[Histonet] Re: gross evaluation of kidney biopsy specimens

Robert Richmond rsrichmond <@t> gmail.com
Sun Dec 27 12:54:00 CST 2009

Becky Garrison (where?) asks:

> Here, we have either a pathologist or histotech take a cart with
> dissecting microscope to the kidney biopsy in Radiology and give the
> nephrologist who performs the procedure immediate feed back on whether
> the biopsy contains sufficient glomeruli. 95% of the time, the techs
> attend and the pathologist backs up when no tech is available. (This
> applies to native kidney biopsies only; transplant kidney biopsies are
> brought immediately to Pathology Gross Room by nephrology fellow or
> resident.) It is interesting that we have never charged for this 'immediate
> evaluation' service, neither technical nor professional. Are others
> who perform this service charging, and if so, what CPT code / modifier
> is used?

If I (a pathologist) did the evaluation, I'd charge 88329, pathology
consultation during surgery, like I would for opening a colon
resection specimen in the surgical suite but not doing a frozen
section. I don't know whether this code is applicable when a histotech
does the evaluation.

Ouch! I hate to see a microscope subjected to the jolting and
vibration it gets from being transported in a cart. I'd rather have
the specimen brought to the laboratory.

I like this procedure, because it allows the pathologist to have a
dissecting microscope (stereo microscope). As I've mentioned before, I
like to look at small bowel biopsy specimens done for suspected celiac
disease, before I submit them for processing.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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