Revised NCCI Coding Policy Update: A Strategic Reversal Effective January 1, 2024

March 13, 2024

The National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) recently published its Policy Manual for the year 2024. It introduced a significant amendment to the radiology guidelines within Chapter 9, Section H. This NCCI coding policy update specifically addressed the utilization of ultrasound guidance for vascular access, identified by CPT code 76937. The initial guidance stated that “radiological supervision and interpretation (RS&I) codes encompass all radiological procedures essential for the completion of a service.” Consequently, it was determined that ultrasound guidance for vascular access “should not be reported independently” in conjunction with any RS&I service.

This directive starkly contradicted the guidelines outlined in the CPT manual, prompting immediate action from the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) along with numerous industry experts. These professionals proactively engaged with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to advocate for a correction to this policy.

In response to these efforts, a pivotal update was made on February 14, 2024. The NCCI Policy Manual has been carefully revised to exclude code 76937 from this specific policy. This aligns more closely with the established CPT manual instructions.

In light of this NCCI coding policy update, Zotec is diligently monitoring any patterns of claim denials that may have occurred during this period. Our team is prepared to undertake necessary refiling or appeal actions to address any issues arising from the initial instruction. This adjustment underscores the importance of continuous dialogue between healthcare professionals and regulatory bodies. Communication ensures that coding policies accurately reflect current practices and support efficient, patient-centered care.

By: Leslie Shisler, CPC, CIRCC, RCC, RCCIR, Director, Coding Education & IR Services

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