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General Surgery Coding Alert

Look Out for Flood of '0' Modifier Indicators

CCI 18.2 changes 'override' option for many surgical codes. New Correct Coding Initiative (CCI) edit pairs that affect your surgical practice aren't the only thing you need to know about in the latest update from CMS. CCI 18.2 also changes the modifier indicator for 532 existing code pairs. \"Unfortunately, 531 went from an indicator of '1' (you can use a modifier) to a '0' (you can't use a modifier),\" states Frank D. Cohen, MPA, MBB, senior analyst with Frank Cohen Group, LLC in his analysis of the changes. And unfortunately for your practice, nearly 250 of those changes to \"0\" involve general surgery procedures. Never Unbundle Enterolysis Freeing intestinal adhesions might be a time-consuming step that your surgeon describes in the op note for some laparoscopic procedures, but don't expect to assign a distinct code for the work. CCI already bundled 44180 (Laparoscopy, surgical, enterolysis [freeing of intestinal adhesion] [separate [...]