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Radiology Coding Alert

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Match Code to MRCP

Question: Is there a specific code for MRCP? We performed a scan on a patient with acute pancreatitis.Mississippi SubscriberAnswer: Code S8037 (Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreato-graphy) is specific to MRCP, as the descriptor reveals, but you can't assume your payer will accept this code.According to the HCPCS manual, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and the Health Insurance Association of America use S codes to report drugs, services, and supplies that have no national codes. Medicaid may also use these codes, but Medicare won't pay them.MRCP looks at the liver, gall bladder, bile ducts, pancreas, and pancreatic duct. CPT® Assistant (July 2009) recommends reporting an MRI abdomen code as well as a 3D reconstruction code. The reasoning is that a typical "MRCP study includes a standard MR of the abdomen, along with MIP (maximum intensity projection) images to better delineate the bile duct anatomy," CPT® Assistant states. Final code choice depends on the services ordered, [...]

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