Get the Big Picture With CPT® 2018 Radiology Deletions and Revisions

CPT 2018 changes to chest X-ray codes

We’ve already talked about new CPT® 2018 codes in an overview (Part 1 and Part 2) and a more specific path/lab post. Now let’s start digging in a little more. Today we’ll look at some of the radiology chapter revisions and deletions related to code additions in CPT® 2018, which is effective on Jan. 1, 2018.

Learn a New Way to Code Chest X-Rays

If you use fluoroscopy code 76000, then you’re familiar with its restriction at the end: “other than 71023 or 71034 (eg, cardiac fluoroscopy).”

In CPT® 2018, that phrase will be deleted from 76000.

Why? Codes 71023 (frontal and lateral chest X-ray with fluoro) and 71034 (complete chest X-ray with fluoro) will be deleted in 2018.

Tip: The deletion of 71023 and 71034 is part of a bigger overhaul of the chest X-ray codes with 71010-71035 getting deleted in 2018. In their place, you’ll have codes with simpler descriptors based on the number of views:

  • 71045 (Radiologic examination, chest; single view)
  • 71046 (… 2 views)
  • 71047 (… 3 views)
  • 71048 (… 4 or more views).

Move to Views for Abdomen X-Rays, Too

While we’re on the topic of X-rays, don’t miss that abdomen X-ray codes are getting a makeover, too. CPT® 2018 will delete current codes 74000, 74010, and 74020, which specify types of views.

In 2018, you’ll use these codes that, like the chest X-rays, are based on number of views:

  • 74018 (Radiologic examination, abdomen; 1 view)
  • 74019 (… 2 views)
  • 74021 (… 3 or more views).

Reroute Retrograde Brachial Coding

If you’ve ever thought 75658 (brachial retrograde angiography S&I) and 36120 (retrograde brachial needle/cath intro) seemed a little unnecessary because of other codes available, CPT® 2018 agrees. Those two codes will be deleted.

But the deletion will be felt elsewhere. Code 36140 will see a clarifying descriptor update:

  • 36140 2017: Introduction of needle or intracatheter; extremity artery
  • 36140 2018: Introduction of needle or intracatheter, upper or lower extremity artery.

Add EVAR to the All-Inclusive Code List

Endovascular repair S&I codes 75952-75954 will be deleted, and they’re in good company. As part of the big update to endovascular repair of abdominal aortic aneurysms (EVAR), CPT® 2018 is deleting EVAR 34xxx codes, 93982 (pressure sensor study), and 0255T (iliac bifurcation repair).

Replacement codes 34701-34712 take the all-in-one approach with “all associated radiological supervision and interpretation” included along with the procedure.

How About You?

Chest X-rays aren’t exactly uncommon. How long will it take you to relearn the codes? Do you see any changes you like or don’t like?

About 

Deborah concentrates on coding and compliance for radiology and cardiology, including the tricky world of interventional procedures, as well as oncology and hematology. Since joining The Coding Institute in 2004, she’s also covered the ins and outs of coding for orthopedics, audiology, skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), and more.

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