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Thread: Help with use of 51 Modifier

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Daytona Beach, FL

    Exclamation Help with use of 51 Modifier

    AAPC: Back to School
    I have a question about the use of modifier 51. My ENT performed sinus surgeries as listed below. Would I need to bill these with the 51 modifier? Or would 59 be used? Can anyone explain an easy way to figure out if and when you use the 59 and/or the 51 modifier?

    30520, 31276-50, 30140-50, 31255-50, 31267-50

    Thanks for the help.

    Jodi Dibble, CPC

  2. #2

    Default Modifier 51?

    I am not sure if this helps you or not, but I thought I would try. And, if I am wrong please correct me.

    Modifier -51:

    Typically same approach
    Same operation, different site
    Mulitple operation, same operative session
    Procedure performed multiple times

    Jamie De-Ann

  3. #3

    Default Modifier 59?

    Sorry, here is the rest of my post.

    Modifier -59:

    Independent or Distinct
    Different session-or-patient encounter
    Different procediure-or-surgery
    Different site or organ
    Seperate incision/excision
    Seperate lesion; or seperate injury-or-area of injury in extensive surgery

    Hope this helps. If it is what you already know...sorry.

    Jamie De-Ann

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Daytona Beach, FL



    Thanks. This does help. I thought it was -51, but then I always get confused as to when to apply the -59. Your descriptions are really great!


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