Radiology Question for the Week of March 28, 2016

Question:

We have a new bone density machine with the capability to perform VFA. What must be documented to report 77085?   

Answer

The summer 2010 issue of Clinical Examples in Radiology included a discussion related to DXA and VFA, and although the codes for VFA have changed since then, the test requirements remain the same. 

Code 77086 (VFA by itself) requires a lateral view of the thoracic and lumbar spine, and documentation of the interpretation of that image. Code 77085 (DXA with VFA) requires the standard DXA scan plus an additional scan to obtain the lateral thoracic-lumbar spine view. The VFA scan image is performed to evaluate the shape of the vertebral bodies to determine whether any compression has occurred.  

77085 Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), bone density study, 1 or more sites; axial skeleton (e.g., hips, pelvis, spine), including vertebral fracture assessment

77086 Vertebral fracture assessment via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)

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