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LT, RT and CPT -50

  1. Red face LT, RT and CPT -50
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    Please help me understand these. What are the differences between -50 and LT/RT (they both seem to be bilateral to me). What am I missing? When is it appropriate to use one over the other? I have to understand before I take my test.
    -Collier

    Last edited by collierdh; 03-06-2010 at 04:31 PM.

  2. #2
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    Technically 50 is to indicate that a unilateral procedure is performed bilateral. RT and LT are anatomic modifers that indicate the right side only or the left side only of a defined bilateral body part or organ. You are suppose to use 50 for bilateral however some carriers prefer double line coding of bilateral using LT on one line and RT on the second line.

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

  3. Default
    Thank you Michelle. have a great day!
    -Collier

  4. Smile mod 50 versus site modifiers RT and LT
    Hi all, here is an Q & A from CPT Coding Assistant, June 2006 Pages: 16-17 concerning use of mod 50 versus site modifiers RT and LT. From a CPT coding perspective, the use of modifier 50, Bilateral procedure, is generally not recommended when bilateral radiology examinations are reported. Rather, the appropriate radiology code is listed twice on the claim form-for example, RT and LT.

    Hope this helps,
    Karen

    Question:

    What is the appropriate code to report for an MRI of the hip? What is the appropriate code to report for a bilateral study?

    AMA Comment:

    The appropriate code to report for an MRI of the hip is CPT code 73721, Magnetic resonance (eg, proton) imaging, any joint of lower extremity; without contrast material, or CPT code 73722, Magnetic resonance (eg, proton) imaging, any joint of lower extremity; with contrast material, contingent upon the use of contrast material.

    From a CPT coding perspective, the use of modifier 50, Bilateral procedure, is generally not recommended when bilateral radiology examinations are reported. Rather, the appropriate radiology code is listed twice on the claim form.

    In addition, third-party payer reporting guidelines may differ. For example, the HCPCS Level II modifiers RT and LT may be required, or other specific reporting policies have been established, such as reporting the code as a one-line entry on the claim form with a "2" in the units field. Therefore, it is always important to verify the specific reporting requirements for bilateral radiological examinations with the respective third-party payers.

    CPT Assistant © Copyright 1990

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