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Orthopedic Coding Alert

Reader Question:
2-Sided Rib Fracture Patients

Question: Encounter notes indicate that the orthopedist performed open treatment on three rib fractures on the patient’s right side, and six fractures on the patient’s left side. Should I report a single fracture code with modifier 50 (Bilateral procedure), or two different repair codes? Utah Subscriber Answer: In this encounter, using modifier 50 (Bilateral procedure) to separate the repairs isn’t [...]