AMA CPT® Assistant - 2009 Issue 2 (February)

Pathology and Laboratory/Hematology and Coagulation (February 2009)

February 2009 page 22 Pathology and Laboratory: Hematology and Coagulation, 85810, modifier 25 (Q&A) Question: A physician performs an arthrocentesis and proceeds to examine the synovial fluid that was aspirated. Is it appropriate to report code 85810 for "bedside" assessments of synovial fluid (ie, observations of color, clarity, and viscosity)? Answer: No. Code 85810, Viscosity, which is located in the Hematology and Coagulation section of Pathology and Laboratory, is intended to be used in a quantitative (semiquantitative) assessment of serum viscosity. Its use in reporting a more qualitative bedside observation (eg, "a visual exam") would be inappropriate. These...

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