In the last week of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is never too late to review codes for alternative testing and imaging for breast cancer!

For the people with a breast cancer diagnosis or for those with a high risk of breast cancer, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will most likely be ordered. An MRI can provide clearer 3D images of the breast, which can be used to screen for breast cancer who are at a higher risk of the disease or assess the extent of the cancer for those who have been diagnosed.

CPT® CodeDescriptor
77046Magnetic resonance imaging, breast, without contrast material; unilateral
77047Magnetic resonance imaging, breast, without contrast material; bilateral
77048Magnetic resonance imaging, breast, without and with contrast material(s), including computer-aided detection (CAD real-time lesion detection, characterization and pharmacokinetic analysis), when performed; unilateral
77049Magnetic resonance imaging, breast, without and with contrast material(s), including computer-aided detection (CAD real-time lesion detection, characterization and pharmacokinetic analysis), when performed; bilateral

Codes 77046 and 77047 are reported for breast MRI without contrast. Codes 77048 and 77049 are reported for an MRI with computer-aided detection (CAD) which can help radiologists identify abnormalities on breast MRI.

Contrast-enhanced digital mammography (CEDM) could also be ordered. A CEDM is a type of mammogram that uses iodinated contrast dye. This dye makes it easier to find new blood vessels that develop when cancers grow. CEDMs find breast cancers that cannot be seen on regular mammograms, especially with dense breasts. CEDMs are less expensive than MRIs and could also have a lower false-positive rate than breast MRIs.

CPT® and/or HCPCS CodesDescriptor
96374Therapeutic, prophylactic, or diagnostic injection (specify substance or drug); intravenous push, single or initial substance/drug
76499Unlisted diagnostic radiographic procedure
Q9967Low osmolar contrast material, 300-399 mg/ml iodine concentration, per ml