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Modifier Coding Alert

Reader Question:

Associate a Discontinued Procedure Before Anesthesia to 73

Question: My provider had a 65-year-old male patient in the operating room for the repair of a recurrent inguinal hernia. Before anesthesia could be administered, but soon after the patient was prepped and positioned, the patient complained of chest pain. Cardiac monitoring revealed ST segment changes. The procedure was cancelled. How should I code this?

Virginia Subscriber

Answer: You need to report this discontinued procedure with 49520 (Repair recurrent inguinal hernia, any age; reducible) and append modifier 73 (Discontinued out-patient hospital/ ambulatory surgery center [ASC] procedure prior to the administration of anesthesia). Because the surgeon cancelled the procedure prior to the administration of anesthesia, you need to report the procedure with the modifier.

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