Dry Needling

Dry Needling

September 16, 2021

Question:
Our pain management physician stated he performed a trigger point injection into 1 muscle. In reviewing the procedure note we find that the documentation supports dry needling was performed. Is CPT code 20552 (Injection(s); single or multiple trigger point(s), 1 or 2 muscle(s)) the correct code?

Answer:
No, you would not report 20550 for dry needling. Dry needling is also known as “trigger point acupuncture” meaning that needle is inserted without any injection, hence the name “dry needling.”

The correct code for dry needling ( 1 or 2 muscles) is CPT code 20560 (Needle insertion(s) without injection(s); 1 or 2 muscle(s).

If the dry needling technique is performed to 3 or more muscles, the correct code is CPT code 20561 (Needle insertion(s) without injection(s); 3 or more muscles).

CPT instructs that the CPT codes 20552 or 20553 (trigger point injections) are not reportable with CPT codes 20560 or 20561 when performed for the same muscles.

Review payor policies for coverage statements and diagnoses to support medical necessity of the service.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 09/16/21.

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