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Sniff Test

  1. Question Sniff Test
    Medical Coding Books

    Does anyone know which cpt codes best describes a Sniff Test (Chest Fluoroscopy). Thanks

  2. #2
    Louisville, KY
    Usually either 71023 or 71034 would be appropriate--depending upon what is done; also, be sure to append the appropriate modifier (if coding for a specific setting).

    Hope this helps to narrow the field for you.

  3. Default
    We use the CPT code - 76000 - Fluoroscopy (separate procedure), up to 1 hour physician time, other than 71030 or 71034.
    Last edited by MLMiksch; 01-18-2008 at 02:46 PM.

  4. #4
    Louisville, KY
    Sniff test is a bit different from shunto-grams, venograms and such. Perhaps what you're doing isn't a true sniff...

  5. Default Sniff Test
    Per: Radiology Coding Alert Online

    November, 2004

    READER QUESTION: Sniff Out Reimbursement

    Question: Our doctor performs a fluoroscopic "sniff" test for evaluation of the diaphragmatic motion. We bill procedure 76000 for the reports, but most insurance companies will not pay this. How should I code this for optimal reimbursement?

    Georgia Subscriber

    Answer: If the radiologist produced no films, you must report 76000 (Fluoroscopy [separate procedure], up to one hour physician time, other than 71023 or 71034 [e.g., cardiac fluoroscopy]), even if your insurance company won't pay.

    If the procedure produced a two-view chest radiographic exam along with the fluoroscopic test, report 71023 (Radiologic examination, chest, two views, frontal and lateral; with fluoroscopy). If you have four views, report 71034 (Radiologic examination, chest, complete, minimum of four views; with fluoroscopy).

    The sniff test involves fluoroscopy of the diaphragm while the patient sniffs to test for paralysis of the diaphragm. The failure of the insurance company to reimburse you may stem from the diagnosis code you pair it with. Your most likely option is ICD-9 code 519.4 (Disorders of diaphragm), so check with your payer to see if that code will yield reimbursement. But remember, you can only report the documented diagnosis.


    75809 - Shuntogram for investigation of previously placed indwelling nonvascular shunt (e.g., LeVeen shunt, ventriculoperitoneal shunt, indwelling infusion pump), radiological supervision and interpretation
    Last edited by MLMiksch; 01-18-2008 at 02:51 PM.

  6. #6
    Louisville, KY
    I think there was a mis-communication or lack of detail in the question. I am familiar with the Rad Coding Alert.


  7. Default
    I agree with Radiology Coding Alert's explaination. But I am not clear how does shuntogram play a role here while the sniff test is a test at fluoroscopy for diaphragmatic function alone.

  8. #8
    Louisville, KY
    The mention of shuntograms and the like related to a statement concerning Mediport placement in the questioners follow-up. However, that statement was subsequently edited out (as per the edit note).

    Therefore, my point in mentioning those appears moot...

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