tci General Surgery Coding Alert - 2005 Issue 11

READER QUESTIONS: Look to 10021-10022 for Fluid Sampling

Question: The surgeon performs fine needle aspiration (FNA) of a peritonsillar abscess. Codes 42700 and 10160 seem inappropriate; is there a better choice?Massachusetts Subscriber Answer: There are better choices. CPT actually contains specific FNA codes:- 10021--Fine needle aspiration; without imaging guidance- 10022--...with imaging guidance. Because you don't mention if the surgeon used imaging guidance with the FNA, you should report 10021. If the surgeon performs FNA and imaging guidance, you should report 10022 and the appropriate guidance code: - Fluoroscopy--76003 (Fluoroscopic guidance for needle placement [e.g., biopsy, aspiration, injection, localization device])- CAT scan--76360 (Computed tomography guidance...

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