Assistant Surgeon Payments

July 13, 2017

Question:
We are seeing payers ask for payment back when we use Modifier 80 for assistant surgeon.  Is there a reason why they would take the payment back?

Answer:
We are seeing many payers including Medicare and Medicaid ask for payment recovery when the documentation does not explain what role the assistant played in the surgery.  It is not enough just to identify that the patient encounter is complex but actual detail of what the assistant did during the surgery can support billing for an assistant surgeon.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 07/13/17.

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