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Thread: Two general surgeons performing spinal access

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Lehigh Valley

    Default Two general surgeons performing spinal access

    AAPC: Back to School
    Good morning!

    My docs were involved in a cosurgery for spinal access so that the orthopedic could perform ALIF. My one surgeon did the opening, however, my other surgeon came in to do the closure. He dictated a separate report concerning this. Is this billable???? The two docs are of the same group and normally, one of my docs would do the opening and closure of the spinal access.

    I am thinking it is not, but would appreciate other opinions.

    Thanks in advance for your help!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Milwaukee WI

    Default We had the same thing happen

    We had the same thing happen recently. Very complicated case that went on for hours involving Ortho, Neuro, and TWO general surgeons - one to open, and one to close.

    What we wound up doing was coding Gen Surg A (who opened) with a -66 (team surgery) AND -52 modifier; ditto for Gen Surg B (who closed 13 hours later).

    We haven't gotten this back from insurance yet, but are sure we'll be asked for notes and we will explain the extraordinary circumstances.

    At the very least, since both general surgeons are in the same practice, you could code under just one name with the -62 modifier (and you would normally do), and then handle the "split" of fee on the back end.

    Hope that helps.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Lehigh Valley


    Thanks Tessa for responding.

    I did end up billing for the one surgeon with a 62 modifier and will be giving credit for the other surgeon who closed, just like you mentioned.


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