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IMAGING (Radiology) vs IMAGE GUIDANCE (Radiation Therapy)
Imaging refers to studies performed for diagnostic purposes and require that the physician render an interpretation & report interpreting.
Image guidance (IGRT) is the utilization of images (i.e., port films, ultrasound, cone beam CT, stereoscopic) to better target the radiation dose in the tumor while reducing the radiation exposure to healthy organs. Image guidance leads to improved control of the tumor while simultaneously reducing the potential for acute side effects due to irradiation of healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.
Congress has grouped image guidance procedures with diagnostic imaging, reflected by the packaging of these codes. Image guidance is required in radiation therapy for the safe efficacious treatment of patients. Congress continues to group radiology (diagnostics) with radiation therapy (treatment), and these modalities are not the same and should be treated separately.
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