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CPT Code 73718 | MRI Of The Lower Extremities Excluding Joints

CPT code 73718 describes a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedure of the lower extremities (excluding joints) in which the patient is placed in a magnetic scanner, images are taken with radiofrequency signals, and a radiology provider analyzes and reports on the images.

What Is CPT Code 73718?

CPT 73718 describes a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedure focusing on the lower extremities, excluding the joints.

During the procedure, the patient is placed on a scanning table and moved into a large tunnel-shaped magnetic scanner, where a series of images are taken using radiofrequency signals.

A radiology provider then analyzes these images and prepares a written report of their findings.

Description

The CPT book describes the CPT code 73718 as: “Magnetic resonance (e.g., proton) imaging, lower extremity other than joint; without contrast material(s).”

Procedure

During an MRI procedure, the patient is placed on a scanning table and moved into a large tunnel-shaped magnetic scanner to expose the lower extremities to a strong magnetic field.

The technician instructs the patient to hold their breath and stay still while the machine captures radiofrequency signals from the body, which are then used to generate images of the lower extremities.

These images are displayed on a computer screen and analyzed by a radiology provider, who prepares a written report of their findings and provides a diagnostic interpretation.

How To Use CPT 73718

CPT code 73718 reports MRI procedures of the lower extremities, excluding the joints. If an MRI order includes a foot and ankle study, you may bill one joint code and one lower extremity code, such as CPT 73721 for the ankle and CPT 73718 for the foot.

If separate setups are used for each, you may report both a joint code (CPT 73721 until CPT 73723) and a non-joint code (CPT 73718, CPT 73719, and CPT 73720).

When billing for bilateral radiology procedures, you may list the appropriate code twice on the claim, append modifiers LT (left side) and RT (right side), or report a single line item with two units.

Modifier 50 (Bilateral procedure) should not be used for bilateral radiology procedures.

If an MRI is ordered with contrast, use code CPT 73719. If an MRI is ordered first without contrast, followed by contrast and further sequences, use CPT code 73720.

For an MRI of a lower extremity joint without contrast, use CPT code 73721; with contrast, use code CPT 73722; first, without contrast, followed by contrast and further sequences, use CPT code 73723.

If you only report the physician’s interpretation for the radiology service, append modifier 26 (Professional component) to the radiology code.

If you only report the technical component, append the modifier TC (Technical component).

Do not append a professional or technical modifier to the radiology code when reporting a global service in which one provider renders both the professional and technical components.

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