Additional modifier changes for 2008

By Mary LeGrand, RN, MA, CCS-P CPC

Last month, we reviewed the changes for modifiers 22, 25, and 76 that went into effect in 2008. This month, we’ll examine the changes for modifiers 51, 58, 59, and 78.

Modifiers are used to indicate that a service or procedure has been altered by some specific circumstance, but has not changed in its definition or code, or to indicate a special circumstance when reporting a service. During the perioperative global period, modifiers are critical to ensuring that the provider receives reimbursement for services that are unrelated to the primary procedure, as well as for staged procedures, multiple procedures, assistant surgeon or co-surgeon services, and evaluation and management (E&M) services. Modifiers may be appended to E&M services, surgical CPT codes, diagnostic tests, laboratory tests, and services from the “Medicine” section of the CPT Manual.

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