Clinical laboratories are a particular category of healthcare facilitation center that offers a range of laboratory procedures in the medical field. This branch of medicine aims to aid doctors and physicians in making accurate diagnoses and deciding effective treatments for their patients.

Typically, medical technologists or clinical laboratory scientists are in charge of laboratories with the expertise to run several tests on biological specimens obtained from patients. For doctors’ and patients’ convenience, most clinical laboratories are inside or near medical institutions.

Clinical laboratory testing has pre-, analytical, and post-analytical stages. Patients and healthcare providers must understand clinical lab testing basics, including codes and terminology, for accurate diagnosis and fast treatment. This section reviews the core CPT codes for clinical laboratories’ billing. So, let’s get going.

Common Clinical Lab CPT Codes

80048 – BMP: Basic Metabolic Panel:

This code performs a basic metabolic panel (BMP) test. This test measures total calcium, sodium, potassium, chloride, carbon dioxide, glucose, BUN, and creatinine levels in the blood.

85025 – CBC: Complete Blood Count:

A CBC (complete blood count) is a test that a doctor may request to analyze the various cells in a patient’s blood, providing detailed information about their composition. A pathologist or technician often conducts the test and then passes the asking doctor for the CBC results.  A syringe takes blood from the patient’s vein, which is then transferred to the lab in a test tube with an anticoagulant (often EDTA or citrate) to avoid clotting.

86038 – Interpreting a blood smear:

The lab analyst performs the technical lab test to detect antinuclear antibodies in the serum.

87507 – Detection of Infectious Agents by Nucleic Acids (DNA or RNA):

The lab analyst runs a test to find 12 to 25 different types or subgroups of a pathogen that affects the gastrointestinal system, such as Clostridium difficile, E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, norovirus, or Giardia. The doctor used multiplex reverse transcription and multiplex amplified probe methods for nucleic acid identification.

88142 – Examining the cytopathology of a vaginal or cervical smear:

To assess a cervical or vaginal cytopathology specimen that a doctor obtained in preservative fluid, the lab analyst performs the technical lab test. The specimen is prepared automatically using a thin layer before being manually screened under a doctor’s supervision. Any reporting system, including Bethesda and non-Bethesda, may be subject to the test.

82044 – Automated urinalysis:

This code signifies using a reagent strip that may detect the analyte without using a chemical analyzer or another device to perform a semiquantitative urine albumin or microalbumin analysis.

85027 – hematocrit (HbA1c):

This code counts platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells. Hemoglobin and hematocrit are measured in whole blood samples using spectrophotometry.

83036 – The electrophoresis of hemoglobin:

This code refers to bloodstream sugar that may bind to red blood cells’ hemoglobin. The sugar remains attached for the duration of the red blood cell, or about 120 days or more. The amount of sugar linked to the blood cells increases when blood sugar levels rise. This A1C test calculates the percentage of sugar that adheres to red blood cells and reports the results.

82270 – Blood test for occult stool:

This code indicates using a peroxidase activity method to check for hidden blood in a patient’s three consecutive feces before performing a colorectal cancer screening test. Clinicians frequently refer to the test as a FOBT (fecal occult blood test).

84443 – TSH: Thyroid-stimulating hormone:

This code represents a test to determine the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), a hormone made in the pituitary gland that aids in controlling thyroid function. The typical specimen is blood drawn from the patient via an ordinary vein puncture.

83655 – Thromboplastin Time (PT):

This code represents a test to determine the level of lead present in the patient specimen. The test’s typical objective is to look for lead exposure.

82310 – Calcium overall:

This code denotes a blood test gauging the body’s calcium levels. It aids in determining calcium abnormalities and diseases like hyper- or hypocalcemia.

85004 – Blood Analysis and Platelet Count:

This code designates a blood examination that thoroughly analyses red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. It contains white blood cell differential count, platelet morphology, and red blood cell indices.

81001 – Bacterial, Quantitative Urine Colony Count Culture:

This code describes a laboratory examination that entails cultivating and counting the number of bacteria in a urine sample. It aids in the diagnosis of urinary tract infections and the selection of the most suitable antibiotic therapy.

87046 – Fungal Culture:

This code denotes aerobic bacterial stool culture, isolates potential pathogens, and presumably identifies pathogens other than Shigella or Salmonella.

80061 – Profile of lipoproteins:

This code designates a group of examinations that measure different blood lipoproteins, such as triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol. It thoroughly evaluates a person’s lipid profile and cardiovascular risk.

84132 – PSA, or prostate-specific antigen:

This code is used to calculate the blood level of prostate-specific antigens. It is frequently employed in the detection and follow-up of prostate cancer.

82570 – Blood Creatinine:

This code designates a blood test for the waste product of muscle metabolism called creatinine. It is frequently used to evaluate kidney function and keep tabs on renal disease patients.

86038 – Immunoassays that are Qualitative or Semiquantitative:

This code designates a technical lab test to look for antinuclear antibodies, or antibodies to the nucleus of a human cell, in serum.

83550 – Iron, overall:

This code denotes a blood test that gauges the body’s overall iron levels. It aids in evaluating iron deficiency or overload diseases, such as hemochromatosis or iron-deficiency anemia.


To summarize, having standardized CPT codes for clinical lab tests assists healthcare practitioners in accurately identifying and processing lab test findings to detect and monitor disorders. The CBC, PSA, glucose, and lipid tests are some of the most popular CPT codes. However, there are also codes for testing particular disorders. Medical professionals can improve patient outcomes while streamlining laboratory test processing if they use standardized codes.

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