Question:

For bone marrow studies, it is appropriate to bill separately for duplicative testing on the same or similar specimens? Also, can we append a modifier if the testing in separate departments or laboratories is for the same antibody?

Answer:

First, know that It is common for bone marrow aspirate to be submitted to the cytopathology department for flow-cytometry analysis with additional material being submitted to histology for IHC stains. It is not appropriate to bill separately for duplicative testing on the same or similar specimens. Understand that the NCCI policy manual has defined bone marrow biopsy and bone marrow aspirate as the same or similar specimen; therefore, it would not be appropriate to append a modifier if testing in separate departments or laboratories is for the same antibody.

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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