External Ocular Photography

Number: 0734


Aetna considers external ocular photography medically necessary for the following indications to track and serially compare the changes of the condition, where the results may have an impact on management and clinical outcomes:

  • Acid chemical burn of cornea and conjunctival sac
  • Acute inflammation of orbit, unspecified
  • Adherent leucoma
  • Adhesions of iris, unspecified
  • Alkaline chemical burn of cornea and conjunctival sac
  • Anterior dislocation of lens
  • Anterior pigmentation
  • Anterior synechiae
  • Argentous deposits
  • Band-shaped keratopathy
  • Benign neoplasm of conjunctiva
  • Benign neoplasm of cornea
  • Benign neoplasm of eye, part unspecified
  • Benign neoplasm of eyeball, except retina and choroid
  • Benign neoplasm of eyelid, including canthus
  • Benign neoplasm of lacrimal duct
  • Benign neoplasm of lacrimal gland
  • Benign neoplasm of orbit
  • Benign neoplasm of other specified parts of eye
  • Benign neoplasm of skin of other and unspecified parts of face
  • Blisters, with epidermal loss due to burn (second degree) of eye (with other parts of face, head, and neck)
  • Bullous keratopathy
  • Burn of unspecified degree of eye (with other parts of face, head, and neck)
  • Burn with resulting rupture and destruction of eyeball
  • Carcinoma in situ of eye
  • Carcinoma of eyelid, including canthus
  • Central corneal ulcer
  • Central opacity of cornea
  • Chemical burn of eyelids and periocular area
  • Constant exophthalmos
  • Corneal abscess
  • Corneal deformity, unspecified
  • Corneal degeneration, unspecified
  • Corneal deposit, unspecified
  • Corneal dystrophy, unspecified
  • Corneal ectasia
  • Corneal edema due to wearing of contact
  • Corneal edema, unspecified
  • Corneal membrane change, unspecified
  • Corneal neovascularization, unspecified
  • Corneal opacity, unspecified
  • Corneal staphyloma
  • Corneal ulcer, unspecified
  • Deep necrosis of underlying tissues due to burn (deep third degree) of eye (with other parts of face, head, and neck), without mention of loss of body part
  • Deep necrosis of underlying tissues due to burn (deep third degree) of eye (with other parts of face, head, and neck), with loss of a body part
  • Deep vascularization of cornea
  • Degeneration of pupillary margin
  • Degenerative changes of chamber angle
  • Degenerative changes of ciliary body
  • Descematocele
  • Diffuse interstitial keratitis
  • Double pterygium, to follow in lieu of surgery
  • Endothelial corneal dystrophy
  • Erythema due to burn (first degree) of eye (with other parts face, head, and neck)
  • Essential or progressive iris atrophy
  • Exophthalmic ophthalmoplegia
  • Exophthalmos, unspecified
  • Exudative cysts of iris or anterior chamber
  • Folds and rupture of Bowman's membrane
  • Folds in Descemet's membrane
  • Full-thickness skin loss due to burn (third degree NOS) of eye (with other parts of face, head, and neck)
  • Goniosynechiae
  • Granular corneal dystrophy
  • Herpes simplex disciform keratitis
  • Herpes zoster keratoconjunctivitis
  • Hyphema
  • Hypopyon
  • Hypopyon ulcer
  • Idiopathic corneal edema
  • Idiopathic cysts
  • Implantation cysts
  • Interstitial keratitis, unspecified
  • Iridoschisis
  • Juvenile epithelial corneal dystrophy
  • Kayser-Fleischer ring
  • Keratoconus, acute hydrops
  • Keratoconus, stable condition
  • Keratoconus, unspecified
  • Keratomalacia NOS
  • Late effect of other and unspecified external causes
  • Lattice corneal dystrophy
  • Limbal and corneal involvement in vernal conjunctivitis
  • Localized adhesions and strands of conjunctiva
  • Localized vascularization of cornea
  • Macular corneal dystrophy
  • Malignant neoplasm of conjunctiva, unless excision is planned
  • Malignant neoplasm of the cornea, unless excision is planned
  • Marginal corneal ulcer
  • Minor opacity of cornea
  • Miotic cysts of pupillary margin
  • Mooren's ulcer
  • Mycotic corneal ulcer
  • Neurotrophic keratoconjunctivitis
  • Nodular degeneration of cornea
  • Orbital cellulitis
  • Other and unspecified superficial injuries of eye
  • Other anterior corneal dystrophies
  • Other burn of cornea and conjunctival sac
  • Other burns of eyelids and periocular area
  • Other calcareous degeneration of cornea
  • Other corneal degenerations
  • Other deposits associated with metabolic disorders
  • Other disorders of iris and ciliary body
  • Other forms of keratitis
  • Other posterior corneal dystrophies
  • Other stromal corneal dystrophies
  • Pannus (corneal)
  • Perforated corneal ulcer
  • Peripheral degenerations of cornea
  • Peripheral opacity of cornea
  • Peripheral pterygium, progressive, to follow in lieu of surgery
  • Phacolytic glaucoma
  • Phlyctenular keratoconjunctivitis
  • Pigmentary iris degeneration
  • Posterior dislocation of lens
  • Posterior pigmentations
  • Posterior synechiae
  • Pseudopterygium
  • Pterygium, unspecified, to follow in lieu of surgery
  • Ptosis of eyelid
  • Pupillary abnormalities
  • Pupillary membranes
  • Recession of chamber angle
  • Recurrent erosion of cornea
  • Recurrent pterygium, to follow in lieu of surgery
  • Ring corneal ulcer
  • Rubeosis iridis
  • Rupture in Descemet's membrane
  • Sclerosing keratitis
  • Secondary corneal edema
  • Stromal pigmentations
  • Subluxation of lens
  • Superficial injury of conjunctiva
  • Superficial injury of cornea
  • Superficial injury of eyelids and periocular area
  • Symblepharon
  • Thyrotoxic exophthalmos
  • Unspecified burn of eye and adnexa
  • Unspecified corneal disorder
  • Unspecified disorder of iris and ciliary body
  • Unspecified keratitis
  • Vascular anomalies of eyelid.

