Radiology Question for the Week of September 19, 2022


How do you know when it is appropriate to report code 36218 for additional 2nd or 3rd order vessels selectively catheterized?


The first question to ask is whether the vessel in question is in the same vascular family as other coded vessels. Then, the easiest way to determine whether it is appropriate to assign 36218 is to ask yourself: is the vessel that I’m questioning a vessel that I could only gain access to by passing through the other vessel I’m trying to code for? You can’t code for the vessels that are passed through to get to the final destination, so if the answer is yes then it would not be appropriate to use 36218. However, it is appropriate to report 36218 for additional catheter placements in the highest order of selectivity when you would not pass through one of those vessels to get to the other(s). For example, if the catheter is selectively placed in the left radial artery, the left ulnar artery, and the left interosseous artery – these are three separate vessels that are separately accessed (meaning the catheter needs to be pulled back to be placed in each) so it would be appropriate to report selective catheterization code 36217 for the first placement and then 36218 twice, one for each additional placement.

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 2022 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.