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Radiology Coding Alert

Reader Question:

Thin Cuts Warrant Full Code

Question: Our radiologist performed an abdominal CT without contrast. He documented "thin cuts" and wrote "74150-52" on the claim because he assumed that he shouldn't report the full code (74150) due to the thinner-than-normal cuts. Is this accurate? New Jersey Subscriber Answer: No. CPT does not distinguish between varying sizes of standard abdominal CT cuts - in fact, most radiologists report that thinner cuts create more work than usual, so you should not append modifier -52 (Reduced services) to 74150 (Computed tomography, abdomen; without contrast material). Report 74150 as a stand-alone code in this scenario or with modifier -26 (Professional component) appended if you are reporting the professional component only.  

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