Question:

We noticed that descriptors for both CPT® codes 82803 and 82805 begin with the word “gases,” and had some confusion around measuring. In this case, should it mean that two or more blood gases must be measured? Please advise.

Answer:

Understand that these codes may be assigned any time you measure and report one or more of the associated blood gases. 82803 (Gases, blood, any combination of pH, pCO2, pO2 CO2, HCO3 (including calculated 02 saturation) 82805(with O2 saturation, by direct measurement, except pulse oximetry). Note that when blood gas assays include O2 saturation by the calculated result, assign 82803 rather than 82805. When they include O2 saturation by direct measurement, assign CPT 82805 rather than 82803. Note too that it is not permissible to bill for individual components of the blood gas in addition to code 82803 or 82805.

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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