Acupuncture is considered an alternative medicine treatment or therapy and it involves small needles being inserted, by a professionally trained acupuncturist, into the skin. The needles are inserted where a patient is reporting pain, such as neck or back pain and the insertion is usually painless.
The initial acupuncture session, according to Nicole Heuschkel, LAc, typically lasts about an hour, as the clinician does a thorough assessment and history to determine a treatment plan. After the initial assessment, each follow-up sessions lasts approximately 30-45 mins.
Acupuncturists code for evaluation and management (E/M) services (99211-99214 and 99201-99204) and the provision of treatments (97810-97814) which are coded in 15 min increments.
For 2020 there are two new codes added for “dry needling”:
20561 – 1-2 muscles and
20652 – 2-3 muscles
(Collins, Samuel, 2020)
American Academy of Medical Acupuncture. (2020). Retrieved from https://medicalacupuncture.org/
Collins, Samuel. (2020). Acupuncture Today. Code changes for 2020, 21(1). p. 24. Retrieved from https://www.acupuncturetoday.com/digital/index.php?i=743&a_id=33774&pn=24&r=t&Page=2
Heurschkel, Nicole, LAc. (2020). Spine Universe. If you’ve said “yes” to the needle, here’s what to expect at your first acupuncture visit. Retrieved from https://www.spineuniverse.com/treatments/alternative/acupuncture/if-you-ve-said-yes-needle-here-s-what-expect-your-first?page=0#top