Radiology Question for the Week of September 28, 2015

Question:

Question:

What is the correct way to code a bone density when a spine and a forearm are done? We did not image the hips due to hip replacements.

Answer:

You would assign code 77080. Clinical Examples in Radiology (fall 2007) included a test case with a DXA of spine and forearm. In the case discussion, the American Medical Association and American College of Radiology indicated, “Although the report states that axial and appendicular measurements were obtained, it is not appropriate to report code 77080 for the axial (lumbar spine) measurement and code 77081, Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), bone density study, 1 or more sites; appendicular skeleton (peripheral) (e.g., radius, wrist, heel), for the appendicular (forearm) measurement when the studies are performed at the same session. When CPT code 77080 was valued by the Relative Value Update Committee (RUC), the value of the appendicular images (e.g., wrist, ankle) were included as part of the typical study.”

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