A: CPT® code 71035 (Radiologic examination, chest, special views [eg, lateral decubitus, Bucky studies]) should be reported twice when both right and left lateral decubitus views of the chest are performed. To indicate to the payer that these are two separate and distinct studies, it would be appropriate to add a modifier to designate that a bilateral procedure (eg, RT, LT, 50) was performed and that this is not a duplicate charge submitted in error. Verify with your payers the appropriate modifier to use.
This code for a special view is not included in any of the other chest codes; therefore, when special views are performed, it is appropriate to report it in addition to other chest-imaging codes. It was developed to describe a special projection of the chest (eg, decubitus view, Bucky view).
The long-standing ACR position is as follows:
Unlike most other plain film chest procedures which have their own unique CPT-4 code, decubitus views (projections taken while the patient is lying on his side) and other special views (eg, Bucky studies) are categorized under a single code (ie, 71035), as it applies to decubitus views, represents a single anteroposterior view; much like a one-view chest study (71010). To put it another way, code 71035 symbolizes a single anteroposterior view of the chest taken while the patient is lying on either side. The analogy to a one-view chest exam is also reflected by the professional relative values assigned to each code. Therefore, given the nature of the procedure and the relative values assigned to it, code 71035 should be reported once for each decubitus view taken. (RBMA Bulletin, September 1992, p 22)