Results 1 to 7 of 7

Modifier AS vs 80

  1. #1
    Greeley, Colorado
    Default Modifier AS vs 80
    Medical Coding Books
    There is a debate in my office as to whether or not PA's and NP's should use AS or 80. My co-worker is under the impression that AS is only for Medicare...which I disagree. I was taught and still believe that AS is for a non-physician assistant at surgery. If I am wrong, please let me know. If I am correct, does anyone have anything "in writing" that I can present to my co-worker? Thanks all!
    Lisa Bledsoe, CPC, CPMA

  2. #2
    North Carolina
    My area of the world requires AS for non-practioners. The only exception is Medicaid...they do require 80. Below are a couple of our main carriers.

    Medcost=Adjustment for Charges Made by an Assistant Surgeon:
    Charges by credentialed MD assistant surgeons will be limited to 20% of the
    MedCost allowable amount unless your contract states otherwise. Credentialed non-MDs will be limited to 14% of the MedCost allowable amount unless your contract states otherwise. Charges for assistant surgeons are not allowed unless the presence of an assistant surgeon is necessary due to the complexity of the procedure or the condition of the patient. To assure accurate repricing, MedCost requests that all providers file assistant surgeon charges with the full surgeon rate, applying the 80, 81, 82, or AS modifiers. MedCost will determine the allowable expense based on the policy and procedures in place for the modifier and provider of service billed. Please note: MedCost only reprices the claim. The claim administrator makes payment consideration for assistant surgeon charges based on the plan design.

    UHC=Assistant surgeons who are not physicians should submit the identical procedure code(s) as the primary surgeon with the following modifier to represent their service(s):

    Modifier HCPCS Level II Description
    AS Physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or clinical nurse specialist services for assistant at surgery

    BCBS NC=Billing/Coding/Physician Documentation Information
    This policy may apply to the following codes. Inclusion of a code in this section does not guarantee that it
    will be reimbursed. For further information on reimbursement guidelines, please see Administrative Policies
    on the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina web site at They are listed in the Category
    Search on the Medical Policy search page.
    Applicable Codes:
    Co-Surgeon modifiers are -62 or -66.
    Assistant surgeon modifiers are -80,-81, or -82.
    Physician assistant modifier is -AS.
    Rebecca CPC, CPMA, CEMC

    Your click COUNTS...

    CLICK to give FREE mammograms!

  3. #3
    I am not aware of it being Medicare only. We use it for all our carriers when we have a PA assisting in surgery. With Medicare you are supposed to use both the AS and the appropriate 80, 81, or 82 modifier together.

    That is a medicare link but the definition of the AS and 80 modifiers in HCPCS and CPT seem clear enough. The 80 by itself indicates another MD or DO assisted, when you add the AS that clarifies that it was a PA, NP, or CNS.

    That is my understanding, but if someone has information to the contrary I would be interested in seeing it.


    Laura, CPC

  4. #4
    Greeley, Colorado
    Ladies - THANK YOU!
    Lisa Bledsoe, CPC, CPMA

  5. Default AS vs 80
    Claims submitted with modifier AS and without modifier 80, 81 or 82 are returned ... this is an exerpt from a Medicare document.

  6. #6
    North Carolina
    Are you quoting a denial or guideline from your MAC?

    Per Palmetto GBA:

    HCPCS Modifier AS

    Assistant Surgeon (non-physician)
    •Physician assistant, nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist services who participated as an assistant to a surgeon

    CPT Modifier 80
    Assistant Surgeon (Physician)
    •Surgeon who participated as an assistant to a surgeon

    CPT Modifier 81
    Minimum Assistant Surgeon
    •Surgeon who participated as an assistant to a surgeon
    Rebecca CPC, CPMA, CEMC

    Your click COUNTS...

    CLICK to give FREE mammograms!

  7. #7
    Default PA as assistant at surgery; List of CPT codes for AS mod
    I"m reading that info from Palmetto as 80 & 81 say "Surgeon". If our assistant is a PA then I would only use modifier AS. Our PA is not a surgeon.

    Am I correct in this thinking?

    Also, does anyone know of a link to specific procedures that the PA can assist with? I've done search after search and can't seem to locate one.


Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-18-2015, 01:17 PM
  2. Modifier 59 vs Modifier 91 for Laboratory
    By leahrey in forum Modifiers
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-23-2015, 12:01 PM
  3. MODIFIER PT VS MODIFIER 33 Screening Colonoscopy
    By Ann Johnson in forum Modifiers
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-19-2012, 07:08 AM
  4. Modifier 58 versus Modifier 78
    By Ramona03 in forum Medical Coding General Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-04-2012, 12:10 PM
  5. Modifier 51 Versus Modifier 59
    By Sborkowski in forum Modifiers
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-26-2009, 03:59 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Enjoying Our Forums?

AAPC forums are a benefit of membership. Joining AAPC grants you unlimited access, allowing you to post questions and participate with our community of over 150,000 professionals.

Join Now Continue Reading Without Full Access

Already a Member?


Close Message

In addition to full participation on AAPC forums, as a member you will be able to:

  • Access to the largest healthcare job database in the world.
  • Join over 150,000 members of the healthcare network in the world.
  • Be a part of an industry leading organization that drives the business side of healthcare.
  • Save anywhere from 10%-50% with exclusive member discounts on courses, books, study materials, and conferences.
  • Access to discounts at hundreds of restaurants, travel destinations, retail stores, and service providers. AAPC members also have opportunities to save on heath, life, and liability insurance.
  • Become a member of a local chapter and attend regular meetings.