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Fx Billed with New Patient visit?

  1. #1
    Default Fx Billed with New Patient visit?
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    Hello all,
    I need some opinions from my fellow coders out there.
    I wasn't sure whether to put this question in the "Modifiers" thread, or here.

    I'd like to know if anyone has heard of using a 57 modifier on a New Patient (or Consult) E&M when billing with a fracture care code.
    It was my understanding that fracture care includes the office visit, and therefore you wouldn not bill it separately- which would be unbundling.

    At my job, I'm being told to send in corrected claims on New Pt & Consult E&M's which include a 57 modifier to indicate the decision to treat was made at that visit, along with billing for a fx code on the same claim.
    Now....as the CPT defines the 57 modifer....it says "Decision for Surgery" not "Decision to treat fracture"....but the logic of my superiors seems to be that since a fx is considered a 90 day global service, that you can use the 57 mod in the same way as you would an actual surgery.

    What do my fellow coders out there think?
    I tend to take what the CPT says literally....

    Any advice you can give would be most helpful,
    Thank you!

    Amy B, CPC

  2. Default
    Quote Originally Posted by abazcoder View Post
    Hello all,
    I need some opinions from my fellow coders out there.
    I wasn't sure whether to put this question in the "Modifiers" thread, or here.

    I'd like to know if anyone has heard of using a 57 modifier on a New Patient (or Consult) E&M when billing with a fracture care code.
    It was my understanding that fracture care includes the office visit, and therefore you wouldn not bill it separately- which would be unbundling.

    At my job, I'm being told to send in corrected claims on New Pt & Consult E&M's which include a 57 modifier to indicate the decision to treat was made at that visit, along with billing for a fx code on the same claim.
    Now....as the CPT defines the 57 modifer....it says "Decision for Surgery" not "Decision to treat fracture"....but the logic of my superiors seems to be that since a fx is considered a 90 day global service, that you can use the 57 mod in the same way as you would an actual surgery.

    What do my fellow coders out there think?
    I tend to take what the CPT says literally....

    Any advice you can give would be most helpful,
    Thank you!

    Amy B, CPC
    Hello,
    Yes, I would definetly bill an E&M with the 57 modifier with fracture care code because the fx care carries a 90 day global which is considered a major procedure so that would get a 57 modifier. If it had a 0 or 10 day global period, (which I don't think any fx care carries), then I would use a 25 modifier on the E&M because that is considered a minor procedure.

  3. #3
    Default
    I'm with you on this one Amy, the E/M is included in the Fx care.

    The patients obviously have a broken bone or they wouldn't be coming to the provider so its not like he discovered the problem during the visit and then decided to treat it. In that case I would think the 25 modifier on the E/M would be more appropriate than a 57. 57 is decision for surgery, not decision to do something that has a global period.

    Now if he did decide to do surgery, yes code the new patient visit with the 57 if surgery is going to be done with in 24hrs of the visit. I would steer clear of consults for Fx, I can't imagine a scenario where a patient with a fx would be sent to Ortho for an opinion on how the primary should treat the fx.

    Just my opinion,


    Laura, CPC, CEMC

  4. #4
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    I agree with Laura. Just because a code is in the Surgery section of CPT does not mean it is actual surgery. If however the patient were taken to the OR for treatment then modifier -57 on an E/M would be appropriate. As Laura said, steer clear of those consult codes. This would obviously be a transfer of care.
    Lisa Bledsoe, CPC, CPMA

  5. Default
    Here is the article from Orthopaedic Custom Coder's Pink Sheet where it tells all about billing E&M's with fracture care.


    Subject AAOS revises coding manual to OK E/M with fracture care
    Source Coder Pink Sheets: Orthopedic
    Publication Orthopedic Coder's Pink Sheet, April 2008, Vol. 9, No. 4
    Effective Date Apr 1, 2008
    Publish Date Apr 1, 2008


    The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has made it official: You can appropriately bill separately for an E/M visit the same day as a fracture care procedure, as long as that visit is documented to be when the decision for surgery took place.

    The academy confirmed this by adding the following language to the AAOS CPT Coding for Orthopaedic Surgery 2008 manual:"..if a patient is seen for the first time, or an established patient is seen for a new problem and the ‘decision for surgery' is made the day of the procedure or the day before the procedure is performed, then the surgeon can report both the procedure code and an E&M code, using a 57 modifier or 25 modifier (payor specific) on the E&M code. The E&M service must meet the documentation guidelines for the level of service reported."

    In addition, the AAOS manual now states that the E/M service is separately reportable "whether a surgical procedure is performed in the operating room or the patient undergoes a ‘closed treatment' with or without manipulation in a non-facility setting (e.g. office or emergency department)."

    Separately, the American Medical Association confirmed that if the E/M service is supported (ie, it meets the required key components/counseling) it could be reported.

    The following example was supplied to both AAOS and CPT/AMA: "Patient presents to office with nondisplaced Colles fracture. Provider does an expanded-focus history and examination and determines it needs closed treatment without manipulation and a cast is applied."

    Both AMA and AAOS confirmed that it would be appropriate in this case for the provider to report 99202-57 or 99213-57 along with 25600, since the initial decision was made during the visit to provide a global service.

    You'll want to remind your physicians to make sure to fully document the E/M visit, in order to support billing the E/M code.

