AAPC - Back to school
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Co-Surgeon coding

  1. #1

    Default Co-Surgeon coding

    AAPC: Back to School
    If a co-surgeon only performs parts of surgery, must I add mod 62 to all of my surgeon's CPTs or only those the co-surgeon assisted with. And what if the co-surgeon only assisted in the opening, do I need to use mod 62 at all?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Tacoma, WA


    Quote Originally Posted by evecox@gmail.com View Post
    If a co-surgeon only performs parts of surgery, must I add mod 62 to all of my surgeon's CPTs or only those the co-surgeon assisted with. And what if the co-surgeon only assisted in the opening, do I need to use mod 62 at all?
    Co-surgery by definition means that two surgeons performed separate parts of the SAME surgical procedure. So they bill the exact same procedure code and append modifier 62 and both dictate an op report for the part of the surgery they performed.

    An assistant surgeon by definition, assists the primary surgeon in completing surgical procedures. The assistant does not dictate an op report, the primary surgeon dictates the report and includes the work of the assistant surgeon in the dictation. In this case the primary surgeon bills the procedure codes, the assistant bills the same codes with the modifier 80 attached.

    If a surgeon only opened, it is not a co-surgery that is an assistant.
    Arlene J. Smith, CPC, CEMC, COBGC
    AAPC Tacoma WA Chapter

    President 2015
    Past-President 2013 and 2011
    President-Elect 2010
    Member Relations 2008
    AAPC NAB 2007-2009

  3. #3


    Thank you very much, I am a newly certified coder and am working as billing manager for a specialty I have no experience in. That was very helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Milwaukee WI

    Default Opening MAY be co-surgery

    Arlene, I respectfully disagree. It all depends on what was done.

    Our general surgeons will typically open (and close) for the Ortho surgeons performing an anterior spinal fusion.

    For illustration purposes let's say it's a thoracic arthrodesis - CPT 22556. BOTH the general surgeon and the Orthopaedic surgeon will bill out CPT 22556 [M62]. ONLY the orthopaedic surgeon will code for insertion of instrumentation ... e.g. CPT 22845.

    (And as for "only opened" ... I did have one case where Gen'l surgeon A opened, but Gen'l surgeon B closed ... they're in the same practice, so we still only coded ONE co-surgery, and per our office protocol it was submitted under the name of G.S. A)

    evecox .... you need to be clear in your post. You ask about co-surgery, but you keep using the term "assist." There is a big difference, as Arlene correctly pointed out.

    Hope that helps.

    F Tessa Bartels, CPC, CEMC

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Portsmouth Virginia


    Do the surgeons need to be of the different specialties?

    If I have two vascular surgeons that perform an EVAR together.

    Can they bill co-surgeon modifier 62?

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-03-2011, 08:42 AM
  2. Colovesical fistula, assistant surgeon, co-surgeon???
    By ksb0211 in forum General Surgery
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-11-2011, 01:44 PM
  3. Surgeon & Assistant surgeon Modifiers????
    By keke74 in forum Outpatient Facilities
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-27-2010, 03:00 PM
  4. Co-surgeon coding help!
    By Pillow1 in forum Cardiovascular Thoracic
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-15-2010, 07:45 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Enjoying Our Forums?

AAPC forums are a benefit of membership. Joining AAPC grants you unlimited access, allowing you to post questions and participate with our community of over 150,000 professionals.

Join Now Continue Reading Without Full Access

Already a Member?


Close Message

In addition to full participation on AAPC forums, as a member you will be able to:

  • Access to the largest healthcare job database in the world.
  • Join over 150,000 members of the healthcare network in the world.
  • Be a part of an industry leading organization that drives the business side of healthcare.
  • Save anywhere from 10%-50% with exclusive member discounts on courses, books, study materials, and conferences.
  • Access to discounts at hundreds of restaurants, travel destinations, retail stores, and service providers. AAPC members also have opportunities to save on heath, life, and liability insurance.
  • Become a member of a local chapter and attend regular meetings.