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Radiology Coding Alert

Reader Question:
Contrast,Fluoro Determine MRI Codes

Question: Which code should I report for an MRI of the elbow? Georgia Subscriber

Answer: Coding this case will depend on whether the physician used contrast. If the physician did not use contrast, you should report 73221 (Magnetic resonance [e.g., proton] imaging, any joint of upper extremity; without contrast material[s]). If he or she used contrast, you should report 73222 (... with contrast material[s]) or 73223 (... without contrast material[s], followed by contrast material[s] and further sequences). If the physician injected the contrast under fluoro-scopic guidance, you should report 76003 (Fluoroscopic guidance for needle placement [e.g., biopsy, aspiration, injection, localization device]) in addition to the primary procedure code.  


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