Question:

We have had many discussions on when it is appropriate to use 76706—ultrasound, abdominal aorta, real time with image documentation, screening study for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Can we still assign this code if the radiology report does not document screening for AAA for the history and only states patient with abdominal pain but the final impression states no evidence of AAA?

Answer:

If the patient is symptomatic, then you cannot report screening code 76706. This code is only billed when a specific screening exam for AAA is ordered in a non-symptomatic patient (just like a screening mammogram). Medicare allows only one lifetime screening US for AAA and only for certain patients. Other insurers may allow more frequent screening exams, but you would need to check the individual policies.

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