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CPT Code 81003 | Urinalysis, By Dipstick Or Tablet Reagent

CPT code 81003 is for a urinalysis laboratory test that uses automated equipment to analyze urine for various substances and reports the results in multiple units of measure.

What Is CPT Code 81003?

CPT code 81003 is a medical billing code used to describe a laboratory test called a urinalysis, which analyzes a urine sample for various chemical and microscopic substances.

During the test, a lab analyst will insert a dipstick or tablet reagent into a freshly collected urine specimen and use an automated dipstick reader or other equipment to analyze the sample for substances such as bilirubin, glucose, hemoglobin, ketones, leukocytes, nitrite, pH, protein, specific gravity, and urobilinogen.

The test results are typically reported semiquantitatively, using a scale of trace, 1+, 2+, 3+, 4+, or in milligrams per deciliter, pH units, or specific gravity.

This test is used to diagnose and monitor various medical conditions affecting the urinary system and is typically performed in a laboratory setting.

Description

The CPT book describes CPT code 81003 as: “Urinalysis, by dip stick or tablet reagent for bilirubin, glucose, hemoglobin, ketones, leukocytes, nitrite, pH, protein, specific gravity, urobilinogen, any number of these constituents; automated, without microscopy.”

Procedure

The lab analyst inserts a dipstick into a freshly collected urine specimen, removes the dipstick, and shakes off the excess urine.

She places the dipstick onto an automated dipstick reader that automatically reads and records the chemical analytes, leukocytes, and other constituents such as pH and specific gravity.

The reader reports many of the analytes semiquantitatively, by the plus system, of trace, 1 +, 2 +, 3 +, through 4 +, or by milligrams per deciliter, pH units, or by the actual specific gravity number.

CPT 81003 also includes a tablet reagent, rather than a dipstick, methodology, but in current practice, lab analysts do not perform automated tests using a tablet reagent.

How To Use CPT 81003

CPT code 81003 applies when clinicians order any one or more of the ten listed constituents, performed by automated technique. In other words, you may use this procedure code for just a single constituent if that is the only one the clinician orders.

Report a single unit of this code to analyze the listed constituents: bilirubin, glucose, hemoglobin, ketones, leukocytes, nitrite, pH, protein, specific gravity, and urobilinogen.

The tablet reagent technique does not apply to an automated test strip reader methodology. For the nonautomated procedure, you would use CPT 81002.

Many laboratories have a reflex policy approved by the medical staff that requires the laboratory analyst to perform a microscopic urine analysis if this dipstick test indicates the presence of abnormal results.

Adding the microscopic portion to this dipstick test would change the code to CPT 81001. To support reporting CPT 81001, be sure you have an order for microscopy.

CPT code 81001 is a CLIA-Waived test.

Resources

CPT Professional 2022

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