Preview: CPT 2019 Changes

The 2019 CPT code changes have been released.  As expected, there are several CPT revisions and changes impacting radiology.  For the most part 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 biggest changes in radiology codes for next year:

  • ASPIRATION BIOPSY: Eight new codes will bundle the coding for aspiration and the associated imaging guidance. The codes are broken down by number of lesions treated and radiologic guidance utilized.  There is also one new code for aspiration biopsy WITHOUT radiologic guidance.  All these codes are now described as “aspiration biopsy” which provides more clarity for coders and providers alike.
  • PICC PLACEMENT: New codes for peripherally inserted central venous catheter (PICC) placement include all radiologic supervision and interpretation.  Existing PICC codes are revised and will be used only when radiologic guidance is not utilized.
  • BREAST MRI: Four new breast MRI codes are introduced.  The new codes are broken down by laterality, contrast, and CAD utilization.
  • ELASTOGRAPHY: One new code will be introduced for MRI elastography and three new codes for ultrasound elastography.  The ultrasound elastography codes are designated for parenchyma (organ) and/or number of lesions evaluated.

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