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Current procedural terminology coding of nuclear medicine procedures

Seminars in Nuclear Medicine
Elsevier - WB Saunders
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0001-2998(05)80062-5
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Political Science


The future of nuclear medicine is dependent on payment for new procedures. Today, the basis of payment by the federal government is a relative value unit (RVU) system; the RVUS employed in this system are for medical services and procedures listed and described in Physicians' Current Procedural Terminology, fourth edition. Current procedural terminology (CPT) is maintained by the AMA; annual revisions include adding new codes or revised or deleted old codes. This process involves all national medical specialty societies. Starting in 1992 a new process, the Relative Updating Committee, which was initiated by the AMA, organized medicine to formalize a method for recommending relative values for physician procedures and services. In this rapidly changing scenario, all nuclear medicine procedure codes are under review by the coding and nomenclature committees of the medical societies interested in imaging. Significant CPT changes and additions were made in the cardiovascular nuclear medicine codes in 1992, reflecting the current imaging protocols and pharmacological agents for performing cardiac stress testing and new codes that recognize combinations of ventricular function measurements in patients undergoing myocardial perfusion imaging with technetium-99m agents.

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