Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Surgical Global Periods

I am confident that all doctors have at least a basic understanding of the global package and what is expected of them during that time. However, what does and does not fall under the global period continues to be an issue for providers and medical billers alike.

Scenario #1: Provider performs pre-op visit and the subsequent surgery. Upon the follow -up visit, everything is found to be normal.

  • Since the provider has already been reimbursed for the entire global period, there is no additional reimbursement. The provider should bill a 99024 to create a permanent record that the patient was seen for post-op evaluation.

Scenario #2: Provider performs pre-op visit and the subsequent surgery. Upon the follow-up visit, Provider finds a postoperative infection that needs additional care.
  • The infection is unrelated to the diagnosis for which the surgical procedure was performed, therefore the provider should receive reimbursement for this encounter. The provider should code the encounter as they normally would for an office visit, but they must include a 24 modifier. Without the 24 modifier, the claim will be denied. 

A doctor can avoid a lot of denied claims by making sure that the biller includes the 24 modifier with claims such as in Scenario #2. If the modifier is not included, the claim will be denied and the biller will be left to try to figure out what caused the denial. The claim must then be appealed, where they will likely request chart notes. This requires an extensive amount of time and labor before the provider will receive reimbursement.

A good line of communication can avoid most of these denials on the front end.

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