Home » Categories » Imaging/Radiology Coding

Foot vs. Ankle MRI


When our physicians order a foot MRI, our Rad department is charging CPT#73721.   The explanation given by the rad department is as follows:  "When a patient is positioned for MRI of foot &/or ankle, the positioning is the same, the images and sequences are the same.  The CPT billing code is the same and defined as:  MRI lower ext. joint (any) without contrast.  73721.  The radiologist describes both ankle & foot tendons and ligaments within the body of the report." 


The index in the CPT book for "MRI, foot" takes me to CPT#73718.   Is it appropriate for the radiology department to have a written order from the physician stating "MRI, foot" and to be charging CPT#73721?


If the radiology department is going to change the exam, then the ordering physician should be asked to revise the order.  If the order is for a foot MRI, then the correct CPT code is 73718.  Even though your radiology department does the exam in the same method, there may be payers who pay differently based on the CPT code.  They may also be medical necessity issues that are different for the different CPT codes.

Disclaimer: All articles intended for general guidance only and not as a recommendation for a specific situation. Readers should consult an official source (AHA, AMA, etc.) or a qualified attorney for specific legal guidance.

Attachments Attachments
There are no attachments for this article.
Related Articles RSS Feed
Modifier Discontinued Radiology Procedure
Viewed 1804 times since Wed, Aug 3, 2011
New Nuclear Medicine Codes
Viewed 1687 times since Sat, Jan 21, 2012
Multiple Breast Biopsies
Viewed 6920 times since Wed, Nov 17, 2010
MRI’s and Contrast Injection
Viewed 3904 times since Mon, Feb 14, 2011
Drainage with Imaging Guidance and Catheter
Viewed 6808 times since Wed, Nov 17, 2010
Mammogram Single Breast
Viewed 5023 times since Thu, Jan 13, 2011
Lumbar Puncture in Radiology
Viewed 53372 times since Wed, Nov 17, 2010
Conscious Sedation-Radiology Procedure
Viewed 3676 times since Mon, Feb 28, 2011
Definition of "Per Study Dose" for Cardiolite A9500
Viewed 4100 times since Wed, Nov 17, 2010
Bilateral X-Rays
Viewed 5427 times since Tue, Aug 21, 2012
Quorum Health Resources, LLC :: 105 Continental Place Brentwood, TN 37027 :: Phone: (615) 371-4506