AHA Coding Clinic® for HCPCS - 2004 Issue 4

Coding brachytherapy sources

Brachytherapy is a radiation therapy modality that allows the escalation of radiation dose while sparing normal tissues. Brachytherapy involves the placement of radioactive sources (solutions, ribbons, seeds or wires) either in tumors (interstitial implants) or near tumors (intracavitary therapy and mold therapy). The word “brachytherapy” means “short therapy”, appropriately implying that the radiation is limited to short distances, unlike external beam radiotherapy, where radiation must go across normal tissue in order to reach the tumor. This results in decreased toxicity and/or allows the escalation of radiation dose. In the November 15, 2004 Final Rule CMS published a...

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