Thanks to Patricia L. Henry, COT, office manager for C. Allan Henry, MD, in Norfolk Va., for catching an error in the April 2003 Ophthalmology Coding Alert.
The article had reported that CPT code 76519 (Ophthalmic biometry by ultrasound echography, Ascan; with intraocular lens power calculation) could not be used when performing an A-scan on a patient when the physician was not in the office suite.
However, physician supervision requirements for diagnostic tests were downgraded in July 2001 so that A- and B-scan tests are now required to have only "general" supervision.
According to CMS, general physician supervision requires that "the test is furnished under the physicians overall direction and control, but the physicians presence is not required during the performance of the procedure. While the physician does not even need to be in the building during the performance of the test, the training of the nonphysician technician who actually performs the test and the maintenance of the necessary equipment and supplies are the continuing responsibility of the supervising physician."
Other CPT codes that were downgraded to general at the same time include:
76506 Echoencephalography, B-scan and/or real time with image documentation (gray scale) (for determination of ventricular size, delineation of cerebral contents and detection of fluid masses or other intracranial abnormalities), including A-mode encephalography as secondary component where indicated
76516 Ophthalmic biometry by ultrasound echograph, A-scan
76519 ... with intraocular lens power calculation.