Question:

How many units of service should be assigned for performing an infection agent technique such as mentioned in last week’s answer?

Answer:

If a single test procedure produces results for multiple species or strains of an organism, only one unit of service (UOS) of a CPT code may be reported for that test procedure, according to the National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI). However, if separate medically reasonable and necessary test procedures are performed for different species or strains of an organism, the same CPT code may be reported for each test procedure utilizing modifier 59 for the second and additional test procedures.

For example, if a single amplified probe nucleic acid detection test procedure identifies more than one species of Candida organisms, only one UOS may be reported for CPT code 87481 (infectious agent detection by nucleic acid [DNA or RNA]); Candida species, amplified probe technique).

This question was answered in our Coding Essentials for Laboratories. For more hot topics relating to laboratory services, please visit our store or call us at 1.800.252.1578, ext. 2.

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