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Radiology Coding Alert

Reader Questions:

71100 Is Possibility for This Rib Scan

Question: A woman who fell on her unprotected side reports to the ED. The ED physician notes that the patient had "the beginnings of a contusion to her right abdominal wall upon reporting." During the examination, she reports shortness of breath and says the pain is a 6 on a scale of 10. To rule out broken ribs, the physician orders a rib X-ray, and I'm coding for interpretation of that X-ray. The X-rays reveal no broken bones, so final diagnosis is abdominal wall contusion. What is the proper code for the X-ray? Kentucky Subscriber Answer: The proper code depends on the type of X-ray the ED physician ordered and the radiologist performed, so you'll need to check the orders and the X-ray documentation. There are four different CPT® codes for rib X-rays: 71100 -- Radiologic examination, ribs, unilateral; 2 views 71101 -- ... including posteroanterior chest, minimum of 3 [...]

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