Radiology Question for the Week of September 12, 2016


If a percutaneous thyroid biopsy is ordered and we perform a thyroid ultrasound prior to the biopsy to localize the nodule to be biopsied, may we code 76536 in addition to 60100 and 76942?


No, the localization ultrasound is considered part of the guidance for the biopsy and is included in 76942. If a diagnostic thyroid ultrasound is ordered, and based on findings the decision is made to proceed to an ultrasound-guided biopsy (and that decision is documented), then it would be appropriate to code the following:

76536 Ultrasound, soft tissues of head and neck (e.g., thyroid, parathyroid, parotid), real time with image documentation
60100 Biopsy thyroid, percutaneous core needle
76942-59 Ultrasonic guidance for needle placement (e.g., biopsy, aspiration, injection, localization device), imaging supervision and interpretation

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