If we perform a bone density on the hips and forearm can we bill both 77080 and 77081 together?


Yes, you can. After saying for years that you could not code both, the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) changed their policy in 2020. The Centers for Medicare& Medicaid Services (CMS) still had a policy in the 2020 NCCI policy manual that said you could only code one but in transmittal 10193 released in June, CMS changed their policy: “Effective for claims received on and after 7/1/2020, CWF shall edit for -XU modifier to bypass CWF frequency edit as follows: attach to 77081 when both 77081 and 77085 are on a claim. Attach to 77080 when both 77080 and 77081 are on a claim.” However, you should be aware that the 2021 NCCI policy manual still states the following: “15. Axial bone density studies may be reported with CPT® codes 77078 or 77080. Peripheral site bone density studies may be reported with CPT codes 77081, 76977, or G0130. Although it Revision Date (Medicare): 1/1/2021 IX-25 may be medically reasonable and necessary to report both axial and peripheral bone density studies on the same date of service, NCCI PTP edits prevent the reporting of multiple CPT codes for the axial bone density study or multiple CPT codes for the peripheral site bone density study on the same date of service.” Please check with your MAC or watch for updated LCDs to find out how your MAC will process these claims.

This question was answered in an edition of our Radiology Compliance Manager. For more hot topics relating to radiology services, please visit our store or call us at 1.800.252.1578, ext. 2.


CPT® copyright 2021 American Medical Association (AMA). All rights reserved.

Fee schedules, relative value units, conversion factors and/or related components are not assigned by the AMA, are not part of CPT, and the AMA is not recommending their use. The AMA does not directly or indirectly practice medicine or dispense medical services. The AMA assumes no liability for data contained or not contained herein.

CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.