Q: When a post op pain block is billed, should the appropriate anesthesia modifier be added as well, such as AA, or one of the Q modifiers if one of those are applicable?
A: No, the CPT codes used for post op pain blocks and ancillary services when done separately from your ASA codes, are not reported with Anesthesia modifiers.
Q: For those CPT codes that were mentioned that have a “separate procedure” designation in CPT, should we add a modifier such as 59 or one of the X modifiers?
A: Yes, per the Surgery Guidelines for separate procedures in our CPT books, when a “separate procedure” is carried out independently or considered to be unrelated or distinct, it may be reported by appending modifier 59 (or Xx depending on carrier guidelines).
Q: Occasionally we have a case where the block is performed intraoperatively. Do we need to deduct that from their time spent?
A: No, when the post-operative pain procedure is placed after anesthesia induction or prior to emergence (intraoperatively), the time spent performing the block is not deducted from the total anesthesia time.
Q: Do we have to have a written order for a postop pain block?
A: A written order and/or some sort of written documentation is required showing that the surgeon requested the anesthesia team to participate in the post-operative analgesia.
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Mary Bort, CPC, CPMA, CANPC, CASCC, COSC
During her free time, she loves to do crafts, enjoys the outdoors, and the Broncos! She has 4 daughters, and 10 grandchildren which light up her life.