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How Rising Usage of Thoracic Ultra-Sonography Would Prompt Physicians to Opt for External Medical Billing

February 11, 2013

How Rising Usage of Thoracic Ultra-Sonography Would Prompt Physicians to Opt for External Medical Billing The safety and precision factors associated with Thoracic ultrasonography have made it a more indispensable and preferred imaging modality to the traditional radiology imaging procedures that often have been criticized for compromising with patient safety and accuracy of diagnosis.

Thoracic ultrasonography, as a noninvasive imaging modality, has significant applications in pulmonary medicine, allowing the physician to diagnose a variety of thoracic disorders at the point of care. It has been found to be extremely useful in imaging of the chest wall, pleural space, diaphragms, and the lungs; lung consolidation, pleural-based masses and effusions, pneumothorax, and diaphragmatic dysfunction can now be accurately diagnosed and assessed.  Observation, palpation, percussion, and auscultation are key elements in the evaluation of any patient, and physicians seem to be better managing these disease processes with Thoracic ultrasonography. With so many noticeable advantages, it may not be surprising to see patients and physicians alike opting for Thoracic ultrasonography.

Just when physicians feel that they have found a way to appreciate their practice volumes with Thoracic ultrasonography, there is a parallel realization that charging, coding and claim realization may not be all that easy. They may come across a variety of billing and coding issues such as global fee, technical fee, and professional fee. And these fees may have to be billed in combination or isolation depending upon how and where utlrasnography services are offered –  if thoracic ultrasonography is performed in the hospital setting, all of the technical costs are absorbed by the institution, as the hospital owns the machine and provides the supplies required for scanning. The clinician receives payment only for the professional component of the procedure. In contrast, office-based thoracic ultrasonography allows reimbursement for both the technical and professional component, provided the pulmonary practice owns the ultrasound machine.

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Further, they should necessarily have to be conversant some of the crucial and high-yielding codes, such as:

  • Code-76604 when real time image with documentation is generated for chest (including mediastinum)
  • Code-76942 when ultrasonography used to guide needle insertion with image documentation.
  • Code-75989 for guidance of drainage devices (chest tubes, tunneled catheters) that will stay in the patient for some period of time
  • 76604-26 codes that allow professional component only
  • 76942-26 codes that allow professional and 76942 that allows coding global component

The payout on these codes or reimbursement rates vary according to geographic area and insurer, thus the physicians need to be mindful of these geographic-specific and insurer-specific variations. With possible increase in ultrasonography cases, physicians may entirely find themselves occupied with clinical quality, with little time to manage complexities of charging, billing and reimbursement. Therefore, it might warrant the intervention of experts in ultrasonography medical billing and coding. Medicalbillersandcoders.com serves as an ideal platform for physicians seeking ultrasonography billing experts. We have ready access to a chosen pool of ultrasonography billing experts who can be entrusted with managing intricacies associated with ultrasonography medical fee charging, billing and reimbursement processes.


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