Radiology Question for the Week of August 8, 2016

Question:

I have been debating on how to charge for a computed tomography (CT) of the sternoclavicular joints. Since the sternum is part of the boney thorax, would it be 71250 with the -52 modifier? Or is it considered part of the upper extremity since it involves the clavicle? Would I then bill 73200 with -LT and –RT modifiers?

Answer:

The correct code is 71250—CT, thorax; without contrast material. Modifier -52 would not be absolutely necessary unless your doctor documented this as a “limited” exam. CT scans do not have specific elements that must be evaluated, and the exam is tailored to the individual patient.

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