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Thread: Coding for Nurses?

  1. #1

    Default Coding for Nurses?

    AAPC: Back to School
    I have a Registered Nurse that says she is an Assistant Surgeon during surgical procedures. I see coding for doctors and hospital facilities, but have not run across any for nurses. Would the nursing be part of the procedure for the facility or can they bill the insurance for their services as an Assistant Surgeon using modifier 80?

    Is she really a "Surgeon's Assistant" and not an "Assistant Surgeon"?

    Thanks for any help.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default MD or DO

    You have to be a doctor to be a surgeon. Not a nurse! When I use to code for neurosurgeons they would use modifier 80 for MDs and DOs. RN doesn't pose the necessary knowledge and qualifications as the assistant surgeon just because their present in the same room; if RNs were categorized as assistant surgeons I am sure MDs and DOs wouldn’t have worked so hard to get their medical degree.

    But then again in corporate coding anything could go….

  3. #3


    Do note that there are varying levels of education that RN's can achieve beyond their nursing degree. PA's (physician assistant's) quite often assist surgeons and of course have their own provider numbers so that their services can be billed out for reimbursement.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    North Carolina


    Is she a CNS? (clinical nurse specialist) I also work for neurosurgeons and our PA's assist in surgery. These are filed with the AS modifier.


  5. #5


    We have RFNA's that assist during surgery, we also use the AS modifier.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    we use the AS modifier for our PA's and use the 81 modifier for our SA. Of note, some carriers (mostly worker's comp) do not recognize the AS modifier so we use the 81 for them as well. Be sure to check with your carriers regarding their requirements for these claims. I would recommend that you check your Medicare FI to see what types of providers they recognize as well.

    Good Luck
    Last edited by mbort; 08-06-2008 at 11:47 AM. Reason: typo

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Milwaukee WI

    Default Nurse Practioner

    A certified Nurse Practitioner may also (if credentialed) bill as assistant surgeon.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC

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