    In addition, AAOS reminds physicians of what is included in the global package:

    "Under the global service concept, approximately 10% of a physician's reimbursement for a CPT musculoskeletal procedural service is for the preoperative evaluation and management service(s) performed the day of or day before the procedure, approximately 69% covers the procedural service and the remaining 21% covers the postoperative care, usually 90 days for a "major" procedure."

    E/M code gets the 57 modifier: For the most part, the fracture treatment codes have 90-day global periods attached to them, regardless of whether it's an open or closed treatment, with or without manipulation. For Medicare, that means you'll need to attach a 57 modifier to the E/M code to get it paid, since these are considered ‘major surgery' codes.

    The AMA CPT panel confirms that you should attach the 57: "An E/M service that resulted in the initial decision to perform a surgery may be identified by adding modifier 57, decision for surgery, to the appropriate level of E/M service. Depending on payer guidelines, and the payment policy for global surgery, modifier 57 may or may not affect payment." (CPT Assistant, Dec. 2004).

    On the private payer side, if the insurance company recognizes the 57 modifier, it will generally allow separate pay for the E/M service where the initial decision for surgery was made. Pre-operative visits subsequent to that initial decision are generally included in the global surgery package. But be aware that payer policies vary for this modifier.

    CMS confirms that for Medicare the E/M service where the decision for major surgery is made is always separately billable, too. In its Claims Processing Manual (100-04, Chapter 12, Section 40) CMS states that the following is not included in the global surgery package and is not separately billable: "The initial consultation or evaluation of the problem by the surgeon to determine the need for surgery. Please note that this policy only applies to major surgical procedures."

    AMA on E/M with fracture care and use of modifier 57

    The following clinical example, from the February 1996 CPT Assistant, illustrates the correct billing of an E/M code with fracture care:

    "Patient C presents to the emergency department after falling and fracturing his tibia. The emergency department physician calls an orthopaedic surgeon for a consultation. The orthopaedic physician evaluates the patient and performs a closed reduction of the tibia and applies a long leg cast.

    "In coding this example, it is important to consider that the orthopaedic physician provided a restorative treatment and is responsible for subsequent fracture care, under the surgical package. Therefore, he/she reports the E/M consultation code, provided that the key components have been met, and code 27752 for the closed reduction of the tibia. The cast application cannot be reported separately because the services described in code 27752 includes the first cast."

    Also, here is the AMA position on use of modifier 57 (Decision for surgery), from the May 1997 CPT Assistant:

    Modifier -57, Decision for Surgery

    "An evaluation and management service that resulted in the initial decision to perform the surgery, may be identified by adding the modifier ‘-57' to the appropriate level of E/M service. Modifier -57 provides a means of identifying the E/M service that results in the initial decision to perform the surgery."

    Illustration of Modifier -57

    "A physician is consulted to determine if surgery is necessary for a patient with abdominal pain. The physician services meet the criteria necessary to report a consultation (ie, documents findings, communicates with the requesting physician). The requesting physician agrees with the consultant's findings and requests that the consultant take over the case and discuss his findings with the patient."

    Resource:

    To download Chap. 12 of the Medicare Claims Processing Manual, visit: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/manuals/downloads/clm104c12.pdf

    The information contained herein was current as of the publication date. © Copyright DecisionHealth, all rights reserved. Electronic or print redistribution without prior written permission of DecisionHealth is strictly prohibited by federal copyright law.
    Last edited by Bella Cullen; 08-19-2009 at 09:38 AM. Reason: it wouldn't bring up the article from the link so i copied and pasted it.

  6. #6
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    There are many different opinions on this subject. Mine personally is, YES you should bill for fracture care.

    Here are a few more articles that support this:

    http://www.aaos.org/news/aaosnow/jul08/managing2.asp

    http://www2.aaos.org/aaos/archives/b.../jun02/cod.htm
    Mary, CPC, CANPC, COSC

  7. #7
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    I completely agree with the E/M and 57 for surgery.

    When I checked with my payers they will not allow and E/M with fracture care.

    When I look at documentation from my orthos they can't support an E/M with fracture care. Especially on new patients.

    AAOS can say whatever they want but if the payers won't pay it you are just inflating your write offs.

    I would suggest checking with your payers and see what they say.

    Laura, CPC, CEMC

  8. #8
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    I've been doing ortho for about 18 years now, on very rare occasions do I find that the documentation does not support the use of an E/M code with fracture care. If I find it, which I have, I go back to the doc and request an addendum/late entry. We do not have any problems with our carriers when it comes to reimbursement. Documentation is sent in upon request from the carrier.

    Since AAOS is the speciality society for Orthopedics, the articles posted also work VERY well if an appeal is warranted.

    My two cents
    Mary, CPC, CANPC, COSC

  9. #9
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    "I find that the documentation does not support the use of an E/M code with fracture care. If I find it, which I have, I go back to the doc and request an addendum/late entry. "

    So instead of billing based on documentation you have them fix the documentation to support the billing?

    I strongly disagree with this and really don't know what else to say at this point.

    Laura, CPC, CEMC

  10. #10
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    If I have a superbill thats marked with an E/M and fracture care, and I dont feel the E/M supports the level of service, then yes, I take it to the doc and tell him he needs to support what he marked. If he wants to charge a level 3 visit, then its our responsiblity to make sure that the documentation supports it. Same concept. Its no different than an actual operative note that you need to query due to lack of information and have to request the same.
    Mary, CPC, CANPC, COSC

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