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Thread: Bone marrow smear interpretation

  1. #1

    Default Bone marrow smear interpretation

    AAPC: Back to School
    Could I get some advice please? I have an oncologist who wants to bill 99245, with CPT 38221 for bone biopsy and also the 85097 for smear intrepretation. He does look at the sample and prepairs a brief report on the smear which is included in the documentation for that visit. The sample is also forwarded to pathology.

    Is is proper to code the 85097 with 38221?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    I could be wrong but i would say that he can't bill 85097 since he is sending the smear to a pathologist. My doctor only bills the 38221 and the pathologist either in our hospital or an outside lab bills the rest. Is he documenting a complete interpt like a pathologist would ??

  3. #3


    There is a brief report included in the body of the encounter note, but the sample collected is sent to pathology for complete work up as well. There is a complete report from the pathologist then.

    My feeling is it should not be billed but the doctor is insisting that it should.

    Any opinion would be appreciated! Thank you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Nashville, TN


    I agree. I do not think it should be billed since it is being sent to a pathologist. I bill 38221 + G0364 for our bone marrow asp/bx that we do in the office.

    Len Hales, RN, CPC

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