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So frustrated with Medicare modifiers

  1. Default So frustrated with Medicare modifiers
    Medical Coding Books
    So frustrated I am about to scream! I am studying to take the CPC exam in a week and have been taking the AAPC practice exams. Questions keep coming up with modifiers for anesthesia and Level II HCPCS (I think) such as -AA, GA, QA. I cannot find a complete listing of all modifiers in any of my AAPC approved manuals. I have 2010 CPT Professional Edition, 2010 ICD-9-CM Professional Edition by Carol Buck and 2010 HCPCS Level II professional Edition by Carol Buck. in fact I cannot find these modifiers located anywhere in any of these books. Can anyone help me find a comprehensive listing of modifiers? TIA, Susan

  2. #2
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    Columbia, MO
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    The HCPC II modifiers which are the ones you are have referred to are in the HCPC II book. Most publishers have an appendix either in the front or towards the back of the book that has all of these modifiers and their definition in alpha order.

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

  3. Default
    Thanks for your reply. I've been told this before, but my book does not have that appendix. Do you have a specific page you are referring to? I have the 2010 HCPCS Level II Professional Edition by Carol J Buck, ISPN: 978-1-4377-0211-8. This edition only shows the new/updated codes and modifiers, but no description. No such appendix exists. Is there somewhere online to find this listing?

  4. #4
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    12,844
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    I do not have that edition but I have looked at almost everyone out there. Sometimes it takes me a bit to find it in some books. Just flip through the sections and you should find it. Honestly I have never seen an edition of the book that did not have this list. Your book should have sections by go by the first alpha character in the code. Then at the back you have the appendixs. Just page through slowly. I had a book the other day that I almost swore did not contain the modifiers and was just about to give up when I found it.

    Debra A. Mitchell, MSPH, CPC-H

  5. #5
    Default
    page 84

  6. #6
    Default
    This is going to sound mean and I really do not want you to take it as so.
    You need to calm down.

    Fully 100% of the exam is going to test your ability to understand what you are reading.
    From your question I discern that you are not understanding what is being asked of you in the practice exam.
    You are looking for Medicare Modifiers correct?
    Why would you look in a CPT or ICD-9 book for something specific to Medicare?
    Good luck on the exam, I wish you success.

  7. Default
    I can sympathize with you Susan in trying to find such modifiers; however, I believe you would have had less problems if you get to know your manuals very well. When I was advised to "thoroughly know" our manuals, I took it to heart. I first look at the Contents section, and if in doubt I looked them up anyways. For example, in the Contents page v, under the title HCPCS 2009: Level II National Codes, Introduction (pg) 90, the title includes "National Codes;" so, I went ahead and turned to pg 90 anyways, and the following pgs had the complete modifiers such as AA, -GA and a host of other such modifiers with definitions. You'll soon discover that as you become very familiar with your manuals, eventually, you will agree how you will find coding more "quickly.." Before the exam, just as a reminder, you may want to mark that page. Good luck on your exam.

    J. Garcia
    Last edited by Jessica Garcia; 11-05-2010 at 02:08 PM.

  8. #8
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    How did you do Susan?

  9. #9
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    Well, it's been a while now since I asked how she did.
    I think she may have failed.
    I hope she is not too discouraged.

  10. #10
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    I heard from Susan and she passed!!!
    Congrats

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