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Acupuncture Billing & Coding Guidelines

Acupuncture: Technique for treating certain painful conditions and for producing regional anesthesia by passing long thin needles through the skin to specific points.

Applicable Codes

The following list(s) of procedure and/or diagnosis codes is provided for reference purposes only and may not be all inclusive. The inclusion of a code does not imply any right to reimbursement or guarantee claim payment.


97810: Acupuncture, 1 or more needles; without electrical stimulation, initial 15 minutes of personal one-on-one contact with the patient
97811: Acupuncture, 1 or more needles; without electrical stimulation, each additional 15 minutes of personal one-on-one contact with the patient, with re-insertion of the needle(s) (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)
97813: Acupuncture, 1 or more needles; with electrical stimulation, initial 15 minutes of personal one-on-one contact with the patient
97814: Acupuncture, 1 or more needles; with electrical stimulation, each additional 15 minutes of personal one-on-one contact with the patient, with re-insertion of needle(s) (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)
97014: Application of a modality to 1 or more areas; electrical stimulation (unattended)
97032: Application of a modality to 1 or more areas; electrical stimulation (manual), each 15 minutes
G0283: Electrical stimulation (unattended), to one or more areas for indication(s) other than wound care, as part of a therapy plan of care
S8930: Electrical stimulation of auricular Acupuncture points; each 15 minutes of personal one-on-one contact with patient
99201 – 99205: Office or other outpatient visit for the evaluation and management of a new patient, which requires 3 key components (refer to the current CPT code book for a complete description of the codes) The appropriate code choice is dependent upon the level of services provided as defined by 3 key components: • the level of patient history obtained, • the extensiveness of the examination, and • the level of complexity in the medical decision making process.
99211 – 99215: Office or other outpatient visit for the evaluation and management of an established patient, which requires at least 2 of 3 key components (refer to the current CPT code book for a complete description of the codes). The appropriate code choice is dependent upon the level of services provided as defined by 3 key components: • the level of patient history obtained, • the extensiveness of the examination, and • the level of complexity in the medical decision making process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When selecting the appropriate code based on the services performed, is it appropriate to use the duration of time the patient is in the exam room even if the provider is not present after the needle insertion to determine the units of service?

A: Acupuncture code selection is based on the service provided in 15 minute increments. The time calculation is determined using face-to-face patient contact only. It would not be appropriate to count time spent away from the patient as part of the code selection and units submitted.

Example of billable time: After needle insertion, the practitioner spent time assisting a nauseous patient who had vomited.


Q: Will insurance allow reimbursement for electrical stimulation when performed on a separate body part from where Acupuncture services are performed?

A: Yes, some insurance plans will allow separate reimbursement if modifiers are appropriately used based on the services performed and the modifier description criteria are met.


Q: May both CPT codes 97810 and 97813 be reported when an Acupuncture treatment was initially started without electrical stimulation and then a new needle was inserted so the treatment could be completed with electrical stimulation?

A: No, only one initial code may be reported per day. In this scenario, CPT code 97810 may be used for the initial 15 minutes without electrical stimulation and CPT code 97814 with electrical stimulation may be reported for the additional face-to-face time.


Q: What services would be included in the initial Acupuncture service that would not be separately billable using an E/M code?

A: The initial Acupuncture service codes include E/M components such as the assessment provided prior to and after the needle insertion, treatment discussion and recommendations, preparation, documentation and home instruction.

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