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Thread: help needed with pathology date

  1. #1

    Default help needed with pathology date

    AAPC: Back to School
    We have a pathologist joining our practice who will be doing nothing but reading the slides from bone marrows done in our office. (This is a new area for me so bear with me and I'm sorry if it's been asked and answered already!) We're having a problem with determining the date we should use for the date of service when we bill for his services in our office.

    Our process will be as follows:
    --oncologist performs the bone marrow biopsy/aspiration
    --our lab will send the specimen to an outside lab for processing
    --the outside lab will process the specimen and return the slides to us to be read by our pathologist. I am told they will be billing 88305-TC.
    --our pathologist will read the slides and issue a report on his findings. This is to be billed using 88305-26.

    What date of service would we use when billing the 88305-26? The general consensus here seems to be to use the date the outside lab processed the specimen so that our charge will have the same DOS as the bill from the lab. Or should we be using the date our pathologist read the slide?

    That then leads me to the issue of having a test date, the process date and the interpretation date (which is certain to be different because of transport time from the lab back to our office). Should the dictated report reference all of those dates, somewhere in the header maybe?

    As I said, this is a new situation for our practice and a lab/path guru I am not!! Any and all help is greatly appreciated!!!
    Last edited by trarut; 03-02-2010 at 07:37 AM. Reason: fix spelling error & add a missing word

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    New Orleans, LA


    CMS recently said the pro charge should be the date the interpretation is performed but they just rescinded that guidance. The DOS for both technical and professional services should match, so it is the date the specimen was collected if less than 30 days ago.

    No need to apologize. This is all very confusing and there aren't a lot of written, clear-cut guidelines. Check out the CAP website. There's an archive of "Your CPT Questions Answered." It's pretty hit-or-miss what you'll find and they haven't really kept up with it recently, but there's good information there.

  3. #3


    Thanks so much for the information, whaleheadking! I will check out the CAP website.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    We use date specimen collected for Pathology specimens

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