FAQ - Hydration and radiological studies with IV contrast

on Tuesday, 09 October 2018. All News Items | FAQ


We are doing hydration infusions pre- and post-IV contrast studies (e.g., CT, IVP, etc.) for patients with elevated creatinine levels.  The question was asked whether we should be charging for it.  Can we report hydration infusions in this scenario (CPT codes 96360, 96361)?


The definitive documentation you need is in Coding Clinic for HCPCS, 3Q 2007, pages 6-9.

In that discussion, they say hydration ‘cannot’ be reported in that scenario, with the specific example of a patient with an elevated creatinine receiving IV hydration to prevent damage to the kidneys.

Hydration is incidental to the CT scan, and not separately reportable.

There is a similar Coding Clinic article (4Q 2007, page 6) asking about patients with mitral valve prolapse coming in for an endoscopy, who are given a prophylactic antibiotic. Again, administration of the antibiotic is part of the pre-procedure preparation and should not be reported separately.

Article by Jeff Gordon

Jeff Gordon, RN, MSN, CCA, COC is the Manager of Outpatient Medical Review at Medical Management Plus, Inc. Jeff has over thirty-five years of experience in healthcare including Critical Care, Infection Control, Quality Assurance, Medical Necessity, Outpatient Coding, Medicare Claims data analysis and Medical Record review.

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