Kinesio Taping

ChiroCode Hot Topics, August 2005

Problem and History

Doctors that are certified in Kinesio Taping are sometimes being told by payers that they cannot use the CPT strapping codes and the claims are denied. Chiropractors often use these codes, and they want to know which specific diagnostic codes should be used. Ethical doctors want to be compliant.

Objective Findings

In CPT, the AMA instructs in the preface to its strapping codes (29035-29799) when the listed procedures may apply. One situation “when the cast application or strapping is an initial service performed without a restorative treatment or procedure(s) to stabilize or protect a fracture, injury, or dislocation and/or to afford comfort to a patient.” The entire preface is on page C-52 of the 2005 ChiroCode DeskBook.

Assessment

If this CPT coding descriptor accurately identifies the service performed then it should be used.

There are three remaining issues that a provider and payer might consider in the event of denials or adverse determinations:

  1. Semantic disputes over the difference between “strapping” and “taping .” Some have argued the CPT book does not use the word “taping,” and therefore the strapping codes cannot be used.

    It is unfortunate that such semantic games are played to deny payment. As one reads the preface to this “Application of Casts and Strapping” section, it clearly outlines the function of the strapping service.

    If games need to be played the manufacturers and teachers of such certified courses in “Kinesio Taping” need to change the wording to “Kinesio Strapping .” However, such word games are ludicrous when the objective and outcome of the procedure service is so very clear.

  2. Scope of practice within one’s state. If this is an alleged problem, check with the local law to see if there is an exclusion for strapping or taping services. Contact the state board of examiners.

  3. The clinical need of the patient. If the denial of the service is a clinical necessity, it could be due to diverse reasons. The most probable is an irrelevant diagnostic code. If a doctor is certified, the agency who certified should have provided and taught a list of conditions in their course for which the taping service is appropriate.

Recommendation

  1. Always document the condition(s) that indicates a need for the service. However, getting paid within the parameters of the payer’s policy is another matter. Hopefully, you and your payer are equally focused on the patients clinical needs.

  2. Select the appropriate strapping/taping service code (29200-29280 and 29520-29580 or 29799). See pages C-53 to C-55 of the 2005 ChiroCode Deskbook.

  3. Bill for the supply. Since the CPT procedure for taping does not include supplies. Here are two options:

    CPT code Use 99070 - Supplies ( a general code for any supply) see page D-3.

    ABC code Use EAABT - Taping supplies ( a specific code for payers who accept ABC) see page D-29.

  4. Physicians' Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association

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