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Thread: Assistant Surgeon

  1. #91

    Question Co-surgeon and Assistant Surgeon

    AAPC: Back to School
    Can anyone tell me where I can find a reference citing that only 2 providers can be paid for a given CPT. Example: 2 co-surgeons bill for 22558. The a 3rd provider , that is a physician assistant also bills for 22558. My understanding is that only 2 providers can be paid for a given CPT. Not sure where this refence can be found. Medicare, CPT, AMA.

  2. #92

    Default Co-Surgeon and Assistant Surgeon

    I too am having issues with surgeons only putting "Assistant Surgeon: Dr. Blah" and thinking this is enough to justify them getting credit for wRVUs. Even from a medico-legal standpoint, shouldn't each physician state exactly what they did? I mean if Dr. A does a C-section but Dr. B put in the sutures and the patient develops some infection in the incision, wouldn't they want to know who put the sutures in? This seems like a no-brainer to me. I think they should have to establish medical necessity for their presence even if it's one of the procedures that is already approved to have an assistant surgeon. At a minimum the primary surgeon should have to dictate in his note why Dr. B was needed and exactly what he did as an assistant.

    When I told the hospital administrators that assistant surgeons are only reimbursed 16% of the Medicare allowable and suggested their wRVU should reflect this as well, the response from the surgeons was "well then I just won't scrub in on those cases anymore". So tell me, how medically necessary was it that they be there in the first place.

  3. #93


    Hi. Can I also get a copy of this article from the Coding Edge from January 2008. page 38, as well as General Surgery Coder's Pink Sheet July 2007, Vol. 6, No. 7 pages 4 - 5. The link for the coding edge archives is not taking me there. I would appreciate if someone can e-mail me a copy : rustig06@yahoo.com.

    Appreciate any lead. Regards,

    Jennifer A.

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