Coding Tip of the Week–Choosing the Correct CPT for Unilateral Hip X-rays
Sometimes there still is confusion on the CPT coding for a unilateral hip x ray. At first glance, it sounds easy enough because there are only 3 to choose from. You have 73501 for 1 view, 73502 for 2-3 views, and 73503 for a minimum of 4 views. Piece of cake, right?
So, say you’re trying to code a 1 view x-ray of the right hip. What code would you choose? If you said 73501—you are correct. Now, what if you were trying to code a 1 view x ray of the right hip and the radiologist also imaged the pelvis in the same session? What code would you pick then?
The confusion for coders seems to come in on whether or not the pelvis counts as another view. If you just think about how x rays are taken for minute—you’ll get your answer. The radiologist takes 1 view of the right hip and then moves the x ray machine to take an x ray of the pelvis—so it is another view. If you were coding a 1 view of the right hip and 1 view of the pelvis, that is a total of 2 views. The correct code in that scenario is 73502 for 2 views.
Last, but not least, there also is a code for a single view of the pelvis (CPT code 72170) but it is only used if the pelvis is imaged without the hip.
So there you have it! Hopefully now you have a better understanding of these CPT codes. Please check back again next week for a new coding tip.
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– Lindsay Della Vella, COC