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Use 3 CPT, Modifier, and ICD-9 Code Pairs to Ace This X-Ray Claim

Posted on 24. May, 2010 by in Coding Challenge, Hot Coding Topics

Decipher why you should include a seconding diagnosis.

Question: A 38-year-old patient presents to the emergency room with complaints of wheezing, coughing, and trouble catching her breath. After the nonphysician practitioner (NPP) performs a problem-focused history, the physician performs a detailed history and exam and discovers focal ronchi. The physician orders a two-view chest x-ray to check for upper respiratory infection (URI) The chest x-ray results reveal acute URI, and the ronchi clears up upon reevaluation. The patient is treated with antibiotics. How should I code this scenario?

Answer:You’ll submit two of each for this claim: CPT codes, modifiers,and ICD-9 codes. On the claim, report the following:

  • 71020 (Radiologic examination, chest, 2 views, frontal and lateral) for the x-ray
  • Modifier 26 (Professional component) appended 71020 to show that you are coding for the physician’s services only
  • 99284 (Emergency department visit for the evaluation and management of a patient,


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