Radiology Question for the Week of January 9, 2017

Question:

A physician ordered a neck computed tomography (CT) for indication of a palpable neck mass. A few CT images were obtained without contrast with a lead BB (opaque marker) to mark the mass, followed by a complete neck CT with contrast. Is it justified to submit a claim for a CT of the neck without and with contrast?

Answer:

It is appropriate to report 70492 (computed tomography, soft tissue neck, without contrast material, followed by contrast material(s) and further sec¬tions) if the without contrast images are performed to check the density of the mass and to characterize its enhancement, calcification, etc., which is then followed by a complete neck CT with contrast material.

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