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Modifier Coding Alert

Reader Question:

Think 51 with Multiple Procedures

Question: My surgeon did a fracture reduction and a triangular fibrocartilage (TFCC) repair in the same session. How do I code this and do I need a modifier?

Virginia Subscriber

Answer: You should report 29846 (Arthroscopy, wrist, surgical; excision and/or repair of triangular fibrocartilage and/or joint debridement) and 29847 (Arthroscopy, wrist, surgical; internal fixation for fracture or instability) together in this case, provided you confirm with your payer that they will accept both. 

Tip: Because your surgeon performed more than one procedure during the operative session, you may need to attach modifier 51 (Multiple procedures) to 29846 or 29847 depending upon the extent of the procedure. Consult with your payer to see if you should use modifier 51, however, because many payers, including Medicare, no longer require this modifier. 

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