Even small ophthalmology practices are likely to have a Humphrey visual field analyzer, yet many ophthalmologists don’t know the secrets for securing adequate reimbursement for these services — and they even go so far as to put themselves at risk for costly audits due to lack of documentation.
CPT lists three different visual field examinations — and the higher the code, the higher the reimbursement.:
- 92081 — Visual field examination, unilateral or bilateral, with interpretation and report; limited examination (e.g., tangent screen, Autoplot, arc perimeter or single stimulus level automated test, such as Octopus 3 or 7 equivalent)
- 92082 — … intermediate examination (e.g., at least 2 isopters on Goldmann perimeter, or semiquantitative, automated suprathreshold screening program, Humphrey suprathreshold automatic diagnostic test, Octopus program 33)
- 92083 — … extended examination (e.g., Goldmann visual fields with at least 3 isopters plotted and static determination within the central 30 degrees, or quantitative, automated threshold perimetry, Octopus program G-1, 32 or 42, Humphrey visual field analyzer full threshold programs 30-2, 24-2 or 30/60-2).
A common mistake ophthalmologists make is billing 92082 when they could legitimately bill 92083.
The key to choosing the correct VF code is in the code descriptors themselves. For example, if the ophthalmologist plots only two isopters on the Goldmann perimeter, CPT would call that “intermediate,” based on its description of 92082. If you plotted three isopters, however, that would be an “extended” examination that would qualify for 92083.
Rule of thumb: An intermediate test is one of the screening tests that you would use if you suspect neurological damage. But ophthalmologists use the threshold exam (92083) when they suspect something that causes a slow, progressive dimming of peripheral vision, like glaucoma. Glaucoma causes a loss of vision like a light bulb slowly becoming…