Anatomic Pathology Services (Rev. 1, 10-01-03)

by  Jared Staheli
July 10th, 2015

Clinical laboratory tests include some services described as anatomic pathology services in CPT (i.e., certain cervical, vaginal, or peripheral blood smears). The CPT code 85060 is used only when a physician interprets an abnormal peripheral blood smear for a hospital inpatient or a hospital outpatient, and the hospital is responsible for the technical component. When an independent laboratory bills a physician interpretation of an abnormal peripheral blood smear, the service is considered a complete or global service, and is not billed under the CPT code 85060. A physician interpretation of an abnormal peripheral blood smear performed by an independent laboratory is considered a routine part of the ordered hematology service (i.e., those tests that include a different white blood count).

The HCPCS code 88150 (cervical or vaginal smears) included both screening and interpretation in CPT 1986 terminology while the CPT 1987 terminology includes only screening. A new code, 88151, was added for those smears that require physician interpretation. Code 88151 is treated and priced in the same manner as code 88150 was previously treated and priced. Code 88151 with a “-26” modifier is paid when a physician performs an interpretation of an abnormal smear for a hospital inpatient or outpatient, and the hospital is responsible for the technical component. The “-26” modifier for code 88150 is no longer recognized. Code 88151(26) is priced as code 88150(26) would have been priced if the coding terminology had not been revised. Independent laboratories bill under code 88150 for normal smears and under code 88151 for abnormal smears. However, the fee schedule amount is equivalent.


Anatomic Pathology Services (Rev. 1, 10-01-03). (2015, July 10). Find-A-Code Articles. Retrieved from

© InnoviHealth Systems Inc

Article Tags  (click on a tag to see related articles)

Publish this Article on your Website, Blog or Newsletter

This article is available for publishing on websites, blogs, and newsletters. The article must be published in its entirety - all links must be active. If you would like to publish this article, please contact us and let us know where you will be publishing it. The easiest way to get the text of the article is to highlight and copy. Or use your browser's "View Source" option to capture the HTML formatted code.

If you would like a specific article written on a medical coding and billing topic, please Contact Us.


innoviHealth Systems, Inc.
62 East 300 North
Spanish Fork, UT 84660
Phone: 801-770-4203 (9-5 Mountain)
free demo
request yours today
for any budget
sign IN
welcome back!

Thank you for choosing Find-A-Code, please Sign In to remove ads.