Mimi had asked for some medical coding help and if we would explain 93015 and that’s the CPT code for a cardio stress test. The background about a stress test is that they do them for various reasons but they’re actually testing the heart.
(Note: Correct code for this video is 93015- and has been replaced in the text versions)
Medical Coding Help — How to Code Cardio Stress Test
Medical Coding for Stress can be Physical or Chemical
So a stress test can be performed in several different ways. The key is to get the heart pumping and accelerate the heart and then graph it to see what its doing. So to create stress on the heart or… in the heart, they’ll use a treadmill, or exercise bike. There’s more than one type of treadmill that’s listed on the CPT code 93015, just in case when you’re reading the case and there’s a specific type of treadmill.
Another way that they can do this is by medication. I’ve actually had this done where they don’t want to physically get you up and work you on an exercise bike. They’re going to administer a medication that will race the heart.
Now when I had this done, they use 93105 because the physician was there and she administered the medication. She supervised the stress test so she stayed, she was right by my side and she interpreted and submitted a report. So that’s what you need… all of those factors have to be involved to use 93015.
When you need medical coding help and you go to 93100, I think those codes in there, each one is specific around 93015. It might be that she supervises but she doesn’t do the interpretation or report or she does the report only.
So just be very specific when you’re looking at 93105 that they did a stress test and it can be a chemical or… the drug-induced stress test or through exercise and that the physician has supervised and did the interpretation and the report, then 93015 applies.
Passed on the first try(!) and that in itself is a testament of how thorough and accessible the resources are at CCO. And I would say that is the best piece of advice I can give to others on this path: Use your resources!
I used the CCO program before my 4th attempt at the CPT test and FINALLY passed it !! I feel like the BHAT™ and Blitz were just what I needed and wish I had heard about them before but am SO thankful one of my coworkers told me about this system. It's such a huge relief to have passed the test and I plan to tell all the new people in our department who have to take the test about this program. Thank you so much.
The [CRC Blitz] info was good and it help me study the areas that was needed Great presentations from Chandra and Alicia.