Temporary external fixator during IM nailing tibia

Ccgerson

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Can I charge 20690 for placement of an ex-fix, which was removed at the end of the surgery? My co-worker says no, since it's part of the reduction. However, the work is the same, regardless of when the ex-fix is applied or removed. Do I charge for ex-fix or just add modifier 22?

"Right tibia closed reduction and intramedullary fixation, placement of and removal of a temporary external fixator frame on the right tibia.
Fracture pattern did require placement of an external fixator in order to proceed with intramedullary nailing."

Thank you!
Cindy
 
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