Add-on Codes: 3 Tips

Add-on Codes: 3 Tips

1. CPT® add-on codes describe procedures or services that are always provided “in addition to” other, related services or procedures. Add-on codes cannot stand alone as separately reportable services.
2. Add-on codes have no global period assigned. They are instead “included” in the global surgical fee for the primary procedure.
3. Add-on codes are “modifier 51 exempt,” and therefore are to be paid at full fee schedule value. Their assigned value accounts for the “additional” nature of the procedure.

John Verhovshek
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John Verhovshek, MA, CPC, is a contributing editor at AAPC. He has been covering medical coding and billing, healthcare policy, and the business of medicine since 1999. He is an alumnus of York College of Pennsylvania and Clemson University.

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