IRQ Articles

Coding Q&A

05-03-2017 21:39

Q: Interventional radiologists are doing more and more arterial procedures via radial artery access. Is it appropriate to report code 36217 when using radial artery access for arterial procedures such as UAEs, TACEs and radioembolizations?

A: The short answer is no. Code 36217 is used to report subselection of a third order branch of the thoracic or brachiocephalic branch within a vascular family when the vessel is accessed proximal to distal (from a second order branch into a third order branch). Using the radial artery for arterial access, in a distal to proximal direction, should thus not be reported with 36217. This is the same as traditional coding conventions used for common femoral arterial access, in which 36247 is not reported for ipsilateral “distal to proximal” access into the aorta for arterial procedures. When using radial artery access, the codes reported depend on which vessels are ultimately selected for the procedure (e.g., 36215 for a main bronchial artery, 36245 for the celiac axis, 36247 for a uterine artery, etc.).

Disclaimer: SIR is providing this billing and coding guide for educational and information purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal, medical or any other kind of advice. The guide is meant to be an adjunct to the American Medical Association’s (AMA’s) Current Procedural Terminology (2016/CPT®). It is not comprehensive and does not replace CPT. Our intent is to assist physicians, business managers and coders. Therefore, a precise knowledge of the definitions of the CPT descriptors and the appropriate services associated with each code is mandatory for proper coding of physician service.

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this guide; but SIR and its employees, agents, officers and directors make no representation, warranty or guarantee that the information provided is error-free or that the use of this guide will prevent differences of opinion or disputes with payers. The publication is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties or merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. The company will bear no responsibility or liability for the results or consequences of the use of this manual. The ultimate responsibility for correct use of the Medicare and AMA CPT billing coding system lies with the user. SIR assumes no liability, legal, financial or otherwise for physicians or other entities who utilize the information in this guide in a manner inconsistent with the coverage and payment policies of any payers, including but not limited to Medicare or any Medicare contractors, to which the physician or other entity has submitted claims for the reimbursement of services performed by the physician.

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