Reprinted from June 2001 CAP TODAY
Q: Code 84165, electrophoretic fractionation and quantification,
appears in the CPT book as an indented code under 84155, Protein; total,
except refractometry. Does this mean code 84165 includes total protein?
A: Code 84165 does not include total protein (84155). The common
portion of the code descriptor always precedes the semicolon. The phrase
“total, except refractometry,” therefore, does not apply to the service
described by code 84165.
Because fractionation refers to the separation of the fractions and quantitation
refers to the calculation of the percentage of each fraction, it would
be appropriate to submit both codes if total protein and electrophoretic
fractionation and quantification were performed.
Q: Many cultures grow organisms for which the initial evaluation for
presumptive identification cannot differentiate between pathogenic and
non pathogenic organisms. Can we use 87077, Culture, bacterial; aerobic
isolate, additional methods required for definitive identification, each
isolate, to report the additional studies needed to make this distinction
if the organisms are identified as non pathogenic and we do not report
the specific species identified?
A: Yes. Code 87077 is used to report that definitive identification
procedures were preformed. The service is therefore reportable even when
the suspected pathogen turns out to be a non-pathogen.
Frequently asked questions about CPT are published bimonthly in “Capitol
Scan.” This addition to CAP TODAY is a product of the CAP Economic
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.