Hence code 87899, Infectious agent
detection by immunoassay with direct optical observation; not otherwise
specified, most accurately describes those tests that detect the presence
of influenza A and B by immunoassay with direct optical observation. Code
87999, Unlisted microbiology procedure, most accurately describes
those tests that detect the presence of influenza A and B using a labeled
influenza neurominidase substrate with direct optical observation.
Frequently asked questions about CPT
are published bimonthly in “Capitol Scan.” This addition to
CAP TODAY is a product of the CAP Economic Affairs Committee.
The codes and descriptions listed here are from Current Procedural Terminology,
a copyrighted publication of the American Medical Association. To purchase
CPT books, call the AMA at (800) 621-8335.
Reprinted from April 2001 CAP TODAY