Question:

What code is reported for specimen collection via nasal lavage and suction?

Answer:

With the increase in rapid screening tests for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza, providers often ask for CPT® and billing instruction for collection of specimens via nasal lavage and suction. Unfortunately, there is no CPT or HCPCS code that represents the collection of this specimen. The cost is bundled into the cost of CPT codes 87631–87633.

87631 Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); respiratory virus (e.g., adenovirus, influenza virus, coronavirus, metapneumovirus, parainfluenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus), includes multiplex reverse transcription, when performed, and multiplex amplified probe technique, multiple types or subtypes, 3–5 targets
87632 respiratory virus (e.g., adenovirus, influenza virus, coronavirus, metapneumovirus, parainfluenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus), includes multiplex reverse transcription, when performed, and multiplex amplified probe technique, multiple types or subtypes, 6–11 targets
87633 respiratory virus (e.g., adenovirus, influenza virus, coronavirus, metapneumovirus, parainfluenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus), includes multiplex reverse transcription, when performed, and multiplex amplified probe technique, multiple types or subtypes, 12–25 targets

CPT® is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.

This question was answered in the 2018 edition of our Coding Essentials for RT/Pulmonary Function. For more hot topics relating to respiratory therapy services, please view our store, or call us at 1.800.252.1578 ext. 2.

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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.