Can Dry Needling Be Billed as Electrical Stimulation?

February 18, 2020
Rick Gawenda

Since in calendar year 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has decided that the new 2 dry needling CPT codes are non-covered, physical therapists want to know if there are other CPT codes that could possibly be billed instead and be paid by the Medicare program and other insurance carriers if performing needle insertion.

If I provide electrical stimulation through the needles, can I bill for this as unattended electrical stimulation or manual electrical stimulation?

The simple and straightforward answer is

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For additional information on dry needling, read “Will CMS Pay for Dry Needling in 2020” and also check out my FAQs on dry needling including if dry needling can be billed as manual therapy or neuromuscular reeducation.

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  1. When doing dry needling on a Medicare patient I know you have to have patient sign an ABN to state that the patient knows it is not a covered benefit and then you can charge them directly. The question I have is do you bill medicare for the dry needling. My company does not want to bill Medicare for this and says to bill dry needling as a supply. I feel that this is not correct as we now have billing codes for dry needling. Which is correct

  2. Do you have to use the 2 CPT codes for a Medicare patient since it is non-covered? Prior to 1-1-20, my company had created a code for dry needling because there was no CPT in order to have it in our billing software. Is it okay to continue to use this created code for payers that dry needling is considered non-covered?