Modifier XU with a Programming Code and Battery Change Code

Modifier XU with a Programming Code and Battery Change Code

January 23, 2020

Question:
Our Medicare specialist has advised us to add modifier XU (modifier 59) to CPT code 95970 when billing DBS battery change (61885/61886). It looks to me to be inclusive to the battery placement/change. Is it okay to unbundle this code? If not, when is it ok for us to bill 95970? Thank you.

Answer:
You’re right to question the advice. It is not appropriate to report 95970 with any of the battery change codes. The analysis (e.g., checking of impedance, test stimulation) is included in the primary surgical CPT code and not separately reported. If the surgeon does true programming of the neurostimulator then s/he should document the parameters programmed and bill a programming code (e.g., 95971, 95972, 95976, 95977, 95983).

*This response is based on the best information available as of 1/23/20.

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