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Need help coding an "exposure" for back surgery

  1. Default Need help coding an "exposure" for back surgery
    Medical Coding Books
    I am billing for the general surgeon, who is doing a retroperitoneal exposure for the orthopedic surgeon and then the general surgeon stays and assists during the entire surgery. Can I bill the exposure with 49010-62 and then the surgical CPT codes with -80? Would that be correct? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Milwaukee WI
    Default CO-Surgeons
    You would NOT code the exposure separately.

    BOTH surgeons will be using the code for the back surgery (I'm assuming arthrodesis of some kind) with a -62 modifier (co-surgeon). Each surgeon will dictate his/her own operative note indicating what s/he actually did.

    If the general surgeon is truly staying to assist for all the rest, s/he might also be coding the spinal instrumentation codes with the -62 modifier. (Our general surgeons will open and close for the orthopaedic or neuro surgeon performing the arthrodesis and instrumentation; but the general surgeon doesn't stay to assist with everything, so we only code the arthrodesis for the general surgeon.)

    Be sure to check to see if the -62 modifier is allowed on all the codes. You'll need to coordinate with the other surgeon's coding staff to ensure that the same exact codes are used by each surgeon.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CPC-E/M

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