Friday, August 26, 2016

Evaluation and Management Service Resulting in the Initial Decision to Perform Surgery

Evaluation and management services on the day before major surgery or on the day of major surgery that result in the initial decision to perform the surgery are not included in the global surgery payment for the major surgery and, therefore, may be billed and paid separately.

In addition to the CPT evaluation and management code, modifier “-57” (decision for surgery) is used to identify a visit which results in the initial decision to perform surgery. (Modifier “-QI” was used for dates of service prior to January 1, 1994.)

If evaluation and management services occur on the day of surgery, the physician bills using modifier “-57,” not “-25.” The “-57” modifier is not used with minor surgeries because the global period for minor surgeries does not include the day prior to the surgery. Moreover, where the decision to perform the minor procedure is typically done immediately before the service, it is considered a routine preoperative service and a visit or consultation is not billed in addition to the procedure.

Return Trips to the Operating Room During the Postoperative Period

When treatment for complications requires a return trip to the operating room, physicians must bill the CPT code that describes the procedure(s) performed during the return trip. If no such code exists, use the unspecified procedure code in the correct series, i.e., 47999 or 64999. The procedure code for the original surgery is not used except when the identical procedure is repeated.

In addition to the CPT code, physicians use CPT modifier “-78” for these return trips (return to the operating room for a related procedure during a postoperative period.)
The physician may also need to indicate that another procedure was performed during the postoperative period of the initial procedure. When this subsequent procedure is related to the first procedure and requires the use of the operating room, this circumstance may be reported by adding the modifier “-78” to the related procedure.

NOTE: The CPT definition for this modifier does not limit its use to treatment for complications.

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