Cardiology Question for the Week of May 8, 2017

Cardiology Compliance Question of the Week

Question:

One of our cardiologists attempted to cannulate the right radial artery using ultrasound (US) guidance. He says the vessel was well-visualized, and the needle could be seen within the vessel, but there was no return of flow. After several attempts without success, he used the right femoral artery for the exam. Can we bill for the US guidance and the radial puncture?

Answer:

Assuming all guidelines for US guidance for vascular access are met, you could code the following:

36140-59 Introduction of needle or intracatheter; extremity artery
76937 Ultrasound guidance for vascular access requiring ultrasound evaluation of potential access sites, documentation of selected vessel patency, concurrent real-time ultrasound visualization of vascular needle entry, with permanent recording and reporting (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)

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