CPT 97024 can be used for diathermy modality. Short-wave diathermy is an effective modality for heating skeletal muscle. Because heating is accomplished without physical contact between the modality and the skin, it can be used even if the skin is abraded as long as there is no significant edema.
Description of CPT 97024
Diathermy is considered medically necessary to deliver heat to deep tissues, such as skeletal muscle and joints, to reduce pain, joint stiffness, and muscle spasms.
The official description of CPT code 97024 is: “Application of a modality to 1 or more areas; diathermy (e.g., microwave).”
Below, we cover reimbursement, medical necessity, and denials for the 97024 CPT code.
Diathermy is not considered medically necessary to treat asthma, bronchitis, or other pulmonary conditions.
High-energy pulsed wave diathermy machines have been determined to produce the same therapeutic benefit as standard diathermy; therefore, any reimbursement for diathermy will be made at the same level as standard diathermy.
Because there is no evidence from published, controlled clinical studies demonstrating the efficacy of this modality, this service will be denied as not reasonable and necessary
Usage Of CPT 97024
The procedure described by CPT code 97024 can be performed when:
- the patient has osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or traumatic arthritis;
- the patient has sustained a strain or sprain;
- the patient has acute or chronic bursitis;
- the patient has sustained a traumatic injury to muscle, ligament, or tendon resulting in functional loss;
- the patient has a joint dislocation or subluxation;
- the patient requires treatment for post-surgical functional loss;
- the patient has adhesive capsulitis; and/or
- the patient has a joint contracture.