Modifier 78 vs 59

Modifier 78 vs 59

May 9, 2019

Question:
What modifier do we use if a patient is returned to the OR the same day as the original surgery for post-op hemorrhage? Isn’t it 78 for this complication?

Answer:
Modifier 78 is a global period modifier and the global period begins on post-op day one. So it is not appropriate for a same day procedure. One of the uses of Modifier 59 and the specific use XE modifier is to report a bundled procedure done at a different session on the same calendar day. For this scenario, returning to control hemorrhage on the same day as the surgery, 59 or XE is the correct modifier.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 5/9/19.

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