E/M and Fracture Manipulation

E/M and Fracture Manipulation

October 17, 2019

Question:
We have joined a new health system and the coding staff members (new to orthopaedics) are removing all E/M-57 services when reported with a fracture manipulation code. The coding staff members are stating these are inclusive to the fracture, as the physician has to evaluate the patient to determine if the fracture needs manipulation. After many conversations, they agreed to hear from others on whether or not the E/M is separately reportable.

Answer:
Congratulations to your team for working with and educating the new coding team to the world of orthopaedics.

If the documentation supports the E/M service, it is reportable when assessing a fracture that resultantly requires manipulation.

The patient may present with a known fracture (or not). The physician must evaluate the patient to determine the nature of the injury. X-rays are typically ordered and interpreted, or reviewed if taken at an outside facility. The physician diagnoses the fracture as displaced requiring manipulation, whether it will be treated with closed or open reduction. The E/M service associated with evaluating a patient with a fracture is not included in global fracture care.

Append modifier 57 to the E/M CPT code if the treatment of the fracture is performed on the same day or the day following the E/M service.
Note, although CPT rules call for using modifier 57 when you are protecting an E/M service performed for a procedure with a 90 day global period, some payors may instead require modifier 25 when the fracture treatment does not require taking the patient to the OR.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 10/17/19.

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