Health Information Management

Tip: Differentiate between abbreviations for molecular pathology coding

APCs Insider, April 19, 2013

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One potential source of confusion for coding molecular pathology services involves the abbreviations ie (that is) and eg (for example).

According to the 2013 CPT ® Manual (p. xxi):
 
When a code descriptor in the CPT codebook has a parenthetical note that begins with ie, this means that the term that follows clarifies the intent of the word or phrase preceding the parenthetical statement. If the content of the parenthetical is not met, then the code should not be used.
 
For example, the description of CPT code 81245 is FLT3 (fms-related tyrosine kinase 3) (eg, acute myeloid leukemia), gene analysis, internal tandem duplication (ITD) variants (ie, exons 14, 15) which has a specific parenthetical note of “ie exons 14, 15.” If the lab does not test both exons 14 and 15, then labs should report the unlisted code 81479 instead of 81245.
 
The 2013 CPT Manual also states:
 
When a code descriptor in the CPT codebook has a parenthetical note that begins with eg, it means that the following language represents an example or examples of the intent of the word or phrase preceding the parenthetical statement.
 
If a code description states eg (for example) and lists some variants, then that code can be used to report other variants that are similar even though they are not listed as part of the code descriptor
 
The tip is adapted from “New molecular pathology coding still complex” in the April Briefings on APCs.



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