Add-On Codes

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April 18, 2013

Question:

I am new to general surgery coding. I see that the placement of mesh for an incisional or ventral hernia has a “+” sign and a statement to “list in addition to the primary procedure.” What is an add-on code?

Answer:

An Add-on code describes additional intra-operative work typically related to a specific procedure or range of CPT code codes. Add-on codes are not stand-alone codes and as such may never be reported by themselves. The codes are only valued for additional intra-service work, thus are never subject to a multiple procedure reduction. In your case, the surgeon uses the add-on code for the additional work of placing the mesh at the time of the incisional or ventral hernia repair.