Tympanoplasty with Middle Ear Exploration

June 8, 2017

Question:
I billed 69631-RT for the transcanal tympanoplasty, 20926-RT for the temporalis fascia harvest, and 69440-RT for the middle ear exploration. Should I have used modifier 59 on 69440 because it didn’t get paid?

Answer:
No! You should not have coded 69440 for exploring the same ear on which you did the tympanoplasty. Exploring the middle ear is inherent in 69631 and all tympanoplasty as well as mastoidectomy codes and should not be separately reported with 69440.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 06/08/17.

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