Pismo Beach, CA
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I am looking for some guidance for a new Spine Doctor that has recently joined the orthopedic practice I work for. Dr. S is our Spine surgeon and he has been assisting another physician, Dr. Y on some spine surgeries. Dr. Y is a neurosurgeon. I have two questions, the first would be, does my spine Doctor need to dictate his OWN Op report for these surgeries or can we just use Dr. Y's Op report for coding as long as Dr. Y types that "Dr. S was was present and scrubbed during this entire procedure as cosurgeon for the dissection, decompression and instrumentation." Or something along those lines?

Second question is what would be the difference in using the 80 modifiers on these surgery assist vs the modifier 62? Is one more appropriate than the other?

Thank you all for any input you can provide. I truly appreciate it.
Hi, I don't work in Ortho but there is a difference between a surgeon assisting (Mod 80) or performing a co-surgery (mod 62). Sometimes the Dr documents using the term co-surgeon when the other MD is truly acting as an assistant, so you need to clarify what is the situation. If it is a true co -surgery, then each MD needs their own note detailing what distinct part of the procedure they performed. If Dr S was assisting, then a statement such as the one you wrote would be fine - although changing the word cosurgeon to surgeon
I would point out that you need to make certain that each CPT code where you are billing Dr. S as the co-surgeon actually allows for a co-surgeon service to be billed. This of course is assuming that Dr. S truly performing the procedures as a co-surgeon which is properly documented in the OP report.
To add to the above.
Modifier 62 co-surgery requires two separate and distinct op reports by each surgeon and each reports 62.
Modifier 80 assistant-at-surgery or assistant surgeon requires one op report with detail from the primary surgeon describing what the assistant did and who it was. The assistant does not dictate in this case. The assistant claim gets the 80.
Many/most of the spine CPT do allow co-surgery
Some questions that come up when you say new provider recently joined - is the new provider credentialed with payers? This is not a teaching facility?