RE: [Histonet] cpt codes for direct smears

From:"Maray Weirauch"

We have also been denied payment when using 88160 or 88161.  The Centers
for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have taken the stand that
cytopathology codes 88160, 88161 and 88162 can not be reported for the
same patient on the same date of service with codes 88304 to 88309,
'Level III through VI - Surgical pathology, gross and microscopic
examination.'  CMS said it considers cytopathology smears prepared from
surgical pathology specimens as duplicate procedures that should not be
reported separately.  They will allow the use of modifier -59 for bypass
if the cytopathology smears are performed on separate specimens and
independent diagnoses are rendered. 
That scenario never seems to apply to our situation, so we also bill
for a Pathology consultation during surgery, 88329.

>>> "Bonnie Whitaker"  9/27/2005 10:22:49
AM >>>
According to our billing company, we were being denied 88160 or 88161
permanent sections were being done on the same specimen.  We are
billing an
88329 for those.  What has everyone else's experience been?

Bonnie Whitaker

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Joe
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 9:05 AM
To: 'Barb Richmond'; 
Subject: RE: [Histonet] cpt codes for direct smears

We use 88160, other than gynecological for direct smears

Joe Nocito, BS, HT(ASCP) QIHC
Histology Manager
Pathology Reference Lab
San Antonio, TX

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Barb
Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 3:29 PM
Subject: [Histonet] cpt codes for direct smears

I need to know what cpt code to use for a direct smear that is made
tissue and stained on the quick frozen section stain line. Any

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