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20205 vs 27324


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I am looking for some clarity on how to differentiate between these two CPT codes. It appears that one difference is the 20205 would apply to any muscle, and the 27324 applies to a specific body area. Is that the only difference or is there more to it than that?

Milwaukee WI
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Lay Descriptions

Here are the Lay Descriptions of each code, from Encoder Pro

CPT 20205
The physician secures a sample of tissue from a muscle for biopsy. The physician incises the overlying skin and bluntly dissects to the suspect muscle. The muscle tissue is obtained. Bleeding is controlled and the wound is sutured in layers. Report 20200 if the muscle site sampled is superficial and 20205 if the muscle site sampled is deep.

CPT 27324
The physician performs a biopsy of the soft tissues of the thigh or knee area. With proper anesthesia administered, an incision is made over the biopsy area. Dissection is carried down within the superficial soft tissue layers in 27323, usually the subcutaneous fat to the uppermost fascial layer. In 27324, dissection is taken deep within the soft tissue, such as into the fascial layer or within the muscle. A portion of the tissue is excised and submitted for pathology. The area is irrigated and the incision is closed with layered sutures, staples, or Steri-strips.

In general I try to code from as specific a code as I can. So if the muscle biopsy is of the thigh or knee area, I would use 27324.

Hope that helps.

F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC