New Dry Needling Codes Included in CPT 2020

By Leo Bronston, DC, Chair, Coding Advisory Board, and Kris Anderson, DC, MS, ACA’s alternate representative to the AMA RUC Health Care Professionals Advisory Committee.

The American Medical Association (AMA) announced in September the release of the 2020 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set featuring 248 new codes, including two that focus on dry needling. The newly developed codes for dry needling will be available for use by any qualified healthcare professional beginning Jan. 1, 2020.

The codes describing dry needling include 20560 for “needle insertion(s) without injection(s); 1 or 2 muscle(s)” and 20561 for “needle insertion(s) without injection(s); 3 or more muscles.” (Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes, descriptions and other data are copyright 2020 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.)

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) collaborated with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) to develop the new dry needling codes. As part of ACA’s participation and work in support of the AMA CPT Editorial Panel as well as the AMA/Specialty Society RVS Update Committee (RUC)–which provides the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services annually with recommended changes to the resource-based relative value scale (RBRVS)–ACA and APTA jointly surveyed their respective profession’s members in the RUC process and presented recommendations.

ACA received the support of several organizations during the survey process. The RUC-required data collection process was made possible by support from the ACA Council of Chiropractic Acupuncture, the American Board of Chiropractic Acupuncture, the Institute of Dry Needling, and the Midwest Rehabilitation Institute, among other regional groups certifying chiropractors in acupuncture.

If you have questions about the new dry needling codes or ACA’s involvement in the American Medical Association’s CPT Editorial Panel and RVS Update Committee, please contact Maria Buscemi at [email protected]

Learn more about billing for dry needling.