Radiology Question for the Week of January 9, 2017

Question:

Question:

If my technologists do an anteroposterior (AP) and lateral with swimmer’s view of the thoracic spine, do we report 72070 or 72072? The swimmer’s view is another lateral view so we are not sure if we can count it separately.

Answer:

Answer:

The swimmer’s view is a separate and distinct view and would be counted separately, so yes if they did AP, lateral, and swimmers you would assign code 72072 (radiologic examination, spine; thoracic, 3 views).

The ACR Coding Source (January/February 2011) noted that “the swimmer’s view is considered a unique view and not simply an additional lateral view. The main difference between the swimmer’s view and other plain views is the way the technologist positions the patient, as both the upper and lower thoracic vertebrae cannot be adequately viewed on the lateral projection. Due to overlying anatomy in the lateral projection (the shoulders), an additional projection (swimmer’s view) with different exposure factors must be done to evaluate the upper thoracic spine.”