Autonomic Nervous System Testing CPT Code Problems
ANS testing today
The world of autonomic nervous system testing has been under increasing scrutiny in recent years despite being in existence since the early nineteenth century. The added attention may be due to the significant increase in billable claims from physicians nationwide for automated autonomic nervous system testing or ANS testing.
These increase of claims are not only coming from Neurologists and Cardiologist, but in fact from physicians whose taxonomy and specialty fall squarely outside the realm of being able to properly determine and interpret ANS data and information. General practitioners, family practice, internal medicine among many others join the ranks of those who are now utilizing and billing all in one comprehensive ANS testing platforms.
What do Automated ANS Systems do?
But according to the American Academy of Neurology (AAON), automated testing of ANS systems, in which software generates a report based interpretation of the patient is not yet validated. Most of these automated tests are attempting to evaluate the heart rates response to breathing, Valsalva maneuver, and blood pressure of standing up.
But these data points are considered mostly frivolous, as they measure heart rate response like a snap shot, not a continuous flow. The American Academy of Neurology states it this way, “Many devices are severely limited in the validity of the data they generate because they do not measure or control for expiratory pressure or include beat-to-beat blood pressure measurement, both of which are requirements, not only for scientifically accurate assessment, but also for billing of autonomic testing” (Variations in Methods of Testing P.2)
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