Question:

Is there a CPT® code to use when performing a chest and abdominal single-view on an infant located in the neonatal ICU? We now use 71010 (radiologic examination, chest; single view, front) and just include a reading of the abdomen within the chest report. Is this correct, or would it be appropriate to do the same view as described and send the same view to two separate orders (chest 71010 and abdomen 74000)?

Answer:

Only one technical service is being performed, so only one of the codes would be reported—either 71010 or 74000 (radiologic examination, abdomen; single anteroposterior view). The radiologist who produces the interpretation may bill both 71010 and 74000 (assuming he documents both) for the professional component.

The summer 2009 issue of Clinical Examples in Radiology, which is co-published by the American Medical Association and the American College of Radiology, had the following discussion related to these codes:

When focused examinations of both the abdomen (74000) and the chest (71010) are ordered and performed on an infant, they represent two separate examinations and require interpretation of two different anatomic areas. Very often these studies are performed on a single radiograph to minimize radiation exposure, but the fact that the two examinations are performed with a single exposure does not diminish any of the work of interpreting the two studies. The professional component (PC) should be reported for both studies. Because the study is done on one film (or one digital image), it is appropriate to report the technical component (TC) of only one study, as there are cost savings in the amount of time and supplies used to perform the study.

CPT® is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.

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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.