Starred Vs. Nonstarred Procedures
Q. In the CPT manual, what is the distinction between "starred" procedures (indicated with an asterisk following the code) and "nonstarred" procedures ?
A. The main distinction between starred and nonstarred procedures is that the normal CPT surgical package applies only to nonstarred procedures. Starred procedures involve variable, indefinite pre- and postoperative services that make it difficult to apply the standard CPT surgical package. [For more on CPT's surgical package, see "Spanning the Global Surgical Package," page 18.] Accordingly, any pre- and postoperative services associated with starred procedures may be separately reported. Unfortunately, Medicare and some other payers do not recognize this distinction. Note that the starred procedure designation is being eliminated from CPT in 2004.