Many NCCI PTP edits are based on the standards of medical/surgical practice. Services that are integral to another service are component parts of the more comprehensive service. When integral component services have their own HCPCS/CPT codes, NCCI PTP edits place the comprehensive service in column one and the component service in column two. Since a component service integral to a comprehensive service is not separately reportable, the column two code is not separately reportable with the column one code.
Some services are integral to large numbers of procedures. Other services are integral to a more limited number of procedures.
Examples of services integral to a large number of procedures include:
- Cleansing, shaving and prepping of skin
- Draping and positioning of patient
- Insertion of intravenous access for medication administration
- Insertion of urinary catheter
- Sedative administration by the physician performing
a procedure (see Chapter II, Anesthesia Services)
- Local, topical or regional anesthesia administered by the physician performing the procedure
- Surgical approach including identification of anatomical landmarks, incision, evaluation of the surgical field, debridement of traumatized tissue, lysis of adhesions, and isolation of structures limiting access to the surgical field such as bone, blood vessels, nerve, and muscles including stimulation for identification or monitoring
- Surgical cultures
- Wound irrigation
- Insertion and removal of drains, suction devices, and pumps into same site
- Surgical closure and dressings
- Application, management, and removal of postoperative dressings and analgesic devices (peri-incisional)
- Application of TENS unit
- Institution of Patient Controlled Anesthesia
- Preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative documentation, including photographs, drawings, dictation, or transcription as necessary to document the services provided
- Surgical supplies, except for specific situations where CMS policy permits separate payment
CPT book, - separate Procedure -CPT “Separate Procedure” Definition
If a CPT code descriptor includes the term “separate procedure”, the CPT code may not be reported separately with a related procedure. CMS interprets this designation to prohibit the separate reporting of a “separate procedure” when performed with another procedure in an anatomically related region often through the same skin incision, orifice, or surgical approach.
A CPT code with the “separate procedure” designation may be reported with another procedure if it is performed at a separate patient encounter on the same date of service or at the same patient encounter in an anatomically unrelated area often through a separate skin incision, orifice, or surgical approach. Modifier 59 or a more specific modifier (e.g., anatomic modifier) may be appended to the “separate procedure” CPT code to indicate that it qualifies as a separately reportable service.
Separate Procedure Some of the procedures or services listed in the CPT codebook that are commonly carried out as an integral component of a total service or procedure have been identified by the inclusion of the term “separate procedure.” The codes designated as “separate procedure” should not be reported in addition to the code for the total procedure or service of which it is considered an integral component. However, when a procedure or service that is designated as a “separate procedure” is carried out independently or considered to be unrelated or distinct from other procedures/services provided at that time, it may be reported by itself, or in addition to other procedures/ services by appending modifier 59 to the specific “separate procedure” code to indicate that the procedure is not considered to be a component of another procedure, but is a distinct, independent procedure. This may represent a different session, different procedure or surgery, different site or organ system, separate incision/ excision, separate lesion, or separate injury (or area of injury in extensive injuries).