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Thread: when to use -PT vs. -33

  1. #1

    Default when to use -PT vs. -33

    AAPC: Back to School
    So far I am reading a lot of conflicting answers on this issue. But after reading through it all, this is what my understanding is:

    -PT modifier is to be used specifically for Screening colonoscopies that become therapeutic. (along with the V76.51 listed as the primary dx)

    -33 modifier is to be used for all other preventive services that become therapeutic. Some coders are using it when billing a "screening turned therapeutic" colonoscopy to all the commercial insurance carriers. But that is basically unnecessary, as the commercial carriers know that if the primary dx is V76.51, then the colonoscopy was initially being performed for screening purposes and the patient's deductible should not be applied. So we really don't need to use -33 on our billing at this time.

    Is my understanding correct? Or am I misinterpreting all the information I am reading? Below is one of the many articles I have read on this subject.


  2. #2


    My understanding is that PT is what Medicare wants, 33 is for the other commercial insurance carriers as per the May 2011 AAPC Coding edge.

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