First Look at CPT 2019 Changes in Radiology

CPT 2019 will bring about several CPT revisions and changes for radiology.  Typically CPT coding changes are a result of the bundling mandates and the AMA’s revaluation of existing codes.   Code pairs identified as being performed together 75% or more of the time are referred to the CPT Editorial Panel for bundling into a single code.  Since much of interventional coding has historically been “component coding”, which consists of a procedural code with a paired radiology supervision and imaging (RS&I) code, interventional radiology codes continue to be evaluated.

The following is a summary of the major anticipated changes in 2019 for radiology.

New codes are expected that will bundle the coding for fine needle aspiration and respective imaging guidance. Similar changes expected for peripherally inserted central venous catheter (PICC) placement.  Also expected to be bundled into one code is CAD with breast MRI.

New codes will be introduced for contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) and elastography.  Currently, ultrasound elastography is a Category III code, which are codes that are in place to describe new and emerging technology but have no assigned RVU for payment.  Both ultrasound and MR elastography are expected to have a CPT code in 2019.  This is a positive change as this type of study continues to grow throughout radiology practices.  Also, additional codes are expected for further defining gastrostomy tube replacement and urinary tract dilation.

ADVOCATE will continue to provide updates and education as the new code sets and guidelines are made available.

Best regards,
Jennifer Bash, RHIA, CPC, CIRCC, RCC
Coding & Education Documentation Manager