General Question for the Week of June 28, 2021

General Compliance Question of the Week

Question:

I have a question regarding the obstetrical (OB) ultrasound documentation guidelines. I know that the uterus and adnexa are required elements, but some of the providers feel that documenting an IUP should be sufficient for the 1st trimester (76801/76802). For codes 76805/76810, the guidelines state maternal adnexa should be reported “when visible.” So, do the doctors not have to document it when it is not visible?

Answer:

For a complete first trimester OB ultrasound, the maternal uterus and adnexa are required elements. If they can’t be seen, the reason why they can’t be seen must be documented, otherwise, a limited exam must be reported. For 76805/76810, the doctor must still document the maternal adnexa. If they can’t be seen, the doctor must document that, otherwise, a coder or auditor cannot know if they attempted to exam the adnexa and couldn’t, or whether they just didn’t try. In either case, if not documented, a limited exam must be billed.