External ocular photography has no proven value for other indications (e.g., evaluating conjunctival hemorrhage, and monitoring pinguecula).

Aetna considers external ocular photography not medically necessary for the sole purpose of documenting the existence of an ocular condition in order to enhance the medical record.


External ocular photography can be used to document the progress or deterioration of certain conditions of the external structures of the eye including the eyelids, lashes, sclerae, conjunctiva and cornea.  It may also be used to document progress and deterioration of structures of the anterior chamber including the iris, and filtration angle.  These photographs are commonly made using slit lamp photography, goniophotography, stereophotography or close-up photography.  Regardless of the technique used for the picture taking, the pictures may be stored as prints, slides, videotape or digital medium.

External ocular photography is clinically useful for tracking slowly progressive conditions over prolonged periods of time, where it may be impractical to document progression with hand drawings due to the need to document fine detail, especialy where there is a lack of anatomic landmarks.

CPT Codes / HCPCS Codes / ICD-10 Codes
Information in the [brackets] below has been added for clarification purposes.   Codes requiring a 7th character are represented by "+":
ICD-10 codes will become effective as of October 1, 2015:
CPT codes covered if selection criteria are met:
92285 External ocular photography with interpretation and report for documentation of medical progress (e.g., close-up photography, slit lamp photography, goniophotography, stereo-photography)
ICD-10 codes covered if selection criteria are met:
B00.52 Herpesviral keratitis
B02.33 Zoster keratitis
C44.101 - C44.199 Other and unspecified malignant neoplasm of eyelid, including canthus
C69.00 - C69.02 Malignant neoplasm of conjunctiva
C69.10 - C69.12 Malignant neoplasm of cornea
D04.10 - D04.12 Carcinoma in situ of skin of eyelid, including canthus
D09.20 - D09.22 Carcinoma in situ of eye
D23.10 - D23.12 Other benign neoplasm of skin of eyelid, including canthus
D23.30 - D23.39 Other benign neoplasm of skin of other and unspecified parts of face
D31.00 - D31.02 Benign neoplasm of conjunctiva
D31.10 - D31.12 Benign neoplasm of cornea
D31.40 - D31.42 Benign neoplasm of ciliary body
D31.50 - D31.52 Benign neoplasm of lacrimal gland and duct
D31.60 - D31.62 Benign neoplasm of unspecified site of orbit
D31.90 - D31.92 Benign neoplasm of unspecified part of eye
H02.401 - H02.439 Ptosis of eye
H02.871 - H02.879 Vascular anomalies of eyelid
H05.00 Unspecified acute inflammation of orbit
H05.011 - H05.019 Cellulitis of orbit
H05.20 Unspecified exophthalmos
H05.241 - H05.249 Constant exophthalmos
H05.89 Other disorders of orbit [thyrotoxic exophthalmos, exophthalmic ophthalmoplegia]
