Dry Needling CPT Code - Physical Therapy

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I am working with the Physical Therapy department regarding billing for Dry Needling here in our clinic. We have several therapists who are certified to perform this service. We have advised them to use the unlisted physical medicine CPT code 97799, considering there is not a specific CPT code for this service. They have continued to push back, indicating they have been given direction from APTA billing experts that they can bill dry needling as Manual Therapy 97140 or E-Stim 97032, or even Neuromuscular Re-education 97112.
Just curious if anyone has had experience with this service and what code you use.
Thank you,
Kari Kotewa, CPC
Ok for 97140

Yes the therapists are told at their certification training that 97140, 97032, and 97112 are ok depending on what the purpose of the needling is and what they are doing. The justification for the manual therapy is they are manually massaging the area prior to the needling. The time is added up by the massage time. The other two codes are needling with estim (which requires constant attendance) or for neuromuscular re-education, both should be appropriate as long the documentation reflects that is the purpose of the needing for that area.
Dry Needling billing

I'm attaching the APTA official statement on billing for dry needling by physical therapists. "Practitioners who seek to bill any third party payer should first check the payer’s
coverage policy to determine if dry needling is a covered service and if the policy
specifies which code is used to report the service. Absent a specific payer policy, the use
of CPT code 97140 for the performance of dry needling should not be utilized. The CPT
code 97140, published in 1998, represents a collapsing of five other CPT codes that were
published prior to 1998. The codes that were collapsed and services that were
represented prior to the publication of 97140 included; soft tissue mobilization, joint
mobilization, manipulation by a physician, initial area, and each additional area, and
manual traction. Currently, there is no CPT code that describes dry needling nor do any
of the existing CPT codes include dry needling techniques in clinical vignettes utilized by
AMA in their process to establish relative value units.
CPT specifically states to select the procedure or service that accurately identifies the
service performed. Do not select a CPT code that merely approximates the service
provided. If no such specific code exists, then report the service using the appropriate
unlisted physical medicine/rehabilitation service or procedure code 97799."

See attached document for the full statement


  • dryneedling.pdf
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