by Chris Woolstenhulme QCC, CMCS, CPC, CMRS
March 26th, 2018
Modifier 59 should be appended to the “Separate Procedure” per AMA
Per AMA Guidelines, “When a procedure or service that is designated as a “separate procedure” is carried out independently or considered to be unrelated or distinct from other procedures/services provided at that time, it may be reported by itself, or in addition to other procedures/ services by appending modifier 59 to the specific “separate procedure” code to indicate that the procedure is not considered to be a component of another procedure, but is a distinct, independent procedure. This may represent a different session, different procedure or surgery, different site or organ system, separate incision/excision, separate lesion, or separate injury (or area of injury in extensive injuries).”
Modifier 51 indicates: The same procedure performed on different sites; Multiple operations during the same session; or One procedure performed multiple times.