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Thread: 70544 and 70553 unbundled???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Detroit Chapter

    Default 70544 and 70553 unbundled???

    AAPC: Back to School
    A provider is billing for a 70544-26,59 and 70553-26 for the same pt on the same day. CCI edits say that these codes are bundled together. can these be unbundled?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Salt Lake City


    Yes you can bill both because the brain MRI looks at the struture of the brain and the MRA is focusing on the vasculature. I have been told by Radiologists that the MRI is used more to check for a bleed or stroke vs the MRA. Our protocl has been if they are doing the exam for "stroke protocol" we bill the MRI alone.
    Jenifer McPolin CPC, CPMA, RCC

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Alexandria, LA


    If both are ordered and performed and medically necessary both can be coded. Documentation must be clear that there were 2 separate technical exams - not one set of images that was interpreted as an MRI and then reformatted for MRA. See the CMS NCCI Policy Manual, Chapter 9; and ACR Coding Source Q & A.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Detroit Chapter


    thanks everyone

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