You Be the Coder:
Use Same Code for MRVand MRA
Published on Sat Feb 01, 2003
Test your coding knowledge. Determine how you would code this situation before looking at the box below for the answer. Question: Because CPT Codes does not designate a specific code for magnetic resonance venography (MRV) of the head, we use the magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) codes (70544-70546) for these services. When we perform both an MRA and MRV of the head on the same day, however, should we append modifier -22 (Unusual procedural services) to the MRV code? North Carolina Subscriber
Answer: You should report only one unit of the appropriate MRAcode (70544-70546). The September 2001 CPT Assistant offered the following example for 70545: "... An MR angiogram through the region of her arteriovenous malformation is obtained using 3D time-of-flight (TOF) following intravenous administration of contrast material "
Because CPTAssistant references the "arteri-ovenous" area, most carriers interpret the code as describing both arteries and veins. Therefore, payers will reimburse for only one unit of the MRAcode, even if you perform an MRV as well.
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