In my experience, you do not to need to agonize over this as much as you are. The dollar figure that you have associated with a CPT code is fictitious, and the insurance carriers pay what they pay. Bilateral procedures pay 1.5 times. Different carriers want to see bilateral procedures differently. -50 (try this first), -LT/-RT (try this second), -LT/-50-RT, x2 units, or a number of other variations. If you do not get paid properly, make the phone call. If you get denied, make the phone call. When you determine how to properly bill for a particular carrier, make a note of it, and always bill that way. Learn by trial and error.
Richard Mann, your pain coder
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