December 19, 2014
The CPT 2015 contains revised as well as new codes for various interventional, diagnostic, nuclear medicine and radiation oncology procedures. Released by the American Medical Association, these code changes will go into effect from January 01, 2015.
There are 226 new codes, 147 deleted codes and 129 revised codes that fall under CPT 2015. A number of code-related proposals were made for the new code cycle by the American College of Radiology (ACR). ACR worked on these proposals either alone or in union with other medical specialty societies. The coders will again see changes in non-vascular and vascular interventional radiology. Some significant changes are also scheduled for radiation therapy and breast imaging.
Breast Imaging Codes
New codes have been introduced for breast tomosynthesis, whereas the existing code for breast ultrasound has been deleted. Two new codes have been introduced for complete and limited ultrasound.
Non-Vascular Interventional Radiology
Under joint procedures, new codes have been created for joint aspiration and / or injection to include ultrasound guidance.
Vertebroplasty / Kyphoplasty:
As a part of CPT 2015, Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty codes have been deleted. New codes have been introduced to include all imaging guidance.
A new code has been added for cryoablation of bone tumors, whereas the existing code for radiofrequency bone ablation has been updated for including radiologic guidance and adjacent soft tissues.
New codes have been created for Myelography, which includes the interpretation and supervision. The code for myelogram injection has been revised too.
Vertebral Fracture Assessment
For 2015, the existing code that represents vertebral fracture assessment has been deleted only to introduce two new codes. The first code represents VFA done as part of bone density whereas the second code is for VFA alone.
The tele-therapy isodose planning and brachytherapy codes will include basic dosimetry calculation, whereas the IMRT codes will include tracking and guidance in CPT 2015.
Vascular Interventional Radiology
The CPT 2015 will see a revision of existing codes for carotid stent placement to include angioplasty and radiologic supervision and interpretation
New Category III* codes have also been introduced for radiostereometric analysis
Radiology billing will get affected if the coders fail to understand the CPT 2015 changes. According to the ACR, bundling of many codes (as requested by the AMA Relativity Assessment Workgroup) will also have an adverse impact on radiology billing.
Radiologists across the US have been advised to review how the above-mentioned procedures are coded currently. They also need to anticipate how the new and bundled code changes impact the cash flow.
Many radiologists have started outsourcing their radiology billing services and coding process to outsourcing partners like MedicalBillersandCoders.com. MBC has an experienced team onboard who are well-trained in handling CPT code changes. Providers don’t have to worry about hiring or training their existing coders to overcome the potential coding and revenue challenges. By outsourcing their RCM to MBC, more numbers of radiologists across the US have been able to streamline their practice functionality and get their revenue cycle back on track.