Report CPT 20600 if a provider performed aspiration or injection in a small joint or bursa without ultrasound guidance.
1. What Is CPT Code 20600
CPT 20600 covers a procedure in which a provider inserts a needle through the skin and moves it into a bursa or small joint. They then inject a drug or remove a fluid for therapeutic purposes with a syringe that they attach to the needle.
This procedure is performed without ultrasound guidance.
The CPT Professional Book describes CPT code 20600 as: “Arthrocentesis, aspiration and/or injection, small joint or bursa (e.g., fingers, toes); without ultrasound guidance.”
The 20600 CPT code procedure begins with the intersection of a needle through the patient’s skin and into the bursa or joint after the patient is anesthetized and prepped.
Next, they connect a syringe to the needle to remove the fluid from the bursa or joint. Then, they send the sample of the fluid to a laboratory to get it examined.
Then, in some cases, they use the needle to inject drugs into the bursa or joint. The drug is administered for therapeutic purposes like lavage or pharmacotherapy.
Finally, the needle is removed, and to stop the bleeding, pressure is applied.
4. Billing Guidelines
Do not bill CPT code 20600 if ultrasound guidance was used during the procedure.