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Radiology Coding Alert

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Should We Report 47382 for Alcohol Ablation?

Question: Our radiologist performed an ultrasound-guided alcohol ablation of a liver cyst through a catheter that he placed. He circled 47382 on the encounter form, but I don't think that's the correct code. Which codes should I have reported for this service? California Subscriber Answer: Because CPT 47382 (Ablation, one or more liver tumor[s], percutaneous, radiofrequency) refers to radiofrequency ablation, most experts advise against using this code for alcohol ablations.

Instead, you should report CPT 47399 (Unlisted procedure, liver) to reflect the radiologist's work ablating the cyst, and 76940 (Ultrasound guidance for, and monitoring of, visceral tissue ablation) for the ultrasound guidance.

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