Forum - Questions & Answers

Aug 2nd, 2010 - pambuskey

modifiers 77 and 59

I am having such a hard time digesting when to use each one. I am coding diagnostic radiology and use these often.

Is there an easy way to remember when to use 59 especially? I think u use it when say a one view chest xray and a two view has been done on same day. the 59 is used on the lower code?

any help is appreciated

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Aug 10th, 2010 - jschmutz   323 

59 versus 79

A 59 modifier is used when two different exams that are normally bundled are done on the same day.

For example, a 2 view chest includes a 1 view chest so you wouldn't separately report the 1 view chest unless it was done during a different encounter then the 2view chest.

i.e. patient presented with a cough and a 2view chest was performed. A couple hours later the patient started getting a fever and worsening cough so they did a 1 view.
This would be reported as 71020 and 71010-59. The 59 modifier goes on the component code.

The 79 modifier is for surgical CPT® codes, not diagnostic procedures.

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