Reprinted from October 2001 CAP TODAY
Q: Sometimes I receive referral cases that include tissue blocks in
addition to hematoxylin and eosin stained slides, a surgical pathology
report and an accompanying letter from the referring pathologist. I use
the blocks for immunohistochemistry, but I do not prepare additional routinely
stained slides. What code(s) should I use?
A: Code 88321 (Consultation and report on referred slides prepared
elsewhere) would appropriately capture the work involved in reviewing
the prior surgical pathology report and previously prepared slides. Code
88342 (Immunocytochemistry (including tissue immunoperoxidase), each antibody)
should be submitted times the number of stains performed. If you also
receive additional medical records, (X-ray, history and physical, operative,
etc.) a comprehensive consultation (88325) should be used in place of
Q: What code do you suggest for sinus mucosal strippings?
A: Unlike sinus biopsies or nasal/sinusoidal polyps, sinus mucosal
strippings are not listed as a specimen type in CPT. The surgical pathology
section of the CPT book says, “Any unlisted specimen should be assigned
to the code which most closely reflects the physician work involved when
compared to other specimens assigned to that code.” Code 88305 most accurately
captures the work involved with these specimens.
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.