You are absolutely correct on scenario # 1 and # 2 ... Once they are in the same practice they are considered "the same physician."
For scenario # 3 you would code an E/M only if you were outside the original global period. It would not be a consult if it's the same problem, but rather an established patient visit with decision for surgery. You would use mod -58 or -78 depending on whether the second surgery was previously planned/anticipated or whether it was unplanned return.
Think of this as if the practice had brought in a new physician. Any of the doctors previous patients would still be considered established to him/her AND to anyone else in the practice because the patient had received face-to-face service by the physician or another physician in the same practice of the same specialty within the last 3 years.
Hope that helps.
F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC
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