Cardiology Question for the Week of October 10, 2016

Question:

Question:

Whenever an order for a myocardial perfusion SPECT exam (CPT® 78452) is performed, is it appropriate to charge CPT® 93015? I am billing for the radiologist.

Answer:

Answer:

If you are billing for physicians, the following code can only be billed when the stress test is done in your own office with equipment you own.

93015 Cardiovascular stress test using maximal or submaximal treadmill or bicycle exercise, continuous electrocardiographic monitoring, and/or pharmacological stress; with supervision, interpretation and report

In the hospital, the physician who supervised the actual stress test (not the myocardial perfusion scan, but the actual stressing of the patient) would assign the following code:

93016 Cardiovascular stress test using maximal or submaximal treadmill or bicycle exercise, continuous electrocardiographic monitoring, and/or pharmacological stress; supervision only, without interpretation and report

The physician who provided an interpretation and report of the stress test (again, not the myocardial perfusion scan) would bill the following code:

93018 Cardiovascular stress test using maximal or submaximal treadmill or bicycle exercise, continuous electrocardiographic monitoring, and/or pharmacological stress; interpretation and report only

Radiologists do not often bill these codes because, in most hospitals, the actual stress test is supervised and interpreted by a cardiologist. The results are available to radiologists performing the myocardial perfusion scan, and they will mention them in their reports, but if they do not actually supervise the stress and provide an interpretation of it, they cannot bill any of the codes from the 93015–93018 range.