Laboratory Question for the Week of May 17, 2021

Laboratory Compliance Question of the Week


Is ethanol testing coded as a definitive analysis? We keep running into problems when we code for this.


No, this would not be part of a definitive analysis. All immunoassays – whether qualitative, semi-quantitative, or quantitative – are classified as presumptive procedures. Ethanol testing – the testing for alcohol found in alcoholic drinks – is commonly performed in combination with presumptive toxicology panels that will utilize alcohol dehydrogenase as the method. Note that this testing is classified as presumptive but is frequently miscoded as a definitive analysis and billed separately from the presumptive toxicology panel.

Disclaimer: Every reasonable effort was made to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time it was published. However, due to the nature of industry changes over time we cannot guarantee its validity after the year it was published.