Modifier 79 is appended to a procedure code to indicate that the service is an unrelated procedure that was performed by the same physician during a post-operative period. Additional information regarding modifier 79 is as follows:
Modifier 79 is an informational modifier.
No additional documentation is required to be submitted with the claim. Supporting documentation must be maintained in the patient's medical record and must substantiate that the surgeries are unrelated.
When appending modifier 79, it is important to keep in mind, that this modifier re-sets the global period. A new post-operative period begins when the unrelated procedure is billed.
To describe an unrelated surgical procedure performed during the post-operative period of the original procedure by the same physician.
When reporting identical procedures that are performed on the same day, by the same physician, but are not the same service on the same anatomical site.
The procedure performed is related to the original surgery or staged (anticipated) surgery.
Placed on procedure codes with XXX, (Global concept does not apply), in the GLOB (global) field of the MPFSDB (Medicare Physician's Fee Schedule Database).
Note: If related to the original procedure, it is considered part of the global period.
Dr. Jones performs cataract surgery on Mrs. Smith's right eye on September 2, 2017 and billed 66982-RT.
Dr. Jones then performed cataract surgery on Mrs. Smith's left eye on October 2, 2017. Since the second cataract surgery was performed within the 90 day post-operative period of the first surgery, Dr. Jones would report 66982-79LT.
The use of modifier 79 on the second surgical procedure would be appropriate because the surgery is unrelated because it was performed on a different eye.