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Ask A Rev Cycle Expert: Technical Fee for CT Scans?

Question:

The ER physician orders a CT of the chest, abdomen, pelvis, lumbar, and thoracic. We do those scans, and then do some post-processing to acquire the images for the thoracic and lumbar areas. These orders are separate orders with separate files and separated radiology reads. Can the technical fee for the lumbar and thoracic be billed along with the chest, abdomen, pelvis?

Answer:

If the patient isn’t physically scanned for the films, then it is not appropriate to report the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes for the lumbar and thoracic images, according to the guidance from the Coding Clinic® for HCPCS, 2006Q3. They state, "an additional code for the reconstructed image of the lumbar spine is not required since this did not require a rescanning of the patient….”

Disclaimer: This information was current at the time of its publishing and is designed to provide accurate information in regard to the subject matter covered. Vitalware does not accept any responsibility or liability with regard to any errors, omissions, misuses, or misinterpretation by the reader. It is not intended to take the place of either the written policies or regulations. We encourage you to review the specific regulations and other interpretive materials as necessary. All CPT® codes are trademarked by the American Medical Association (AMA) and all revenue codes are copyrighted by the American Hospital Association (AHA).