October 29, 2018

Q and A

Question: If a LDCT repeat scan is completed within the 3-6 month recommended timeline for patients with Lung-RADS categories 3 and 4, is it appropriate to bill CPT code 71250 CT chest without contrast and follow the low-dose protocol? The idea is to limit the radiation these patients are receiving and thus repeat LDCT scans should be completed. The concern is that we are billing for 71250 regular CT without contrast and patients are receiving low-dose scans.

Answer: The proper coding for 3-6 months follow up LDCT for Lung-RADS categories 3 or 4 result is to report CPT code 71250,Computed tomography, thorax; without contrast material. The imaging technique that is utilized (LDCT vs standard diagnostic CT dose technique) is at the discretion of the radiologist who protocols the study. The imaging technique that the radiologist determines is appropriate for the scan does not change the CPT code reported.