Question Learning Pathology/Laboratory coding

cmoser3635

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I would like to learn coding specifically for Pathology and Laboratory on my own. I currently and learning to review CCI edits for laboratory and pathology. Part of my job description is to verify the QTY of units billed for pathology/labs CPT codes to justify adding a modifier. I struggle with some of the labs as they can include different tests, stains or markers and I am not sure what I am looking for. Are there any resources on the web that would be useful or any books? I can't seem to quite find what I am looking for. Today I am trying to identify stains for CPT code 88350 and I am not sure what I am looking for and spending so much time searching the web for help. Can anyone offer me any assistance? Thank you in advance for your help!
 

cmoser3635

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danachock

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Hi cmoser3635,
Goodness I am so sorry that you are having woes trying to calculate billing "add on" code 88350. Like I even say to myself when coding - in the perfect world every pathologist would put their immunofluorescence testing in a neat little table in the pathology report - and simply itemize which block the stain is being applied to and the results of each stain performed so we can accurately code and move onto to the next accession. But unfortunately that isn't always the way it is done. Personally, I commonly see this "add on" code related to skin, kidney, and muscle biopsies.
Say I am wondering, do you know whether or not your facility has a lab catalog? Seriously, hands down, that is an extremely resourceful way to find information within your own organization.
If you could snip a little bit of your pathology report, I may be able to help. I wish I could tell you which resources online to locate, but when I am coding pathology charges that I do not understand such as why charges are populated and I do not see the dictation in the pathology report and we are attempting to bill those charges I will reach out the pathologist and ask for clarification. It is ok to be new to this speciality and ask questions. The best coders, coding analysts, denial specialists, and billing analysts are those that CONSISTENTLY ASK QUESTIONS! Please do not be afraid to query. Those charges are their RVUs that they will be paid. They really are super kind and will explain where the information is or isn't and if necessary will complete an addendum when clarification is needed.
Thanks for listening and please hang in there; I know that with a little time you be able to conquer your pathology woes!
Dana Chock, CPC, CANPC, CHONC, CPMA, CPB
Coding Specialist 3 Pathology, Professional Coding Analyst
 
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