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New E&M codes for the year 2019

For 2019, the E&M section of CPT code book will have two new codes for Interprofessional Telephone/Internet/Electronic Health Record...

Whirlpool (CPT code 97022)/Hubbard Tank (CPT code 97036)


Whirlpool bath and Hubbard tanks are the most common forms of hydrotherapy. Whirlpool therapies (CPT code 97022)/Hubbard tank (CPT code 97036) are considered medically necessary when used to enhance the patient’s ability to perform therapeutic exercise.

Specific indications for the use of general whirlpool therapies include:

- The patient suffers from generalized weakness in addition to a specific functional limitation, and requires the buoyancy provided in the whirlpool in order to perform the therapeutic exercise, and/or

-the patient requires joint stretching (joint range of motion) prior to exercise on dry land.

Whirlpool therapies/Hubbard tank may be considered medically necessary when either circulatory deficiency or areas of desensitization complicate the patient’s condition, and the therapeutic goal is to increase circulation or decrease skin sensitivity.

The use of sterile whirlpool is considered medically necessary when used as part of a plan directed at facilitating the healing of an open wound (e.g., burns).

Specific indications for the use of sterile whirlpools include:

- the patient has a documented open wound which is draining, has a foul odor, or evidence of necrotic tissue; and/or

- the patient has a documented need for wound debridement/bandage removal.

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