Corporate Compliance

Correct coding related to AP & Lateral of the abdomen

Compliance Monitor, April 21, 2006

Q: When performing an AP & Lateral of the abdomen, what CPT is recommended for billing? Code 74000 is for a single AP view and 74010 is for AP, additional oblique, and cone views. It seems that there should be a code between 74000 and 74010 to account for a two view abdomen.

A: An AP view is taken in the vertical, upright, or erect position and a lateral view is taken in the LT/LAT/Decubitus position when the patient lies on the left side.

The Ingenix's Coder's Desk Reference describes 74010 (Radiologic examination, abdomen; single anteroposterior view) as films that are taken of the abdominal cavity in one view from front to back. The Coder's Desk Reference also describes 74020 (Radiologic examination, abdomen; complete, including decubitus and/or erect views) as films are taken of the abdominal cavity from front to back, back to front, or front to back with the patient lying on the side (which is a Lateral view) and/or standing (which is an AP view).

Therefore, I recommend using CPT code 74020 when performing an AP & Lateral of the abdomen to represent the multiple views of the abdomen.

Thanks to Jeanne Babers-Warren, RHIA, a senior consultant for Pershing Yoakley & Associates in Atlanta, GA for answering today's question.

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