Basics about Breast Biopsy CPT Codes Breast biopsy cpt codes 2014 - Tips and Tricks

Breast biopsy are very important to determine the initial stage of breast cancer. Breast biopsy is done in different technique to find the diagnosis related to breast neoplasm. Since, there are some changes in breast biopsy CPT codes 2014, we are here to learn more about them. We already learnt about coding new updated codes for spinal injection for 2017. These new CPT codes are similar to breast biopsy procedure, since all the minor procedures, including the guidance (code 77003 for spinal injection) will be included from 2017. You may be aware of few basic things but we will try to learn in detail about breast biopsy procedure coding. Let’s check out the description of breast biopsy cpt codes.

19100                          Breast Biopsy,percutaneous, without imaging guidance

19101                           Breast Biopsy, incisonal

19105                          Ablation, cryosurgical, fibroadenoma

19120 – 19126           Breast Lesion or Fibroadenoma Excision

19081 – 19086         Breast Biopsy with image guided placement of breast localization    device(s)


Definition- Breast biopsy CPT codes

We know about the Fine Needle aspiration and Breast Core biopsy CPT codes. For other biopsy procedure like lung biopsy , thyroid biopsy we have direct CPT Code. But, for breast exam we have separate CPT code for breast biopsy with or without guidance. Also, the new CPT codes includes the breast localization devices like clip placement, which were coded separately earlier. These procedure are becoming complex than CPT codes for angiogram. These breast biopsy procedure are as interesting as coding Selective and Non-Selective Catheterization Procedure codes.

Percutaneous needle core breast biopsy (19100) – The mass is located without the use of imaging guidance and the patient receives local anesthesia. Utilizing a spring-loaded device to insert a 10-14 gauge hollow core needle collect between five and fifteen tissue samples are collected from the mass. Below are few example of Breast biopsy CPT codes.

Tips and Tricks for Breast biopsy CPT codes

Percutaneous breast Biopsy with image guided placement of breast localization device(s) (19081-19086) – The mass is located with the use of imaging guidance (stereotactic imaging, ultrasound, or MRI) and a marker is placed; the patient receives general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation.  A small incision is made with a scalpel.  Imaging is used to verify the position of the biopsy device; the needle is fired and the vacuum system is activated.  Multiple samples of tissue are removed.

Incisional breast biopsy (19101): The mass is located (often with needle wire localization) and the patient receives general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. A 1 to 4 inch incision is made, a large portion of the mass is removed and the incision is sutured and bandaged. This procedure is highly accurate but can cause scarring and disfigurement which can interfere with future mammograms. If the entire mass is removed, the code for an excision of breast lesion should be assigned (19120- 19126).

Ablation, cryosurgical, of fibroadenoma (19105): Cryosurgical ablation is a minimally invasive procedure which involves freezing of the fibroadenoma by inserting a probe through which a coolant is circulated.

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Excision of breast lesions (19120-19126): After the mass has been located, the patient is placed under general anesthesia. The surgeon creates an incision that correlates with the size of the mass and carefully excises the mass or lesion and some of the surrounding tissue. Surgical margins are not specifically considered in the excision of the lesion. The wound is sutured and bandaged.

From 2017, we have new CPT codes for Moderate Conscious Sedation and most of CPT codes are not including conscious sedation from 2017. Hence all the medical coders should be very careful while coding surgery CPT codes, which had conscious sedation included previously

Documentation for Breast biopsy CPT codes 

 History and Physical:  A full history and physical should be obtained from the referring physician detailing the signs, symptoms and conditions that deem the breast biopsy or lesion excision necessary. The physician should be aware of all medications the patient is taking as well as pertinent personal and family medical history.

Final Note/Summary:  The final note should indicate the procedure(s) performed, and the final pathology findings. Follow up and treatment options should also be documented.

Read also: Best coding tips for Initial, Subsequent encounter and Sequela codes for Injuries.

Sign and symptoms associated with breast biopsy cpt codes

 Breast Biopsy or Cryosurgical Ablation:

·         Questionable finding on mammogram or ultrasound

·         Palpable lump or mass

Surgical Breast Excision:

·         Questionable results from a biopsy

·         Biopsy indicates malignancy

·         Lump or mass is large

·         Past history of breast malignancies

·         Family history of breast malignancies

Read also: Superb tips for Coding Modifier 57

Points to Remember with Breast biopsy CPT codes

For many of the biopsy procedures, multiple samples may be obtained from the same site or through the same incision to improve the accuracy of the procedure. Do not assign the same procedure code more than once unless samples are taken from the opposite breast or from a distinctly different incision or location of the same breast. Instructions for coding multiple biopsies or excisions are as follows:

·   19100-19101, 19120-19126 – If the same procedure is performed bilaterally, use modifier 50. When samples are taken from different locations using the same method, report the code again and append modifier 59.

·     19081, 19083, and 19085 – Report the code for the first lesion biopsied according to the type of imaging guidance used.  Add-on codes 19082, 19084, and 19086 are used to report each additional lesion biopsied with the same imaging modality.

·    19105 – Each fibroadenoma that is ablated is reported separately. There are times when more than one fibroadenoma is ablated with the insertion of only one probe. In these instances 19105 is reported only once. A parenthetical note follows 19105 instructing the coder to follow this convention.

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Open breast biopsy and open breast excision are similar in surgical technique. Both procedures utilize an open approach and involve removing tissue for examination. The difference is in the amount of tissue removed. With an open breast biopsy, the physician removes a tissue sample large enough to produce an accurate pathology report. With an open breast excision, the surgeon removes the entire lump or mass and may include a portion of surrounding tissue.  If the pathology comes back and the margins are not clear, the surgeon may bring the patient back to the operating room for further lumpectomy or mastectomy.

Note that the breast biopsy CPT codes are not to be used for fine needle aspirations (10021, 10022). Fine needle aspirations differ from biopsies because of the method of collection and involve extracting fluid and/or cells with a long thin needle for cytologic examination. Biopsies involve removing a small piece of tissue for examination, often via a skin excision, for histologic examination. Biopsies can be performed with a needle (e.g., needle core biopsy) but they utilize a large bore needle.

This short article hopes improves and clear the confusion of coding breast biopsy CPT codes . Share it if you like the article.