Coding tip: Claims processed with Modifier 79 should be reported by the same health care professional
Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) specifically states modifier 79 should be reported by the same individual when reporting unrelated procedures or services during the postoperative period. For example, this modifier is used when a patient presents with a problem that is unrelated to a previous surgery (yet within the postoperative period) and requires additional services by the same provider/individual. When modifier 79 is appended for a different provider (e.g. Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant) during the postoperative period the claim line will deny.
- In addition to modifier 79, modifiers 58 and 78 are also based on Same Physician or Other Qualified Health Care Professional as documented below:
- 58 – Staged/Related Procedure/Service by the Same Physician/Other Qualified Health Care Professional during the Postoperative Period.
- 78 – Unplanned Procedure/Service by Same Physician/Other Qualified Health Care Professional Following Initial Procedure for a Related Procedure during the Postoperative Period.
December 2018 Anthem Blue Cross Provider Newsletter - California