We announced earlier this year that practice expense reimbursement for ultrasound of extremity codes 76881 and 76882 has changed for 2018. Practice expense for the complete code (76881) has decreased to account for a change in the typical specialty performing the procedure. CMS determined the service is no longer expected to be typically performed using a dedicated ultrasound room or PACS workstation. This decrease in 2018 was the first step in a multi-year decrease in practice expense for this code, which was approved in full by CMS in 2017.
In 2019, practices are expected to see another incremental decrease in reimbursement for this code, and should be prepared for this decrease to gradually expand over the next several years. Your Academy continues to advocate for the specialty and works to prevent additional changes like this in the future.