Modifier 52 vs. 53

Modifier 52 vs. 53

February 4, 2021

Question:
We are confused about the difference between modifier 52 and 53. What is the difference?

Answer:

Modifier 52 Reduced Services is used when the procedure or surgery is partially reduced or eliminated by the physician. This is used when a procedure has an existing CPT code, but not all of the components of the code were performed. Modifier 52 is not used for unlisted procedures (where there is no existing CPT code to describe the procedure that was performed).

Modifier 53 Discontinued Procedure is used when a procedure is discontinued due to extenuating clinical circumstances or those that threaten the well-being of the patient. An example is during a fem-pop bypass a patient develops an arrhythmia and the procedure is discontinued.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 02/04/21.

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