CPT 92610 describes a procedure of evaluating a patient’s oral and pharyngeal swallowing function, typically performed by a speech-language pathologist, to assess the patient’s ability to chew and swallow different types of food and liquids, as well as their oral motor skills, laryngeal function, reflexes, and communication abilities.
What Is CPT Code 92610?
CPT code 92610 describes evaluating a patient’s oral and pharyngeal swallowing function.
This procedure is typically performed by a speech-language pathologist (SLP). During the evaluation, the SLP assesses the patient’s ability to chew and swallow different types of food and liquids and their oral motor skills, laryngeal function, reflexes, and communication abilities.
The SLP may also evaluate the patient’s tongue and lip movements and ability to initiate a volitional saliva swallow.
The evaluation may involve presenting the patient with different foods and textures to assess the oral phase of the swallow and to determine if there are any signs of pharyngeal dysphagia.
The SLP may also evaluate the patient’s laryngeal elevation, delayed initiation of the volitional swallow, choking, and pharyngeal residue.
Based on the results of the evaluation, the physician may recommend the use of a nasogastric (NG) tube for nutrition, hydration, and medications and advise maintaining an “NPO” (nothing by mouth) status.
The CPT book describes CPT code 92610 as: “Evaluation of oral and pharyngeal swallowing function.”
In this procedure, a patient’s oral and pharyngeal swallowing function is examined, usually by a speech–language pathologist (SLP).
Evaluation of the oral and pharyngeal swallowing function is a clinical, experimental procedure. The SLP assesses a patient’s capability to chew food, form a bolus, and swallow different food and liquids.
The physician also evaluates oral motor skills, laryngeal function, reflexes, and a wide range of communication problems resulting from damage to brain regions. In addition, the physician evaluates tongue tip elevation and movement of the anteroposterior tongue and smile/lip pucker/cockle.
First, the patient presented with a breathy vocal quality and could not initiate the pitch change. The patient is oriented and helped to understand by slowing the speech rate and using short phrases.
The patient can swallow after several seconds but cannot trigger a volitional swallow of saliva immediately when asked.
The patient might be presented with various foods/textures to determine the oral phase of the swallow and if there are any signs of pharyngeal dysphagia.
The SLP evaluates laryngeal elevation, delayed initiation of volitional swallow, choking, and questionable pharyngeal residue.
Once the patient’s oral and pharyngeal swallowing function evaluation is successfully accomplished, the physician can recommend continuation for a nasogastric (NG) tube for nutrition, hydration, and medications and advice on maintaining NPO status.
How To Use CPT 92610
CMS considers CPT 92610 a component of the more comprehensive code, CPT 92611, so you would need to append modifier 59 to CPT code 92610 on the claim form to have both reimbursed when provided on the same day.
Also, your documentation would have to support the medical necessity of both services and that your SLP provided them at separate and distinct times.
You can report CPT code 92611 for motion fluoroscopic evaluation of swallowing function.
Report CPT 92612, CPT 92613, CPT 92614, CPT 92615, CPT 92616, or CPT 92617 for flexible endoscopic examination.