Experience the Definitive Advantage

Start a free trial today and get access to the most comprehensive source of healthcare provider data on the market.

Blog

Top Radiology CPT Codes at Imaging Centers

May 3, 2019 BY Alanna Moriarty

Top Radiology CPT Codes at Imaging Centers

Radiologists are a vital part of acute and chronic care teams. These physicians use medical imaging technology – such as x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, and others – to diagnose and treat injuries and illnesses in patients.

 

Below, we’ve compiled the top radiology procedures at imaging centers by total charges and by volume using claims analytics.

Top 10 Radiology Procedures by Total Charges

Rank

CPT Code

CPT Description

Total Charges

Total Procedures

1.

77067

Screening mammography, bilateral, w/ computer-aided detection

$718,484,190

2,405,588

2.

72148

MRI of lumbar spine w/o dye

$686,815,594

540,633

3.

73721

MRI joint of lower extremity w/o dye

$627,646,715

493,467

4.

70553

MRI of brain stem w/o & w/dye

$524,858,250

321,648

5.

74177

CT of abdomen & pelvis w/contrast

$419,267,692

650,584

6.

73221

MRI of joint, upper extremity, w/o dye

$368,435,388

291,255

7.

78815

PET image w/CT, skull-to-thigh

$364,883,733

117,137

8.

72141

MRI of neck, spine w/o dye

$362,168,677

290,385

9.

70551

MRI of brain stem w/o dye

$298,865,123

299,349

10.

74176

CT of abdomen & pelvis w/o contrast

$229,761,901

400,309

Fig 1  Data from Definitive Healthcare’s platform on commercial claims analytics. Top CPT codes are from imaging center reports from CY 2018 and include diagnostic radiology procedures.

Diagnostic mammography (CPT 77067) is the top radiology procedure by total charges, with more than $718 million. This is unsurprising, as breast cancer is the most common cancer found in women, and among the top two causes of death for women regardless of ethnicity. According to Definitive Healthcare’s claims analytics platform, physicians reported more than 187,000 breast cancer diagnoses in 2018, making regular screenings an integral part of preventative health.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) made up 60 percent of the list by total charges. MRIs are used to take pictures of both anatomy and physiological processes using magnets, providing a picture of various organs. Images of the brain stem and spine were most common on the list, followed by images of the abdomen.

Top 10 Radiology Procedures by Volume

Rank

CPT Code

CPT Description

Total Charges

Total Procedures

1.

77067

Screening mammography, bilateral, w/ computer-aided detection

$718,484,190

2,405,588

2.

71046

X-ray exam of chest, 2 views

$157,781,133

2,237,880

3.

71045

X-ray exam of chest, 1 view

$62,062,601

1,784,654

4.

77063

Breast tomosynthesis, bilateral view

$184,315,239

1,345,656

5.

70450

CT of head/brain w/o dye

$178,493,483

737,092

6.

74177

CT of abdomen & pelvis w/contrast

$419,267,692

650,584

7.

76641

Ultrasound of breast, complete

$186,632,497

588,121

8.

72148

MRI of lumbar spine w/o dye

$686,815,594

540,633

9.

77080

Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (bone density scan), axial

$124,677,549

508,325

10.

76700

Ultrasound exam, abdomen, complete

$167,671,465

500,106

Fig 2  Data from Definitive Healthcare’s platform on commercial claims data. Top CPT codes are from imaging center reports from CY 2018 and include diagnostic radiology procedures.

In the list of top radiology procedures by volume, diagnostic mammography also took the top spot by total volume with over 2.4 million procedures. Breast tomosynthesis, or a 3-D mammography, is also on the list at number four. Both the second and third spots are taken by chest x-rays, with a combined 4 million procedures. This is unsurprising, as chest x-rays can detect a wide variety of conditions. Some of the most common chest-related conditions include cancer, infections, cystic fibrosis, and other illnesses that impact the heart and lungs.

Radiology subspecialties

There are three primary specialties these physicians fall into: diagnostic radiologists, interventional radiologists, and radiation oncologists. Once a physician refers a patient for radiological testing, a diagnostic radiologist becomes a consultant in deciding on and executing the best course of action for an individual. Diagnostic radiologists are also responsible for performing exams, interpreting the data, and presenting results to other care providers.

Some diagnostic radiologists focus on a subspecialty, including but not limited to:

  • Cardiovascular imaging
  • Emergency radiology
  • Mammography
  • Neuroradiology
  • Pediatric imaging

Interventional radiologists diagnose and treat patients using minimally invasive (laparoscopic), image-guided procedures that target the source of a medical issue. These specialists primarily treat conditions like heart disease, cancer, and stroke, as laparoscopic procedures generally offer less risk and faster patient recovery times. Radiation oncologists oversee care plans for patients with cancer, often with radiation therapy. They also monitor patient progress to ensure the effectiveness of radiation treatments.

Looking for more information on radiology and other outpatient procedures? Definitive Healthcare’s comprehensive platform tracks diagnosis and procedure data on more than 7,700 hospitals and IDNs in the U.S., including all-payor claims data updated every month. Want to learn more? Sign up for a free trial today!

Sign up for a Free Trial

Request A Demo