Ultrasound Question for the Week of June 20, 2016

Question:

Question:

We performed an abdominal ultrasound with imaging of the spleen and stomach.  Since these are in two separate quadrants, would this be considered a complete abdominal ultrasound?  The description for 76705 includes single organ or quadrant, so it would seem that imaging of two quadrants would be a complete. 

Answer:

Answer:

The description of single organ or quadrant is an example of what may be reported by this limited abdominal ultrasound code. However, that does not mean that imaging organs in two quadrants would be considered a complete.  

According to the CPT book, a complete abdominal ultrasound requires imaging of the liver, gall bladder, common bile duct, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, and the upper abdominal aorta and inferior vena cava including any demonstrated abdominal abnormality.  If one attempts to image one of the required elements but cannot, documentation in the report of why the element could not be imaged would allow that element to be counted toward a complete ultrasound.  Imaging and documentation of less than the above required elements would be considered a limited abdominal ultrasound.