CPT 81479, CPT code 81479, 81479, 81479 cpt code

CPT Code 81479 | Description, Guidelines, Reimbursement, Modifiers & Examples

According to the American Medical Association, CPT code 81479 is created to report operations in the molecular pathology category’s tier 2. The 81479 CPT code can be used to report molecular pathology operations.

Tier 2 molecular pathology codes can use for procedures that do not fall under the purview of Tier 1 molecular pathology codes. They can organize with the help of a skilled healthcare practitioner’s knowledge and interpretation.

When a patient requests a test, the patient’s medical records should indicate that the test can perform on multiple samples. Currently, no Tier 1 or Tier 2 code corresponds to the particular gene or analyte under consideration. Therefore, if the analyte does not fall under a Tier 1 or Tier 2 description, use the code instead of the number 81479.

When deciding which codes to use to charge for tests or examinations, laboratories must remember that the coding must appropriately reflect the analyte, methodology, and technology used in operation.

With the introduction of Tier 2 and 81479 codes, the number of CPT codes that must bill for a single test increased dramatically. Services that can report with a specific PLA code should not report using CPT codes. Payment errors also increase compliance risks and administrative costs.

Despite advances in the new code set over the prior “stacking” regulations, it has been challenging to keep up with the rapid rise of molecular pathology and determine which genetic test should bill. 

As we progress toward Precision Medicine, the importance of this issue grows. Patients who meet the clinical requirements and receive genetic counseling frequently benefit from genetic testing.

Greater awareness of the numerous Molecular Pathology CPT code groups and ruminations can help reduce claim denials and administrative expenses.

81479 CPT Code Description

The CPT manual describes the 81479 CPT code as: “Unlisted molecular pathology procedure.”

To identify the services that will provide for a particular patient or material, a single use of CPT 81479, which denotes an “unlisted molecular pathology procedure,” is all that is required. In addition, a unique GTR ID must assign to each CPT code in the claim. 

The laboratory analysis of nucleic acids (DNA, RNA) is an essential aspect of molecular pathology because it can show germline (constitutional disorders, for example) or somatic (neoplasia, for example) abnormalities, as well as histocompatibility antigens (e.g., HLA). 

The gene(s) under investigation is frequently a determinant in deciding which coding to employ. To interpret the results, you may need to speak with a medical practitioner or someone in a related field.

If only the interpretation and report must complete, adding modifier 26 to the unique molecular pathology code is possible.

Genetic testing should be regarded as clinically useful after its utility in detecting, treating, or preventing disease will establish.

Because genetic testing is so complex, only experts with a thorough understanding of the subject can assess any test’s accuracy and use it appropriately. Therefore, even if prior approval must obtain and clinical standards must follow, testing must still be accurately categorized and paid.

Billing Guidelines For CPT Code 81479

According to CMS payment regulation, a single analyte cannot simultaneously pay for several testing procedures. As a result, tier 2 molecular pathology procedures can typically perform in lower numbers than Tier 1 molecular pathology treatments.

These strategies will highlight because they have therapeutic value. They will classify it according to the technological resources available and the interpretive effort the physician or any other trained healthcare practitioner put in.

 If the analyte tested does not have a Tier 2 code and is not mirrored by a Tier 1 code in CPT, the unlisted CPT code 81479 must use. Pathologists should use the HCPCS code G0452 with the modifier 26 when analyzing the findings of a molecular pathology test. 

This code may only be used and billed for by medical practitioners, such as doctors and scientists. This code cannot report by non-medical practitioners such as PhDs and scientists. Because it is merely an interpretation code, this code should not bill without the modifier 26

The proper molecular pathology technique code can generally determine by the specific gene(s) that must study. Code descriptors can use to characterize genes, and the Human Genome Organization will italicize gene names when identified (HUGO).

Gene names used in CPT codes can construct using HGNC tables, which should use when creating gene codes. These are the abbreviated names of genes and analytes found in the American Medical Association’s Claim Designations.

Claim designations will find in the “Pathology and Laboratory” part of the AMA CPT codebook, which includes the “Molecular Pathology Gene Table.”

The names of frequent gene variants, which can include in the codes, specify the assays used to identify gene variants. In a typical scenario, testing would perform on each fixed version. These are not, however, the only possibilities accessible. 

Rather than being reported separately, the other variants investigated as part of the study would incorporate into the process. In addition, any analytical services provided during the test can account for using molecular pathology codes.

The National Genomics Service (NGS) has released Tier 2 code and Warfarin (Coumadin) test submission instructions. Other metabolites and proteins, chromosomes and enzymes, cancer therapy responsiveness, and nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) can study during these exams (s).

The CPT codes 81200-811383 can use for one diagnostic procedure. However, if a claim using one of these codes is deemed reasonable, necessary, and appropriate, Medicare will pay for it.

Before the contractor may reimburse using the CPT codes 81400-81400 and 81479, the claims must assess whether the treatment was necessary and how much it cost.

The test’s effectiveness will back on the gene that can study, the repeated laboratory findings, the patient’s diagnosis code, and the clinical data provided by the physician who requested the test.

Each CPT 81226, CPT 81227, and CPT 81355 have its instructions. CMS guidelines prohibit using these codes. G9143 with the Q0 change is the only code that can use, and it must be part of an experiment termed “coverage with evidence development (CED).” 

Molecular diagnostic tests and codes will continue to provide as long as the clinical setting’s rules for what constitutes necessary medical care will follow. For example, according to the law, the test cannot be used as a screening tool and must be used to treat a single Medicare patient.

When submitting a claim to UnitedHealthcare for a Tier 2 Molecular Pathology code, add the AMA Claim Designation to recognize the correct gene. If the provider does not have a Claim Designation, the gene name must provide in its abbreviated version. 

When diagnostic testing, the Genomic Sequencing Procedures (GSP) panel codes consider certain gene combinations. If no other CPT code appropriately represents the process in question, code 81479 should use. Each patient, specimen, and service date should submit as a single submission.

Modifier 26 & CPT Code 81479

The modifier used for CPT code 81479 is modifier 26. In billing and coding, the 26 modifier is a unique coding tool. As we all know, a modifier tells payers precisely what the doctor performed when treating a patient. Because modifier 26 is required, this idea will expand.

In the subject of billing and coding, the 26 modifier is an essential coding technique. As we all know, a modifier notifies the insurance company precisely what the doctor performed on the patient.

Because of the requirement for modifier 26, this concept grows. Specific procedures with this restriction can only use the “professional component” for modifier 26. 

Billers frequently have questions about the 26 modifiers. When learning procedure coding, you’ll notice several steps that combine technical and professional features.

For example, when the professional therapy component can carry out independently, modifier 26 might use to identify the specific service a doctor provides. CT scans and ultrasounds are two standard diagnostic imaging modalities where this might occur. 

 It indicates that a doctor who did not perform the test but provided an interpretation of the data can correctly use modifier 26. Modifier 26 is used in the following examples to show how the professional component of a physician can be adequately defined and reported.


According to the reimbursement policy, molecular pathology services can pay using GSP and other molecular multi-analytical assay codes, proprietary laboratory analysis (PLA) codes, and the unlisted code 81479.

Additional UnitedHealthcare reimbursement policies, including the CLIA ID Requirement, Laboratory Services, Add-on policies, and CCI Editing policies, may apply to all of the services listed in this policy.


The treating physician submits a request to an outside laboratory for patient results. The lab then sends the pathologist’s written interpretation to the hospital, where it can provide to the treating physician.

In this case, the pathologist could bill procedure 81479 with modifier 26 to reflect their interpretation of the test results.

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