Cardiology Coding Alert

Reader Questions:

Call Up Phonocardiographic Code With Ease

Question: I can't find "phonocardiographic recording" in the CPT manual. Is there a code for this?

Rhode Island Subscriber

Answer: The proper codes are Category III codes, according to CPT Assistant (March 2005):

• 0068T-- Acoustic heart sound recording and computer analysis; with interpretation and report

• 0069T-- ... acoustic heart sound recording and computer analysis only

• 0070T-- ... interpretation and report only.

Phonographic recording, also called acoustic heart sound recording, involves a computer analyzing acoustic sensor recordings to identify specific heart sounds, such as murmurs. CPT Assistant explains that the "recording and analysis helps substantiate the diagnosis of symptomatic patients with left ventricular hypertrophy, with acute myocardial infarction and detect S3 S4 heart sounds in the identification of cardiac conditions associated with left ventricular dysfunction."

Until 2008, CPT required you to report 0068T-0070T as add-on codes to a 12-lead ECG code. But CPT removed the add-on requirement in 2008 to reflect that technology now requires only a single lead ECG for the service.

As with all Category III codes, you may find that some payers won't recognize or reimburse these codes, typically because they don't find enough clinical evidence to support medical necessity.

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