Posted on 09. Mar, 2009 by in Hot Coding Topics
If you reserve 99000 for incurring charges, you need a primer on the code’s musts to collect this fee from private payers.
“I am under the impression that the code can only be used if you collect the specimen then send it to an outside lab,” says Jamie Kurrasch, CPC, with Primary Care Partners, PC in Junction City, Colo. She’s looking for a code her lab can use for the specimen collection for the flu and RSV test that the practice runs at its in-house lab.
Check out these 99000 guidelines.
Capture Specimen Prep With 99000
You can report 99000 (Handling and/or conveyance of specimen for transfer from the physician’s office to a laboratory) “for the preparation of a specimen for lab transport, even when there is no cost incurred with the labs charging for pick up and transport of the specimen for processing,” assures Maggie Mac, CPC, CEMC, CHC, CMM, ICCE, manager at Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C. in Clearwater, Fla.
Specifics: “The work involved by the staff/physician in preparing the specimen (centrifuge, labeling, packaging, completing lab slip, etc.) meets the requirements for appropriate reporting of this code (handling).”
Realize CPT Changed Its View
If you scream, “But, wait! I’ve been told I can only use the code for incurring a cost,” be aware CPT promulgated this view.
The AMA in CPT Assistant Feb. 1999 noted, 99000 “is intended to be reported when the physician incurs costs to handle and/or transport a specimen to the laboratory (e.g., via messenger service). If the specimen is picked up by laboratory staff at no additional cost to the physician, it would not be appropriate to report...
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