Billing and Coding Guidelines for Radiation Oncology (Part 2)

Billing and Coding Guidelines (continued…)

Treatment devices, designs, and construction may be charged during a course of therapy when documentation substantiates multiple volumes of interest/ports, the use of custom-made devices, and/or the necessity of replacement devices. Providers should bill for devices at the beginning of the treatment course and then may bill again later in the course of treatment when additional or new devices are required.

  • Use CPT code 77332 for simple treatment devices, design, and construction that include simple port blocks that include one or two hand-positioned pre-made blocks; simple prefabricated bolus that is capable of being shaped for an individual patient; or independent jaw motion or asymmetrical collimation.
  • Use CPT code 77333 for intermediate treatment devices, design, and construction that include multiple port blocks which include three or more pre-made blocks such as corner pelvis blocks, beam splitter blocks, or midline spinal cord blocks; stents; bite blocks; or special multi-use bolus.
  • Use CPT code 77334 for complex treatment devices, design, and construction that include customized, single-use bolus such as wax molds conformed to a particular patient body part; customized blocks (low-temperature alloy); customized compensators; wedges; molds or casts; a custom made immobilization devices or eye-shields.

Medical radiation physics consultation is technical services only and is payable only in a setting in which the technical component is payable by Medicare such as a freestanding radiation oncology center that employs its own radiation physicist.

  • Use CPT code 77336 for continuing medical radiation physics consultation, including assessment of treatment parameters, quality assurance of dose delivery, and review of patient treatment documentation in support of the radiation oncologist reported per week of therapy (once every consecutive five treatments delivered).
  • Use CPT code 77370 for special medical radiation physics consultation when a problem or a special situation arises during radiation therapy. This code requires a detailed written report describing the problem to be given to the requesting physician.

Guidance for localization of target volume for delivery of radiation treatment delivery includes intrafraction tracking when performed should use CPT code 77387. This code is only used by OPPS.

Radiation treatment delivery codes are reported once per treatment session. These codes recognize the technical component only and contain no physician work, the professional component. Treatment management codes contain only the professional component. Carriers pay for these TC services on a daily basis under CPT codes 77401-77416 for radiation treatment delivery.

They do not use local codes and RVUs in paying for the TC of radiation oncology services. Multiple treatment sessions on the same day are payable as long as there has been a distinct break in therapy services, and the individual sessions are of the character usually furnished on different days. When billing for multiple treatments on the same day, the claim must document that there has been a distinct break between therapy. Statements such as “A.M. and P.M. treatments” suffice.

  • Use CPT code 77401 for radiation treatment delivery, superficial and/or orthovoltage per day. Do not report clinical treatment planning (77261, 77262, 77263), treatment devices (77332, 77333, 77334), isodose planning (77306, 77307), physics consultation (77336), or treatment management (77427, 77431, 77470) with 77401.
  • Use CPT code 77402 for simple radiation treatment delivery > 1 MeV which requires all of the following to be met but none of the complex or intermediate criteria being met. This criterion includes a single treatment area, one or two ports, and two or fewer simple blocks. This code is only used by OPPS.
  • Use CPT code 77407 for intermediate treatment delivery > 1 MeV which requires that any of the following criteria are met but none of the complex criteria are being met. This criterion is 2 separate treatment areas, 3 or more ports on a single treatment area, or 3 or more simple blocks. This code is only used by OPPS. 4.
  • Use CPT code 77412 for complex treatment delivery > 1 MeV which requires any of the following criteria are met : 3 or more separate treatment areas, custom blocking, tangential ports, sedges, rotational beam, field-in-field, or other tissue compensation that does not meet IMRT guidelines, or electron beam. This code is only used by OPPS.
  • Radiation treatment delivery can be billed using a date range if the treatments are performed on consecutive days and the energy and level of service are the same, the total number is indicated in the CMS 1500 days or units field. If the dates of service are not consecutive or the energy or level of service is not the same, each date of service must be billed in a separate detail line.

Portal verification film(s) CPT code 77417 is used to report port verification films or electronic portal imaging for verification. Centers with electronic portal imaging technology may bill port film verification when this technique is substituted for x-rays film. These films should agree with the original simulation films and dosimetry. This is a technical component only procedure and does not carry a professional physician component. No modifier is required for these services.

Radiation treatment management, 5 treatments CPT code 77427 is reported once for every five fractions or treatment sessions regardless of the actual time period in which the services are furnished. The services need not be furnished on consecutive days. Multiple fractions representing two or more treatment sessions furnished on the same day may be counted separately as long as there has been a distinct break in therapy and the fractions are of the character usually furnished on different days.

Radiation therapy management with a complete course of therapy consisting of one (1) or two (2) fractions only uses CPT code 77431. If the entire treatment course consists of only one (1) or two (2) fractions, the physician should bill this code and report the number of fractions in the units/days field on the claim. This code should not be used for reimbursement of the remaining treatments at the end of a longer course of therapy.

Special treatment procedures (e.g., total body irradiation, hemibody radiation, peroral or endocavitary irradiation CPT code 77470 is used to cover the additional physician effort and work for the special procedure of hyper-fractionation, total body irradiation, peroral, endocavitary, or intraoperative cone use, or when other modalities are being managed in combination with external beam therapy, such as brachytherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, and any other special time-consuming treatment plan. This code is not intended to be used because a patient has another ongoing medical diagnosis like diabetes, COPD, or hypertension.

In radiation oncology, evaluation, and management CPT codes are not separately reportable except for an initial visit at which time a decision is made whether to proceed with the treatment. Subsequent evaluation and management services are included in the radiation treatment management CPT codes.

Payment is limited to services furnished in office (POS 11), inpatient hospital (POS 21), and outpatient hospital (POS 22). A freestanding radiation oncology center is considered, for billing purposes, an office. A deep understanding of the Radiation Oncology billing and coding guidelines is critical for proper payment. In case of any assistance for Oncology medical billing and coding, you can contact us at 888-357-3226/