2017 CPT and Other Coding Updates for Audiologists and SLPs

December 30, 2016

Audiologists and speech-language pathologists should be aware of updates to Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes, modifiers, and place of service (POS) codes that become effective on January 1, 2017.

New Options for Reporting Telepractice-Related Services

The American Medical Association (AMA) created a new modifier "95" to reflect synchronous (i.e., real-time) telepractice services, as follows:

95, Synchronous telemedicine service rendered via a real-time interactive audio and video telecommunications system.

Modifier 95 was created through the CPT system and can be appended to CPT codes to reflect services that were provided via real-time telecommunication systems. This code does not replace the existing GQ (Telehealth service rendered via asynchronous telecommunications system) and GT (Telehealth service rendered via interactive audio and video telecommunications system) modifiers that were created through the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Clinicians should check with individual payers regarding implementation and use of telepractice-related modifiers on the 2017 claim form.

In addition to a new telepractice modifier, CMS implemented a new POS code "02" to reflect locations where telepractice services were provided or received. The full description is outlined below.

02, The location where health services and health related services are provided or received, through a telecommunication system.

POS codes are used on claims to indicate the specific type of location where services were provided. Clinicians should verify with individual payers regarding implementation and use of POS Code 02. More information on POS codes is available on the CMS website.

Revised Laryngoscopy Codes

Two CPT codes for diagnostic laryngoscopy have undergone minor editorial revisions to reflect current technology. These revisions should not change how the codes are reported. The revised codes are as follows:

  • 31575, Laryngoscopy, flexible; diagnostic (2016 version: Laryngoscopy, flexible fiberoptic; diagnostic)
  • 31579, Laryngoscopy, flexible or rigid telescopic, with stroboscopy (2016 version: Laryngoscopy, flexible or rigid fiberoptic, with stroboscopy)

Resources

Up-to-date information on coding related to audiology and speech-language pathology is available on ASHA's billing and reimbursement webpages. Questions may be directed to ASHA's health care economics and advocacy team at reimbursement@asha.org.


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