Health Information Management

Tip: CPT update includes new molecular pathology table

APCs Insider, March 21, 2014

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The 2014 CPT® Manual's Pathology and Laboratory section contains a new molecular pathology table at the beginning listing the codes by abbreviated gene name in alphabetical order. For example, under BEST1, coders can find the full gene name (bestrophin 1), commonly associated disease (vitelliform macular dystrophy), and CPT code (81406).

The AMA also added a new code to the Tier 1 (specific analytes) molecular pathology codes:

  • 81287, MGMT (0-6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase) (e.g., glioblastoma multiforme), methylation analysis

The Tier 2 codes saw more extensive changes. This tier is arranged by the level of technical resources and interpretive work required, not specific analytes like Tier 1. The AMA added 318 new analytes throughout the section. They can be identified by a green font and arrows, similar to new and revised parenthetical notes. If the analyte tested isn't represented by a Tier 1 code and is not specifically listed in Tier 2, coders should report it with 81479 (unlisted molecular pathology procedure), according to AMA's CPT Changes 2014: An Insider's View and discussion at the AMA CPT-RBRVS Symposium.

This tip is adapted from “AMA updates CPT codes for new technology and drugs in 2014” in the March issue of Briefings on APCs.


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