Dry Needling – APTA Maryland

CPT codes, descriptions and other data are copyright 2020 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.

*Muscle(s) treated must be identified in the patient health record for both of these services.

These CPT® codes are listed in the Surgery/Musculoskeletal section of CPT 2020. This in no way implies that dry needling is a surgical procedure. Because the AMA CPT reference is related to nomenclature rather than a strict classification system, there may be some procedures appearing in sections other than those where one would expect they be classified. Further, placement is loosely based on where a provider or coder might easily find a code.

Coverage determinations for needle insertions without injection is based on corporate medical policy of each individual carrier/payer.

In spite of over 10 systematic reviews and meta-analyses demonstrating the benefits and efficacy of dry needling, insurance companies, including Medicare, continue to consider dry needling as “an experimental or investigational procedure,” which means that they will not pay anything for the DN codes 20560 (Needle insertion(s) without injection(s), 1 or 2 muscle(s)) and 20561 (Needle insertion(s) without injection(s), 3 or more muscle(s).

Dry Needling Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses: Jan Dommerholt, PT, DPT, MPS