Dry Needling CPT Codes Coming in 2020

November 26, 2018
Rick Gawenda

During the weekend of September 28, 2018, the CPT Editorial Panel held their meeting where the American Physical Therapy Association, in collaboration with the Chiropractic Association, submitted an application for the addition of 2 CPT codes for dry needling/trigger point acupuncture. The CPT Editorial Panel did accept the addition of codes

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  1. Do we know if this is expected be a timed or untimed code? Also, is the word acupuncture expected to be in the description? The word “acupuncture” is a giant red flag; many states do not have Dry Needling in their PT Practice Acts (i.e. California) because the acupuncturists feel Dry Needling is competitive with what they do. I work in Wisconsin and we don’t have that many acupuncturists, or at least the PTs outnumber them. Our dry-needling trainers told us it is NOT acupuncture, as that is based on Chinese medicine & meridians, whereas Dry Needling is simply trigger point release using a needle.

    1. No further information will be available until the American Medical Association releases the 2020 CPT codes on August 31, 2019.

  2. How are practitioners billing for dry needling in NE? SD? IA? Or are they not billing. Also what requirements are needed for documentation of dry needling in NE, SD and IA. Please let me know. Thank you. Linda Kneebone, MPT, CDN

    1. That is not a question that can be addressed in this forum. I would recommend you contact your state PT Board regarding documentation requirements.

    2. I thought this would help you. This is the PDF from the APTA on billing for dry needling. I have heard from PT’s that they are billing 97140 and I have also heard that a chiropractor who teaches dry needling in Maryland tells his students to bill as injections. Both are very clearly wrong per APTA’s current position.