Respiratory Question for the Week of September 11, 2023


What are the intent of codes 88740–88741?


These codes are intended to represent the diagnostic quantitative measurement of either carboxyhemoglobin level or methemoglobin determination. Providers need to pay attention to the daily limitation as defined by the code descriptions. The AMA provides two examples for the intended use of either CPT® 88740 or 88741. Both examples are based on the determination for each measurement on the signs and symptoms demonstrated by the patient that prompt the physician to order the quantitative measurement. Both scenarios provided by the AMA are commonplace within the acute hospital. The first is the need to quickly identify carbon monoxide poisoning for a patient presenting in the emergency department post-exposure to smoke during a fire. The second scenario involves the determination of whether a patient in the recovery room suffers from methemoglobinemia following the administration of local anesthesia (benzocaine spray) for bronchoscopy.

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

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