A: No, it is not appropriate to report CPT® code 76998 (Ultrasound guidance, intra-operative) to report the ultrasound guidance used for vascular access when the guidance is performed in the operating room (OR). The appropriate code to report ultrasound guidance to achieve vascular access is 76937 (Ultrasound guidance for vascular access requiring ultrasound evaluation of potential access sites, documentation of selected vessel patency, concurrent real-time ultrasound visualization of vascular needle entry, with permanent recording and reporting (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure).
Per the ACR’s Ultrasound Coding User’s Guide 2010, code 76998 is used when ultrasound is utilized in the operating room by the surgeon or ultrasonologist. It is appropriate to report 76998 once, when all the imaging is in the same operative field. If there are several operative fields, report the code per operative field. Providers should recognize that individual payers may limit coverage in such circumstances.