I believe there's some confusion over the use of this code. It is standard for manipulation to go on before a surgery. Sometimes this occurs so the treating physician can have a better idea of possible surgical interventions. However, there are occasions that it becomes medically necessary to perform the manipulation after the surgery is complete, or to address a specific problem that cannot be repaired arthroscopically or via an open approach.
This 23700 code is to be coded with Modifier -59 when it is medically necessary (based on a particular purpose, other than diagnostic that relates in surgical intervention) to be performed separately and distinctly from the arthroscopic surgery (or other services).
Unless I have missed something from Federal sources, the instance(s) mentioned above would be the only appropriate time to append Modifier -59, expect and bill for reimbursement. Otherwise, this is unbundling.
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