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Radiology Coding Education: Is 76705 OK for Back?

Posted on 03. Nov, 2009 by in Coding Challenge, Hot Coding Topics

Question: For a lower back ultrasound of a soft tissue mass, which CPT code is appropriate?

Answer: Code 76705 (Ultrasound, abdominal, real time with image documentation; limited [e.g., single organ, quadrant, follow-up]) is appropriate for this lower back ultrasound.

Although the code descriptor states “abdominal” and not “back,” CPT Assistant (May 2009) clarifies that 76705 is appropriate for a lower back or abdominal wall soft tissue mass ultrasound.

Bonus tip: You might be surprised to discover these other not-so-obvious anatomy/code pairings that CPT Assistant supports:

• chest wall, upper back: 76604 (Ultrasound chest [includes mediastinum], real time with image documentation)

• pelvic wall, buttock, perineum: 76857 (Ultrasound, pelvic [nonobstetric], real time with image documentation; limited or follow-up [e.g., for follicles])

• upper extremity, axilla, groin, lower extremity: 76880 (Ultrasound, extremity, nonvascular, real time with image documentation).

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