Tips for Add-on Codes

Tips for Add-on Codes

All add-on codes are exempt from the “multiple procedure” concept, per CPT® instructions. As such, you never would append modifier 51 multiple procedures to a designated add-on code. Other important points to remember about add-on codes include:

  • They are denoted in CPT® with a “+” to the left of the code
  • The CPT® code descriptor will include some variation of the phrase, “list separately in addition to code for primary procedure”
  • They always should be used with a “primary” procedure (parent) code
  • They should never be listed as a primary procedure
  • Payment for these services should not be lowered as a multiple-surgery reduction

A complete list of add-on codes may be found in CPT® Appendix D, “Summary of CPT Add-on Codes.

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John Verhovshek

John Verhovshek

John Verhovshek, MA, CPC, is Managing Editor at AAPC. He has covered 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, and a member of the Asheville-Hendersonville AAPC Local Chapter.
John Verhovshek

About Has 404 Posts

John Verhovshek, MA, CPC, is Managing Editor at AAPC. He has covered 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, and a member of the Asheville-Hendersonville AAPC Local Chapter.

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