Will new CPT codes spark utilization of quantitative MRI?

Efforts to bring quantitative MRI analysis into clinical practice received a boost with the availability of two new Category III Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for brain MRI.

Effective January 1, 2024, the new codes, 0865T and 0866T, support the use of software to analyze brain MRI exams with comparison to prior studies. AI software would qualify under the Category III CPT codes, which are for new and emerging technology:

The timing of the new codes dovetails with advances in neuroimaging, such as in the assessment of white-matter diseases. As AuntMinnie.com has reported, signs of injury to the brain's white matter called white-matter hyperintensities, as seen on brain scans, may be tied more strongly to vascular risk factors, brain shrinkage, and other markers of neurodegeneration. Radiologists, neurologists, and computer scientists interested in the dynamic patterns of white matter and white-matter lesion distribution in the brain may also want to watch what brain imaging analysis is revealing about white-matter hyperintensities in relation to chronic injuries from sports, blast overpressure effects that lead to "warfighter brain," and a wide variety of other brain imaging applications.