March 11, 2020

Coding Q&A

Question: Do you have to document velocity measurements of blood flow in order to assign one of the duplex codes (93880-93990)?

Answer: Duplex Doppler studies should only be reported when medically necessary, ordered, and appropriately documented. All Doppler studies should describe that both spectral and color Doppler were performed. While velocities are relevant in some duplex Doppler examinations depending on the clinical scenario and are routinely reported for carotid ultrasounds, documentation of velocity is not a required component to report in all duplex studies. In general, information in the report on specific flow parameters (eg. waveforms, velocities, resistive indices) may be included, according to the relevance determined by the interpreting radiologist.

The ACR 2020 Ultrasound Coding User’s Guide lists the following terms that indicate a Doppler study was performed:

Analog velocity   Resistive index
Bandwidth broadening   Spectral analysis 
Duplex Doppler    Spectral broadening 
Monophasic   Spectral Doppler 
Peak systolic velocity    Tardus parvus waveforms 
Phasicity   Triphasic 
Pulsatility   Velocity
Pulsed Doppler