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Thread: RT/LT or mod -50 ??

  1. #1

    Default RT/LT or mod -50 ??

    AAPC: Back to School
    I took the CPC on 05.17.08, there were several questions using RT/LT or modifier -50. How do you know when to use either of these, which is correct?
    I know you use these when there are two, (legs, arms, breast, ears, eyes,...) but which is the correct one to use?


  2. #2

    Smile RT/LT or modifier 50

    These modifiers are generally payer specific. I would check with the payer to see which one they require. You will also figure it out when your claims get denied. Sometimes you can go out to the payer's website and find all sorts of information on that specific code by typing the code in the search field.

    I hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    They are both correct...just depends on what the insurance carrier requirements are, some carriers want the 50 and some want the rt/lt

  4. #4


    But, on the CPC EXAM, it did not list the insurance companies. The multiple choice questions had a RT and LT or a mod 50 in it, and you picked one.
    Example: (A) 73562-RT, 73562-LT (B) 73562-50
    Which one would be correct on the test. Did any one else have these questions on their exam. I'm in San Antonio, Tx.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    75717 & 80404


    Good morning,

    I work at a Radiology clinic and we are told that it is a unposted rule that you don't use 50 modifier on radiology exams unless the insurance wants it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    I also work in radiology and NEVER use the 50 modifier unless requested by an insurance. Seems that might be a tricky question. If I have bilateral studies I always use the RT and LT which also makes it easier when I have to go back and research if the study was ever performed again when pulling info for a new report on an existing pt.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Paragould, AR


    I code outpatients for a hospital and have always been instructed that if the procedure is done bilaterally and the code description doesn't include bilateral or doesn't include multiple parts of the body (head, neck, extremities) in the description then modifier 50 should be reported. That's how I answered those questions on my CPC-H exam. However, we code everything to meet M'Care requirements.

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