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Radiology Coding Alert

Reader Question:
Extra Coccyx View Is Included

Question: When a physician orders a coccyx x-ray, but the radiology technologist takes two views, should we report CPT 72220 ? Should we append modifier -52 since the second view was not ordered? California Subscriber Answer: Although the descriptor for 72220 (Radiologic examination, sacrum and coccyx, minimum of two views) refers to at least two views and your physician only ordered a "coccyx x-ray," you may be able to bill for the full service. In this situation, it is important to review the radiology report to determine if the practice obtained and interpreted one view or multiple views (as part of a coccyx study).

Internal protocols may dictate that more than one view is necessary, and only the radiology report will provide this information. If you determine that the radiology technologist only obtained one view, you should append modifier -52 (Reduced services) to 72220. If he or she obtained multiple views, you should report 72220 without any modifiers.  

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