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Patient deceased post surgery


Best answers
One of my orthopedic surgeons performed a complex revision hip replacement. Three days later the patient deceased due to heart complications. My doc is thinking the surgery should be billed with a modifier to indicate reduced services; his thinking is that there was only 3 days post-op care. Has anyone encountered a similar situation? Any guidance would be appreciated.


True Blue
Nashville AAPC Chapter
Best answers
In this situation, tragic as it is, the empathy of the physician is appreciated. But reduced services is more for intraoperative situations when the surgery can't be completed. Although he technically only performed the preop and the intraop, it would not be correct coding to fracture out the postop portion of care.

What if that patient went to another physician for all of the postop care without telling the surgeon? He would still be correct in billing for the full service.