tci General Surgery Coding Alert - 2003 Issue 7

Reader Questions: You Probably Cant Bill Canceled Surgery

Question: A patient was intubated, and general anesthesia was established. But despite efforts over the next 30-40 minutes, the surgeon did not feel that the patient could be ventilated adequately. The surgery was canceled. The patient was not prepped, and no incision was made. How should we bill this?Tennessee Subscriber  Answer: Most Medicare and some private insurers will not recognize a reduced-service modifier or offer any payment unless the patient has been prepped and an incision started. Check with your individual carrier regarding its policy for canceled surgeries. For carriers that do not have this policy, the...

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