Academy Title:How do I code and bill for athletic, therapeutic or kinesiology taping?

Disclaimer: These recommendations are general guidelines for various forms of clinical taping across various professional disciplines. Please refer to coding guidelines within your professional discipline, specific to your payer and location.

When coding and billing for athletic, therapeutic or kinesiology taping, it may be appropriate to bundle the taping intervention into a medically-necessary service. The appropriate CPT code would be based on the reason for the application, and reported as direct contact minutes associated with the intervention.

For example, general support of muscles and joints during therapeutic exercise performed in the clinic would be billed at 97110 (Therapeutic Exercise). In some instances, the 97112 (Neuromuscular Re-Education) code may be appropriate. The same process would be followed for instruction to the patient on self-taping techniques (97535). Click here for a list of commonly-used CPT codes in rehabilitation.

Unfortunately, there is no specific CPT code for kinesiology taping application. Kinesiology taping should be considered a ‘non-reimbursable procedure.’ The unlisted procedure codes (97139 or 97799) may also be applicable when taping is used as a separate and distinct service not used in conjunction with another therapy.

In some cases, the CPT “Strapping Codes” can be used to bill for taping application, particularly applications that stabilize or limit motion such as athletic tape.

29200 (Thorax)

29240 (Shoulder)

29260 (Elbow or Wrist)

29280 (Hand or Finger)

29520 (Hip)

29530 (Knee)

29540 (Ankle and/or Foot)

29550 (Toes)

While most supplies are not reimbursed, CPT code 99070 or HCPCS code A4450 may be used to bill for the tape itself (not including its application). However, it’s recommended to bill the patient directly (rather than submit for insurance) to pay for the tape supply. An additional cash-based taping charge may also be applied.

When billing Medicare beneficiaries for out-of-pocket expenses, be sure to follow proper documentation guidelines. Medicare providers should have the patient complete a Notice of Exclusions from Medicare Benefits (NEMB) and an Advanced Beneficiary Notice (ABN) to bill patients for non-covered services.

Be aware that there may be increased scrutiny when billing for taping procedures, thus emphasizing the importance of documentation. It’s important that documentation demonstrate the need for the skilled intervention in addition to the specific services provided. It’s recommended to provide an example of the beneficial results of pre- and post-testing with taping, particularly as it relates to a specific outcome such as pain.

Finally, it’s important to note that this information is general in nature and does not guarantee reimbursement. Payment policies vary from payer to payer, and region to region.

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