For the Week of August 29, 2016

Can you please tell me if we can charge for pre- and postop transesophageal echocardiograms (TEE)?

Theoretically, if separately ordered, medically necessary, and separately documented, you could code each separately. However, Medicare has a medically unlikely edit (MUE) of 1 for all of the echo codes, both TEE and TTE (transthoracic echocardiogram). The Medicare contractor can pay for more than one if documentation supports that more than one was medically necessary and performed.

If, instead of separate TEEs, you provided continuous monitoring during an operative procedure, you should report the following code instead.

93318 Echocardiography, TEE for monitoring purposes, including probe placement, real time 2-dimensional image acquisition and interpretation leading to ongoing (continuous) assessment of (dynamically changing) cardiac pumping function and to therapeutic measures on an immediate time basis