AHA Coding Clinic® for HCPCS - 2014 Issue 3; Ask the Editor

Microwave ablation of liver tumor

In a previous issue of Coding Clinic for HCPCS, advice was provided regarding the coding of liver tumor ablation utilizing microwave technique. The advice stated, “ Since, the code description for CPT code 47370, Laparoscopy, surgical, ablation of 1 or more liver tumor(s); radiofrequency, specifically references radiofrequency, it does not allow the reporting of other technologies.” However, the American Medical Association (AMA) states in Clinical Examples in Radiology that microwave is part of the radiofrequency spectrum and simply uses a different part of the radiofrequency spectrum to develop heat energy to destroy abnormal tissue. Please clarify whether the current CPT codes for radiofrequency ablation can be reported, when the microwave technique is utilized. ...

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