Modifier 78 is used to report an unplanned return to the operating or procedure room, by the same physician, following an initial procedure for a related procedure during the post-operative period.
To identify a related procedure (that has 10 or 90 global surgery period) requiring a return trip to the operating room within the postoperative period of a major or minor surgery.
To treat the patient for complications resulting from the original surgery
When the procedure code used to describe a service for a treatment of complications is the same as the procedure code used in the original procedure.
On any procedure code that does not have global period of 0010 or 0090.
When surgery is unrelated to the original procedure.
On procedures performed in any place other than the operating room.
An operating room (OR) is defined as a place of service specifically equipped and staffed for the sole purpose of performing procedures. The term includes a cardiac catheterization suite, a laser suite, and an endoscopy suite. It does not include a patient’s room, a minor treatment room, a recovery room, or an intensive care unit (unless the patient’s condition was so critical there would be insufficient time for transportation to the OR).
Modifier 78 allows for the intraoperative percentage only of major or minor procedures (010 or 090 global periods).
A new postoperative period does not begin when using modifier 78.
Medicare allows codes with global surgery indicators of XXX and ZZZ in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Database separately without modifier 78.