H11.001 - H11.019 Unspecified and amyloid pterygium of eye
H11.031 - H11.039 Double pterygium of eye
H11.051 - H11.059 Peripheral pterygium of eye, progressive
H11.061 - H11.069 Recurrent pterygium of eye
H11.211 - H11.219 Conjunctival adhesions and strands (localized)
H11.231 - H11.239 Symblepharon
H11.811 - H11.819 Pseudopterygium of conjunctiva
H16.001 - H16.079 Corneal ulcer
H16.231 - H16.239 Neurotrophic keratoconjunctivitis
H16.251 - H16.259 Phlyctenular keratoconjunctivitis
H16.261 - H16.269 Vernal keratoconjunctivitis, with limbal and corneal involvement
H16.301 - H16.309 Unspecified interstitial keratitis
H16.311 - H16.319 Corneal abscess
H16.321 - H16.329 Diffuse interstitial keratitis
H16.331 - H16.339 Sclerosing keratitis
H16.401 - H16.409 Unspecified corneal neovascularization
H16.421 - H16.429 Pannus (corneal)
H16.431 - H16.439 Localized vascularization of cornea
H16.441 - H16.449 Deep vascularization of cornea
H16.8 Other keratitis
H16.9 Unspecified keratitis
H17.00 - H17.9 Corneal scars and opacities
H18.001 - H18.069 Corneal pigmentations and deposits
H18.10 - H18.13 Bullous keratopathy
H18.20 - H18.239 Other and unspecified corneal edema
H18.30 - H18.339 Changes of corneal membranes
H18.40 Unspecified corneal degeneration
H18.421 - H18.429 Band keratopathy
H18.43 Other calcerous degeneration of cornea
H18.441 - H18.449 Keratomalacia
H18.451 - H18.459 Nodular corneal degeneration
H18.461 - H18.469 Peripheral corneal degeneration
H18.49 Other corneal degeneration
H18.50 - H18.59 Hereditary corneal dystrophies
H18.601 - H18.629 Keratoconus
H18.70 - H18.799 Other and unspecified corneal deformities
H18.831 - H18.839 Recurrent erosion of cornea
H18.9 Unspecified disorder of cornea
H20.051 - H20.059 Hypopyon
H21.00 - H21.279
H21.301 - H21.329
H21.40 - H21.529
H21.541 - H21.569
H21.81, H21.89 - H21.9
Other disorders of iris and ciliary body
H27.10 - H27.139 Dislocation of lens
H40.50x0 - H40.53x4 Glaucoma secondary to other eye disorders [Phacolytic glaucoma]
Q10.0 Congenital ptosis
S00.201+ - S00.279+ Other and unspecified superficial injuries of eyelid and periocular area
S05.00x+ - S05.02x+ Injury of conjunctiva and corneal abrasion without foreign body
S05.90x+ - S05.92x+ Unspecified injury of eye and orbit
T26.00x+ - T26.92x+ Burns and corrosion confined to eye and adnexa
ICD-10 codes not covered for indications listed in the CPB (not all-inclusive):
H11.151 - H11.159 Pinguecula
H11.30 - H11.33 Conjunctival hemorrhage

The above policy is based on the following references:
    1. Saine PJ. Tutorial: External ocular photography. J Ophthalmic Photography. 2006;28(1):8-20.
    2. HealthNow UMD. Ocular photography, external. Contractor's Determination No. OP016E00. February 20, 2006.
    3. Farrow A. Clinical ocular photography. Br J Ophthalmol. 2000;84(8):363G.

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