Dry Needling

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  | Dry Needling CPT Code

What Physical Therapists need in order to practice Dry Needling in Maryland 
  • To view the status of your application, go the Maryland Board of Physical Therapy Examiners verification of license portal. If
    you enter in your last name or license number, you will see "Specialty" and if Dry Needling is noted then you have been approved.
    I nothing is noted, your application may still be under review.
  • There is NO grandfathering
  • You must have practiced PT for 2 years
  • Courses must have an assessment of competency
  • If your dry needling course also had an online module, it will count towards the 40 hours of theoretical information ONLY if:
    a. In real time through electronic means that allow for simultaneous interaction between the instructor and the participants
  • Courses must be approved by either FSBPT, APTA, or the Maryland Chapter or they will not count - check with your course educators
  • The instruction required for the 40 hours of theory must be: 
    (1) In person at a face-to-face session; or 
    (2) In real time through electronic means that allow for simultaneous interaction between the instructor and the participants. 
  • PTs must register with the Maryland Board of Examiners OR you cannot practice dry needling in Maryland

Dry Needling Regulations

The Dry Needling Regulations promulgated the Maryland Board of Physical Therapy Examiners are effective as of June 19, 2017.   This includes the Standards of Practices in Performing Dry Needling.  For Questions regarding these regulations, please contact Michelle Cutkelvin at the Maryland Board of Physical Therapy Examiners. (410) 764-3833

Dry Needling CPT code

Following a successful nine-year collaboration between the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and APTA, a new CPT® code for dry needling will be available to providers January 1, 2020. The codes describing dry needling include 20560 for “needle insertion(s) without injection(s); 1 or 2 muscle(s)” and 20561 for “needle insertion(s) without injection(s); 3 or more muscles.” (Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes, descriptions and other data are copyright 2020 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.)

  • CPT® Code 20560 Needle insertion(s) without injection(s), 1-2 muscles, describes the work of dry needling to 1 or 2 muscles *
  • CPT ® Code 20561 3 or more muscles, describes the work of dry needling to 3 or more muscles*

*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 will be based on corporate medical policy of each individual carrier/payer beginning in 2020.