2013 Radiology Coding Changes

ID 10053678The various changes in Radiology Coding for 2013 have been made official.  This post will briefly cover these changes and what they mean.

Major Changes

The most significant changes for 2013 are focused on Neurointerventional procedures.  These include changes to Thoracentis and Pleural Drainage Procedures, Transcatheter Retrieval of foreign body, Intravascular Thrombolysis, and Cervicocerebral Artery Intervention.  Each Radiology coder should study these thoroughly to be sure they are fully acquainted with the modified coding procedures.  Codes 32420 through 32422, 37203, 75961, 37201, 37209, 75900, 75650, 75660, 75662, 75665, 75671, 75676, 75680, and 75685 have been deleted throughout these sections and will be replaced by a variety of other codes that more accurately reflect current practices.

Minor Changes

Diagnostic Radiology has now clarified the number of reviews required for each CPT code entered for the Cervical Spine, but there are no coding changes that medical coders will be required to learn nor any modifications to the associated Work RVU's.

Nuclear Medicine has acquired three new codes that describe thyroid uptake and imaging procedures along with creating new codes for Parathyroid Imaging including two new codes to report SPECT to better reflect current practices.  The previous codes from the range 78000 to 78011 have been deleted and should no longer be applied to reports.

Ultrasound now has an increase in the number of Work RVU's for three Duplex extremity studies, linked to codes 93925 (RVU 0.58 to 0.80) , 93926 (RVU 0.39 to 0.50), and 93970 (RVU 0.68 to 0.70).  These have been modified based on evidence of additional images being reviewed and additional work being necessary for the review of tibial arteries.

Other Changes

In addition to the changes above, the Multiple Provider Procedure Reduction program has been expanded to advanced diagnostic imaging services provided on the same session, on the same day, to the same beneficiary.  This applies only to MRI, CT, and Ultrasound, and payment will be decreased for each subsequent procedure to the same patient.

The Physician Fee Schedule for 2013 has also been released and contains a number of changes relevant to radiology unless otherwise modified by Congress.  Vascular Surgery will drop by 2%, Interventional Radiology, Radiology, and Nuclear Medicine will drop by 3% each, Radiation Oncology and Diagnostic Testing Facility will have fees drop by 7%, Radiation Therapy centers will drop by 9%, and Physician Assistance will see an increase of 3%.

For More Information

The changes listed above are not fully comprehensive of every change applied to Radiology Coding for 2013 and are meant to serve only as an overview of the relevant changes.  For further information on the changes that have been made, Healthcare Information Services now offers a more comprehensive examination of which codes are affected and how as part of an informational packet that radiologists can review and distribute as appropriate throughout their office in order to be prepared for relevant 2013 coding changes.

For more information about the 2013 radiology coding changes click here.



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