Tag Archives: U/S

Radiology Coding Education: Is 76705 OK for Back?

Posted on 03. Nov, 2009 by .


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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New From CPT Assistant: Help with Trunk Ultrasound Coding

Posted on 24. Aug, 2009 by .


Do you know exactly what’s in the mediastinum? Your US coding depends on it.

Current payer policy on imaging guidance is especially strict, so you don’t want to miscode any ultrasound (US) services your ED physician provides. CPT Assistant has recently published a Q&A set that will help you get all the reimbursement you deserve for US service, without getting payback requests on improperly coded US.

Mediastinum Is Not Necessary for Chest US

CPT Assistant poses the question, “When reporting a chest US, is it necessary to include an examination of the mediastinum?”

No; however, if an examination of the mediastinum is indicated, it is included in chest US (76604, Ultrasound, chest [includes mediastinum], real time with image documentation), confirms Elijah Berg, MD, FACEP, CEO of MRSI, an ED coding and billing company in Woburn, Mass.

Impact: While the code descriptor does explicitly mention a mediastinum exam, you can report 76604…

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