Question:

Can you tell me more about the early release Category III codes that may impact radiology?

Answer:

According to the American College of Radiology (ACR), four new Category III codes were available early, posted on the American Medical Association’s (AMA’s) website on January 1, 2022. These codes have an effective date of July 1, 2022. Two new codes comprise quantitative CT tissue characterization, with the ACR noting “The new codes were structured similarly to existing quantitative ultrasound tissue characterization codes 0689T and 0690T.” Understand that quantitative CT tissue characterization is a new technology capable of boosting population health strategies and ultimately achieve improved patient outcomes. The technology works by harnessing computer algorithms to “quantitatively characterize tissues on CT images that could only be subjectively evaluated in the past.” In addition, two new codes will represent quantitative MRCP, “which will allow the reporting of quantitative evaluation of pancreato-biliary structure anatomy from MR images that produce quantitative data of the biliary tree and pancreatic ducts.” The data is used to drive radiologists’ evaluation and interpretation and lend in physician decision making with the possibility of lowering the time for the initiation of specific treatments and interventions in diseases. These diseases include conditions like cholestatic liver disease, chronic pancreatitis, or gallstones.

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