1. Modifier 59 is used appropriately for different anatomic sites during the same encounter only when procedures which are not ordinarily performed or encountered on the same day are performed on different organs, or different anatomic regions, or in limited situations on different, non-contiguous lesions in different anatomic regions of the same organ.
One of the common uses of modifier 59 is for surgical procedures, non-surgical therapeutic procedures, or diagnostic procedures that are performed at different anatomic sites, are not ordinarily performed or encountered on the same day, and that cannot be described by one of the more specific anatomic NCCI-associated modifiers –i.e., RT, LT, E1-E4, FA, F1-F9, TA, T1-T9, LC, LD, RC, LM, or RI. (See examples 1, 2, and 3) From an NCCI perspective, the definition of different anatomic sites includes different organs or, in certain instances, different lesions in the same organ. However, NCCI edits are typically created to prevent the inappropriate billing of lesions and sites that should not be considered to be separate and distinct. Therefore modifier 59 should only be used to identify clearly independent services that represent significant departures from the usual situations described by the NCCI edit. The treatment of contiguous structures in the same organ or anatomic region does not constitute treatment of different anatomic sites.
Example 1: Column 1 Code/Column 2 Code -17000/11100
>CPT Code 17000 – Destruction (eg, laser surgery, electrosurgery, cryosurgery, chemosurgery, surgical curettement), all benign or premalignant lesions (eg, actinickeratoses) other than skin tags or cutaneous vascular proliferativelesions; first lesion
>CPT Code 11100 – Biopsy of skin, subcutaneous tissue and/or mucous membrane (including simple closure), unless otherwise listed; single lesion
Modifier 59 may be reported with code 11100 if the procedures are performed at different anatomic sites on the same side of the body and a specific anatomic modifier is not applicable. If the procedures are performed on different sides of the body, modifiers RT and LT or another pair of anatomic modifiers should be used, not modifier 59.
Example 2: Column 1 Code/Column 2 Code 47370/76942
>CPT Code 47370 – Laparoscopy, surgical, ablation of one or more liver tumor(s); radiofrequency
>CPT Code 76942 – Ultrasonic guidance for needle placement (eg, biopsy, aspiration, injection, localization device), imaging supervision and interpretation CPT code 76942 should not be reported and modifier 59 should not be used if the ultrasonic guidance is for needle placement for the laparoscopic liver tumor ablation procedure. Code 76942 may be reported with modifier 59 if the ultrasonic guidance for needle placement is unrelated to the laparoscopic liver tumor ablation procedure.
Example 3: Column 1 Code/Column 2 Code 93453/76000
>CPT Code 93453 – Combined right and left heart catheterization including
intraprocedural injections(s) for left ventriculography, imaging supervision and interpretation, when performed
>CPT Code 76000 – Fluoroscopy(separate procedure),up to one hour physician time, other than 71023 or 71034 (eg, cardiac fluoroscopy)
CPT code 76000 should not be reported and modifier 59 should not be used for fluoroscopy that is used in conjunction with a cardiac catheterization procedure. Modifier 59 may be reported with code76000 if the fluoroscopy is performed for a procedure unrelated to the cardiac catheterization procedure.