AMA CPT® Assistant - 1999 Issue 12 (December)

Cytopathology, 88170, 88171 (Q&A) (December 1999)

December 1999 page 11a Coding Consultation Cytopathology, 88170, 88171 (Q&A) Question A biopsy was performed by our radiologist using the fine needle aspiration technique. The intent of the procedure was to obtain a biopsy. Should this be reported using a biopsy code or the fine needle aspiration code? AMA Comment From a CPT coding perspective, the fine needle aspiration codes (88170,88171) are intended to report the aspiration of fluid or tissue through a long slender needle, followed by a cytological examination of the cells which are obtained. This is in contrast to a biopsy, where a small...

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