Is there a good reference regarding what designates deep versus superficial bone biopsy? The code descriptions give some examples but other bones I’m not sure about.


Clinical Examples in Radiology, Fall, 2010 indicated that “These examples make the distinction that if the sampled bone is palpable from outside the body (e.g., the ilium, sternum, spinous process, ribs), the code for a superficial bone biopsy (20220) should be selected.”

20220 Biopsy, bone, trocar, or needle; superficial (e.g., ilium, sternum, spinous process, ribs)
 20225 Biopsy, bone, trocar, or needle; deep (e.g., vertebral body, femur)


This question was answered in the November edition of our Radiology Compliance Manager. For more hot topics relating to radiology services, please view our store, or call us at 1.800.252.1578 ext. 2.


CPT® copyright 2021 American Medical Association (AMA). All rights reserved.

Fee schedules, relative value units, conversion factors and/or related components are not assigned by the AMA, are not part of CPT, and the AMA is not recommending their use. The AMA does not directly or indirectly practice medicine or dispense medical services. The AMA assumes no liability for data contained or not contained herein.

CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.