AHA Coding Clinic® for HCPCS - 2019 Issue 4; Ask the Editor

Laterality modifiers and lymph node biopsy codes

Coding Clinic advice from the First Quarter 2018, page 12 newsletter states lymph nodes are not paired organs so laterality modifiers are not appropriate. However, the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) lists bilateral surgery indicator of 1 which indicates modifier 50, Bilateral Procedure, is appropriate. Our question is should laterality modifiers (LT/RT/50) be added to lymph node biopsy CPT code range 38500-38530? ...

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