Radiology Question for the Week of August 1, 2016

Question:

Question:

The referring doctor ordered a computed tomography (CT) of the right upper extremity (73200). We imaged the hand, wrist and forearm. Can we charge the following code X 3?

73200 Computed tomography, upper extremity; without contrast material

Answer:

Answer:

You may only report 73200 only once. While the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) extremity codes are divided into joint and non-joint, and the joint MRI codes may be reported per joint imaged, the CT extremity codes are “per extremity.”

The July 2011 CPT Assistant included a similar question with the following response:

“When a CT scan of the forearm is performed and then the arm is repositioned to image another joint of the forearm, only one CPT code representing the upper extremity CT scan should be reported. Unlike the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) codes, the CT code descriptors make no distinction between “extremity joints” and the “extremity other than the joints.” When imaging and documenting three components of the same upper extremity (ie, humerus, radius, or wrist), code 73200, Computed tomography, upper extremity; without contrast material, should be reported only once as only one extremity is imaged.”