tci ED Coding & Reimbursement Alert - 2004 Issue 8

Pose 1 Crucial Question to Negotiate -52 and -53

How to pick the correct modifier for incomplete procedures When your physician stops in the middle of a lumbar puncture, you need to ask this simple question to identify the correct modifier: Why did he abort the procedure? When physicians can't complete a procedure, many emergency department coders are confused about when to use modifier -52 (Reduced services) and when to use modifier -53 (Discontinued procedure). But if you know why the physician decided not to finish the service, you can readily choose the right one.Don't Assume 'Incomplete' Equals 'Modifier' Self-Defense: Before you use one of these modifiers...

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