Correct billing procedures for performing an echocardiogram
How do we bill for an echocardiogram when we use your product LUMASON® (sulfur hexafluoride lipid-type A microspheres) for injectable suspension, for intravenous use or intravesical use? We are not a hospital and all information I have found says Level II HCPCS code Q9950 can only be assigned with the Level II C codes for services provided by the hospital.
It is not true that LUMASON Enhancing Agent (Q9950) can only be billed with the C codes for hospitals. In fact, while hospitals should report Level II code Q9950 when they perform an echocardiogram with contrast, they do not get reimbursed separately for the contrast material, at least by Medicare. Non-hospital offices and facilities do however capture reimbursement when billing for Lumason under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. Additionally, Medicare allows you to bill for the discarded amounts with modifier -JW. For example, if you administer 2 mL out of the 5 mL vial, you would bill Q9950 x two units on one line and Q9950-JW x three units on a second line allowing you to capture reimbursement for all five units.
INDICATIONS AND USAGE | IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
LUMASON® (sulfur hexafluoride lipid-type A microspheres) for injectable suspension, for intravenous use or intravesical use
LUMASON® (sulfur hexafluoride lipid-type A microspheres) for injectable suspension, for intravenous use or intravesical use is an ultrasound contrast agent indicated for use:
- in echocardiography to opacify the left ventricular chamber and to improve the delineation of the left ventricular endocardial border in adult and pediatric patients with suboptimal echocardiograms
- in ultrasonography of the liver for characterization of focal liver lesions in adult and pediatric patients
- in ultrasonography of the urinary tract for the evaluation of suspected or known vesicoureteral reflux in pediatric patients
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
WARNING: SERIOUS CARDIOPULMONARY REACTIONS
Serious cardiopulmonary reactions, including fatalities, have occurred uncommonly during or following the injection of ultrasound contrast agents, including sulfur hexafluoride lipid microspheres. Most serious reactions occur within 30 minutes of administration.
- Assess all patients for the presence of any condition that precludes administration
- Always have resuscitation equipment and trained personnel readily available
LUMASON (sulfur hexafluoride lipid-type A microspheres) for injectable suspension, for intravenous use or intravesical use is contraindicated in patients with known or suspected hypersensitivity to sulfur hexafluoride lipid microsphere or its components, such as polyethylene glycol (PEG).
Serious cardiopulmonary reactions, including fatalities, have occurred uncommonly during or shortly following administration of ultrasound contrast agents, including LUMASON. Always have cardiopulmonary resuscitation personnel and equipment readily available prior to LUMASON administration and monitor all patients for acute reactions.
Post-marketing hypersensitivity reactions, including serious hypersensitivity reactions, have been observed during use or shortly following LUMASON administration. These reactions may occur in patients with no history of prior exposure to sulfur hexafluoride lipid-containing microspheres. LUMASON contains PEG. There may be increased risk of serious reactions including death in patients with prior hypersensitivity reaction(s) to PEG.
Systemic embolization may occur in patients with cardiac shunts. Assess patients with cardiac shunts for embolic phenomena following LUMASON administration.
There is a risk of ventricular arrhythmia related to high mechanical index in patients administered LUMASON. LUMASON is not recommended for use at mechanical indices greater than 0.8.
The most common adverse reactions (incidence ≥ 0.5%) are headache (1%) and nausea (0.5%).
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Please click here for full Prescribing Information for LUMASON ultrasound contrast agent, including BOXED WARNING on Serious Cardiopulmonary Reactions.
LUMASON is manufactured for Bracco Diagnostics Inc., Monroe Township, NJ 08831 by Bracco Suisse S.A., Plan-les-Ouates Geneve, Switzerland (LUMASON lyophilized powder vial-25 mg lipid-type A/60.7 sulfur hexafluoride gas); Vetter Pharma-Fertigung GmbH & Co. KG, 88212 Ravensburg, Germany (Sodium Chloride 0.9% Injection, USP); B. Braun Melsungen AG, 34212 Melsungen, Germany (Mini-Spike).
LUMASON is a registered trademark of Bracco Diagnostics Inc.