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Family Practice Coding Alert

Reader Question:
Urine Collection

Question: How do we code urine collection for drug screens?

New York Subscriber

Answer: Use 99000 (handling and/or conveyance of specimen for transfer from the physicians office to a laboratory) if the physician incurs the costs to handle and/or transport a specimen to the laboratory. This code is not be appropriate if a courier from the lab is picking up the specimen. In this instance, it is included in the evaluation and management (E/M) code. Medicare always considers this service bundled into the evaluation and management code. CPTs definition varies from Medicare, however, in that they see it as an adjunct code, meaning it can be billed separately from the E/M code.