Place of Service 81

Place of Service 81 in Medical billing:

Place of Service 81 is also known as POS 81 and when services performed in Independent Laboratory, it is reported with place of service 81.

POS 81 – Independent Laboratory Description:

POS 81 – Independent Laboratory is reported, when a laboratory certified to perform diagnostic and/or clinical tests independent of an institution or a physician’s office.

Guidelines for reporting place of service 81:

The place of service description identifies the location where the laboratory service was provided, except in the case of an Independent or a Reference Laboratory. An Independent or Reference Laboratory must show the place where the sample was taken (if drawn in an Independent Lab or a Reference Lab, place of service 81 is reported; if drawn in a hospital inpatient setting, the appropriate inpatient place of service is reported). For example:

  1. When physician performs lab services in his/her office, the place of service code 11(Office visit) reported.
  2. When physician performs lab test furnished by another physician who maintains a lab (In his/her office), then the “Other Place of Service” is reported.
  3. When physician bills for the lab service performed by an independent laboratory, the place of service 81 (Independent Laboratory) is reported.
  4. When independent lab bills the claim, then the place where the sample was taken is reported.
  • An independent laboratory taking a sample in its laboratory, then reported with place of service 81.
  • If an independent laboratory bills for a test on a sample drawn on an inpatient or outpatient of a hospital, it reports the code for the inpatient (place of service 21) or outpatient hospital (place of service 22), respectively.
Frequently asked question on place of service 81:
  1. What place of service to be reported for the services done at an independent laboratory?

Answer: When billing for an independent laboratory, the place of service reported should be the place where the sample was taken. For example, a specimen taken from a hospitalized patient and sent to the laboratory would be reported with Place of Service 21 or Place of service 22, a sample taken at a physician’s office and referred to the laboratory would be reported with place of service 11 and if the Independent Laboratory takes a sample in its own setting, then it should be reported with place of service 81.

For example:

Assume for patient John specimen was collected in separate location by ABC physician office and this specimen is sent to XYZ laboratory to perform the tests, in this case which place of service is used?

In the above example sample was collected in ABC physician office and the laboratory tests was performed in XYZ laboratory. In this case we should report the claim with place of service 11, because as per the guidelines we should report the claim with place of service where the sample is collected.

Answer: Place of service 11 should be reported for reimbursement.

Suppose if the claim submitted with place of service 81 for the above example means claim will be denied stating “Place of service for an independent laboratory must show the place where the sample was taken”. So in order to get rid of this denial, please follow the guidelines of reporting the place of service 81.

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