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CAP Home > CAP Reference Resources and Publications > CPT Coding Resource Center > Coding and Reimbursement Article Archive > Your CPT Questions

  Your CPT Questions

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Reprinted from December 2001 CAP TODAY

Q: Is code 83912, Molecular diagnostics; interpretation and report, used for each DNA or RNA probe interpretation?

A: Code 83912 should be used once for each patient study after all the data are collected. It should not be used per procedure in an analysis.

Q: I was told that in October the Food and Drug Administration approved the AutoCyte Prep System for thin-layer slide preparations on the AutoPap Primary Screening System. Should I use code 88147 or 88142 for this?

A: The AutoCyte Prep System is an automated thin-layer cytology sample preparation that produces specimen slides with a homogeneous, thin-layer of cervical cells. The AutoPap Primary Screening System is a fully automated device for primary screening of Pap smear slides. The AutoPap Primary Screening System was originally approved for the primary screening of conventional Pap smears, but the FDA has recently approved the device for primary screening of AutoCyte Prep System thin-layer slide preparations as well.

The language of code 88147, Cytopathology smears, cervical or vaginal; screening by automated system under physician supervision, indicates that it is used for automated primary screening of conventional Pap smears, not thin-layer preparations. Codes in the 88147 family therefore are inappropriate for primary automated screening of thin-layer preparations.

Codes in the 88142 family, Cytopathology, cervical or vaginal (any reporting system), collected in preservative fluid, automated thin layer preparation..., are also inappropriate because although they describe thin-layer preparation, they do not include a specific code for primary screening by an automated system. Thus, until a new code describing primary automated screening of thin-layer preparation of cervical or vaginal cytology is available, code 88199, Unlisted cytopathology procedure, must be used.


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.

 
 

 

 

   
 
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