The global period applies ONLY to the surgeon who performed the procedure (or colleagues in the same practice and same specialty).
The patient's PCP is not subject to the global period and can bill for E/M services or procedures performed.
HOWEVER ... the patient should have received instructions following surgery that if there were any problems with infection, pain, etc to see the surgeon immediately. The surgeon's fee for the knee replacement included such postoperative care.
Hope that helps.
F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC
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