Question:

If a practitioner orders a complete abdominal echo (76700) and the patient’s gallbladder had been removed, would we then charge for a limited (76705)?

Answer:

For complete ultrasound exams, each of the required elements must be imaged and documented or the radiologist must document why an element cannot be seen. With a complete abdominal ultrasound, if the radiologist dictates within his report the gallbladder has been removed, you can count the gallbladder as one of the documented elements. When the radiologist does not mention the absence of the gallbladder because it has been removed, or “gallbladder not seen” then you must code 76705. Within the report, the radiologist may say “patient is status post cholecystectomy” or “gallbladder has been removed.” For additional information, click here.

76705 Ultrasound, abdominal, real time with image documentation; limited (eg, single organ, quadrant, follow-up)

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