Bilateral Fusion

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Question:

Patient had posterior lumbar fusion (22612) and laminectomy w/foraminotomy and facetectomy at L4-L5 (63047) on the right and left sides. I know 63047 is unilateral or bilateral so I cannot use modifier 50 on 63047. But what about 22612? Can I bill the fusion bilaterally?

Answer:

No. The spine is considered a central structure when it pertains to the fusion codes so appending modifier 50 to 22612 is not appropriate.