Laboratory Question for the Week of April 15, 2024

Question:

When both an adequacy assessment and a definitive diagnosis are rendered during a cytopathology evaluation, which codes should be reported?

Answer:

When a definitive interpretation and written report are issued, the physician should report 88173. If both an adequacy assessment and definitive diagnosis are rendered, both services (88172, 88173 with or without +88177) should be reported, dependent upon proper supporting documentation. These codes include other cytopathology codes (such as for direct smears, cytocentrifuge, and thin layer preparations). However, cell block preparations and any special stains can be reported separately.

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