October 29, 2018

CPT 2019 Code Update

Several radiology codes and guideline revisions have been implemented for 2019. As in the past, many of the new codes have been created as a result of bundling mandates from the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Relativity Assessment Workgroup (RAW) for the purpose of identifying what it considers as potentially “misvalued” services. Code pairs identified as being performed together 75 percent or more of the time, and therefore referred to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) Editorial Panel for bundling in 2019, include fine needle aspiration biopsy, knee arthrography, and peripherally inserted central venous catheter (PICC) codes.

Moreover, there are new codes that bundle breast MRI with computer-aided detection (CAD) and updated codes for gastrostomy tube replacement and dilation of the urinary tract for endourologic procedures. New codes have been introduced for procedures that are currently not described with the CPT code set, such as contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUs) and magnetic resonance elastography (MRE).

Several Category III codes have been converted to Category I in 2019 to include breast MRI with CAD and ultrasound elastography. New Category III codes have been established to report pulse-echo ultrasound bone mineral density analysis (BMD). Category III codes allow for more appropriate documentation and tracking of the use of new technologies.

The ACR urges its members to be sure to update their charge masters, coding and billing files to reflect the changes effective January 1, 2019 and to refer to the CPT 2019 Professional codebook for a complete listing of codes, guidelines and parenthetical changes.

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