I talked with a more experienced coder who suggested the following:
I believe these codes make more sense that the ones I chose originally. After a lot of discussion, we believe that both procedures were done during the same surgical session since the surgeon was closing the skin at the time the patient crashed, the patient was still in the OR and still under anesthesia, therefore the -78 modifier would not apply to this situation.
We also believe that the lysis of adhesions was an integral part of the procedure because it needed to be done to get to the mammary artery that was used for the arterial graft and therefore is inherent to the surgery. It was not done for a separate reason.
We will submit a letter with this claim along with the op report to explain and show all of the extenuating circumstances that were involved in this unique case that support the use of the 22 modifier.
If anyone has a different perspective, please share your thoughts.....
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