A: No, use of the new digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) codes is not dependent on the type of equipment used.
When the ACR, American Roentgen Ray Society, and Radiological Society of North America’s CPT advisors worked with the AMA’s CPT Editorial Panel to create the new codes for screening and diagnostic tomosynthesis, the codes were specifically designed to be vendor neutral. If a screening or diagnostic tomosynthesis is performed, it should be reported with the new CPT codes (77061, 77062, 77063) or the new Medicare HCPCS Level II G-code (G0279) for diagnostic tomosynthesis, regardless of which vendor’s equipment was used to perform the exam.
In an effort to reduce patient exposure further, each of the manufacturers with current approval of their DBT systems has designed a system that allows the full-field digital mammography (FFDM) planar images to be generated from the multiple small exposures of the DBT system rather than necessitating an additional exposure to acquire a FFDM planar image. Whether a FFDM planar image is derived from a single larger exposure or a series of smaller exposures, it is still a planar mammogram and should be coded as such.
Questions have also arisen regarding the combination of planar mammography and tomosynthesis. When a planar mammogram and a tomosynthesis exam are performed, both the planar mammogram and the tomosynthesis exam should be coded. This is true for both screening and diagnostic exams, and is again vendor neutral.