College of American Pathologists

  Your CPT Questions


Reprinted from DATE CAP TODAY

Q: Can I use code 10021, Fine needle aspiration; without imaging guidance, per pass when I perform a superficial FNA?

A: Report code 10021 for the aspiration of each lesion or different site, not for each pass involved in the aspiration procedure. Do not use code 10021 to report assistance by another physician. Only the physician who collects the specimen should report this code.

Q: Our laboratory occasionally receives specimens for electron microscopy. What code should we report if, after we perform and stain thick sections, we determine that electron microscopy cannot be performed?

A: If after you have performed and stained thick sections you determine that electron microscopy cannot be performed, report the appropriate EM code (88348, Electron microscopy; diagnostic, or 88349, Electron microscopy; scanning) with the -52 modifier, Reduced Services. Using this modifier will allow you to report that part of the service was reduced while preserving the identification of the basic service.

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.