Cardiology Question for the Week of June 26, 2017

Cardiology Compliance Question of the Week

Question:

I have a question concerning billing of the cardiac stress test.  We perform the nuclear stress test in our nuclear medicine department. A cardiologist supervises the stress exam when the patient is on the treadmill. The cardiologist reads the ECG but not the nuclear images, and the nuclear medicine physicians read the nuclear images.

The nuclear medicine department bills CPT codes 78452, 93017 and A9500. Should the cardiologist be billing codes 93016 and 93018 for the supervision of the stress test and ECG read?

Answer:

If the cardiologist supervises the stress test and produces an interpretation/report for the stress test (not the nuclear images), then yes, the cardiologist bills the following codes:

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

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