Health Information Management

Tip: Correctly report treatment devices for radiation oncology

APCs Insider, July 26, 2013

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Radiation oncologists use a variety of treatment devices to shape the energy beam, immobilize the patient, and shield part of the patient to protect unaffected areas during radiation oncology.

Treatment devices are classified as simple, intermediate, and complex.

Coders should only report a treatment device one time for the entire course of treatment, regardless of the number of times the device is used.

Coders should report only one restraining device for each volume of interest treated and they should not report the use of passive restraints, such as straps, pillows, sandbags, etc.

If the provider uses beam modification devices of two separate levels of complexity for the same treatment port, coders should only report the one for the highest complexity unless each device has been custom­ designed for that portal.

This tip is adapted from “Shrink radiation oncology coding confusion” in the June issue of Briefings on APCs.

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