5 coding changes and clarifications doctors need to know
Ask the Coding Experts, by Doug Morrow, O.D., Harvey Richman, O.D., and Rebecca Wartman, O.D.
From the March 2016 edition of AOA Focus, pages 42-43.
A recent issue of CPT® Assistant—the authoritative publication from the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Editorial Panel regarding appropriate CPT coding—addressed coding changes that doctors must be aware of for 2016.
- Appropriate reporting of eye movement testing.
CPT Assistant clarified the appropriate reporting of CPT code 92270, electro-oculography with interpretation and report. CPT 92270 has, at times, been inaccurately reported when eye-movement testing and recordings were conducted. CPT 92270 is not the appropriate code to report for eye-movement testing. The CPT Assistant has clarified that for the reporting of saccadic eye-movement testing with recoding, CPT 92700 should be used.
Changes to definition of "written report."
For 2016, the CPT Editorial Panel also has made some changes to code-descriptor language to keep up with developments in technology. For certain CPT codes, a "written report" is required. The CPT Editorial Panel has clarified that a written report may be handwritten or electronic. This change was made to account for the use of electronic health records.
- New code for 2016: Implantation of intrastromal corneal ring segments.
For 2016, a new code was developed to report the implantation of an intrastromal corneal ring segment (CPT 65785). Prior to 2016, there was a category III code that was reported for this service (0099T, implant corneal ring). The category III code has been deleted and replaced with CPT 65785.
- Code deletion: Scleral buckling retinal detachment repair.
CPT 67122 (repair of retinal detachment by scleral buckling or vitrectomy) has been deleted for 2016 due to low utilization.
- New code and code revision for 2016: Instrument-based ocular screening
For 2016, CPT 99174 was revised and a new code for instrument-based ocular screening was developed. While doctors of optometry would not generally report these codes, it is important to be aware of their existence and potential use by other specialties.
The final code descriptions are as follows:
- CPT 99174: Instrument-based ocular screening (e.g., photoscreening, automated refraction), bilateral; with remote analysis and report.
- CPT 99177: Instrument-based ocular screening (e.g., photoscreening, automated refraction), bilateral; with on-site analysis.
Ask the coding experts
Evaluation and management (E/M) services are incredibly important in patient care, and it’s critical that optometry practices are aware of changes ahead. Meanwhile, the AOA and other leading physician organizations are pushing legislation that would halt Medicare payment cuts resulting from the changes.
Time to review your practice’s billing and coding: Access national benchmark data for optometry practices and join an upcoming webinar to learn more about E/M code changes in 2021.