The Codes Are Here!
By Melody W. Mulaik, MSHS, CPC, CPC-H, RCC, PCS, FCS
Every year, the CPT® procedure codes get
released a little earlier which is a great
help to the healthcare community.* This
means that you have more time to update
your systems, train your staff, and ensure
that anyone associated with the coding,
charge capture, and/or reimbursement
process is ready to go on January 1.
This article will highlight the key
2013 procedure coding changes that will
impact radiology professionals. As of the
writing of this article, all of the supporting guidance that we look to for additional information is not yet available so
more guidance may be needed to ensure
proper code assignment.
Let’s start with the diagnostic radiology changes.
unlikely instance that you have these
codes in your chargemaster you should
look to make them inactive.
• 31656: Bronchoscopy, rigid or flexible,
including fluoroscopic guidance, when
performed; with injection of contrast
material for segmental bronchography
• 31715: Transtracheal injection for
• 71040: Bronchography, unilateral, radi-
ological supervision and interpretation
• 71060: Bronchography, bilateral, radio-
logical supervision and interpretation
The fluoroscopy codes (76000-76001)
have been revised to include other quali-
fied healthcare professionals as well as phy-
sicians. This change does not mean that
the scope of service for non-physicians has
been changed as it related to fluoroscopy.
Rather, it is intended to ensure correct
reporting in situations where it is appro-
priate for non-physicians to bill for fluor-
Cervical Spine X-rays
The AMA has deleted the codes for
bronchography, a contrast exam of the
airways that has been rendered obsolete
by bronchoscopy and by improved diag-
nostic imaging techniques. The following
codes will be deleted for 2013, so in the
Coding for cervical spine x-rays will be
easier in 2013 because the codes will be
defined solely in terms of the number of
views rather than requiring specific types
of views. Table 1 sums up the old and new
definitions of the revised CPT codes.
The 3D rendering code definitions
(76376-76377) have been revised to reflect
that they require concurrent supervision.
This requirement was previously listed as
a note in the CPT Manual, but not
included in the actual definitions. As a
reminder, for the 3D codes, concurrent
physician supervision defines a temporal
relationship to creating the 3D volume
TABLE 1. Cervical Spine X-rays Revised Codes
*CPT® is a registered trademark of the American Medical
Association. CPT® five digit codes, nomenclature, and other
data are copyright 2012 American Medical Association. All
Rights Reserved. No fee schedules, basic units, relative values, or related listings are included in the CPT® book. AMA
does not directly or indirectly practice medicine or dispense
medical services. AMA assumes no liability for the data contained herein or not contained herein.
2 or 3 views
3 views or less
Minimum 4 views
4 or 5 views
Complete with oblique and
flexion and/or extension
6 or more views