September Coding Q&A

Members & Publications

September 25, 2017

Got coding questions? Your Academy has the answers. Each month we feature a member’s question with an answer provided by AAPM&R’s Reimbursement and Policy Review Committee (RPRC).

Q: Can I bill a second code if I aspirate a joint and then inject the same joint?

A: No, there is a single code that describes both aspiration and injection. Code 20610 is described as: arthrocentesis, aspiration, and/or injection of a major joint or bursa (e.g., shoulder, hip, knee, subacromial bursa). If both services are provided, they are both billed under a single unit of that code. Code 20610 does not include imaging guidance. If ultrasound guidance is used, code 20611 is appropriate. If the service is provided with fluoroscopic guidance, code 77002 (fluoroscopic guidance for needle placement) is billed in addition to 20610.  

Find additional resources related to reimbursement here. Do you have a coding or billing question? Contact AAPM&R at for assistance. 

Accurate coding is the responsibility of the provider. This article is intended only as a resource to assist in the billing process.

Legislation Introduced to Alleviate Impact of Conversion Factor Cut for 2021

Nov 09, 2020

Last month, two bills were introduced in the House proposing solutions to the estimated 10.6% Physician Fee Schedule conversion factor cut expected to go into effect January 1, 2021.  The bills offer some relief to the cut, but do not reflect a comprehensive or long-term solution.  AAPM&R has therefore chosen to remain neutral regarding these bills. 

Your Academy continues to advocate for a permanent solution to the conversion factor cut while maintaining the important payment increases to office and outpatient evaluation and management services.