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NM Lung Scan Code

SuperCoder Posted Thu 29th of December, 2011 15:06:02 PM

How do you code for a NM split lung function test? The report states 5.3 mCi technetium MAA was used for perfusion images. The study was perfromed to assess split lung function.

SuperCoder Answered Thu 29th of December, 2011 15:43:38 PM

I have given the possible list of codes with description and match it with the documentaion in your reports, and see the appropriate code from the given list of codes below:
78580 Pulmonary perfusion imaging, particulate
78584 Pulmonary perfusion imaging, particulate, with ventilation; single breath
78585 Pulmonary perfusion imaging, particulate, with ventilation; rebreathing and washout, with or without single breath
78588 Pulmonary perfusion imaging, particulate, with ventilation imaging, aerosol, 1 or multiple projections
78596 Pulmonary quantitative differential function (ventilation/perfusion) study
78599 Unlisted respiratory procedure, diagnostic nuclear medicine

SuperCoder Answered Thu 29th of December, 2011 15:46:40 PM

Just to add to that, with the mention of MAA, look in particular at 78580 (Pulmonary perfusion imaging, particulate) for a perfusion study alone. If your practice bears the cost of the radiopharmaceutical, also consider A9540 (Technetium Tc-99m macroaggregated albumin,diagnostic, per study dose, up to 10 millicuries).

For 2012, codes 78584-78598 have been deleted, and code 78580 has been revised to say "Pulmonary perfusion imaging (eg, particulate).” In place of the deleted codes, we’ll have:

78579 -- Pulmonary ventilation imaging (eg, aerosol or gas)
78582 -- Pulmonary ventilation (eg, aerosol or gas) and perfusion imaging
78597 -- Quantitative differential pulmonary perfusion, including imaging when performed
78598 -- Quantitative differential pulmonary perfusion and ventilation (eg, aerosol or gas), including imaging when performed


Deborah Marsh, JD, MA, CPC, CHONC
Editor, The Coding Institute

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