5 Quick Tips to Improve Your Portable X-Ray Coding and Avoid Denials

Fri, Jul 15, 2016 --

Skill Sharpener

Completing Medicare claims for portable X-ray services can be tricky with some unexpected twists. These five tips will help keep your cportable x-ray HCPCS codesoding on track.

1. Choose the Right HCPCS Portable X-Ray Transportation Code

To report the transportation of your portable X-ray equipment and staff, choose from two codes:

  • R0070, Transportation of portable X-ray equipment and personnel to home or nursing home, per trip to facility or location, one patient seen
  • R0075, Transportation of portable X-ray equipment and personnel to home or nursing home, per trip to facility or location, more than one patient seen.

Note that each code specifies that it is appropriate to report it once per trip to a facility or location.

What’s different? Code R0070 is appropriate when the documentation shows an encounter with one patient. Use R0075 when there are encounters with multiple patients.

That may seem simple enough, but mistakes happen.

Case in point: A recent OIG report described a case where a mobile diagnostic service billed for seeing one patient instead of two. It’s possible the service mistakenly used R0070 instead of R0075.

2. Make Room for Multiple Patient Modifiers

When using R0075 for multiple patients is appropriate, you have an added step to watch for. You must append a modifier that shows the number of patients served:

  • UN, Two patients served
  • UP, Three patients served
  • UQ, Four patients served
  • UR, Five patients served
  • US, Six or more patients served.

Units tip: Use the modifier, not the units field, to indicate the number of patients served during a single trip.

3. Double Check Equipment Transport

Before you submit a claim for R0070 or R0075, be sure the code truly applies.

The codes require transportation of equipment. The codes aren’t appropriate when the location the staff travels to, such as a nursing home, stores the equipment.

4. Don’t Forget to Report the Set-Up

After transport, your staff has to set up the equipment, too.

HCPCS provides a code for that with Q0092 (Set-up portable X-ray equipment).

5. Review Which Services You Can Perform

You’ll find limits on which services you can provide using portable X-ray equipment, so be sure to keep payer policies at hand. Palmetto lists certain skeletal films, chest and abdominal films without contrast, and diagnostic mammograms. The list of excluded services is even longer, so read carefully and proceed with caution.

What About You?

Have you encountered trouble with reporting portable X-ray services?

Could You Use More Medicare Compliance Tips?

Medicare Compliance & Reimbursement compiles need-to-know guidance and updates into one convenient publication. Go beyond the official language with expert analysis and recommendations for steps you can follow to feel confident about your Medicare compliance.



Deborah works on a wide range of TCI SuperCoder projects, researching and writing about coding, as well as assisting with data updates and tool development for our online coding solutions. Since joining TCI in 2004, she’s covered the ins and outs of coding for radiology, cardiology, oncology and hematology, orthopedics, audiology, and more.

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