Currently, providers can use the -59 modifier to indicate that a code represents a service that is separate and distinct from another service with which it would usually be considered to be bundled. The primary issue associated with the -59 modifier is that it is defined for use in a wide variety of circumstances, such as a use to identify different encounters, different anatomic sites, and distinct services. Usage to identify a separate encounter is infrequent and usually correct; usage to define a separate anatomic site is less common and problematic; usage to define a distinct service is common and not infrequently overrides the edit in the exact circumstance for which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created the edit in the first place. The CMS has implemented 4 new subsets of modifier 59 to combat the abuse of Modifier 59 and to better understand why providers utilize modifier 59. In this post, I will provide 3 examples of when the XS modifier would be appropriate to use. The definition of Modifier XS is Separate Structure, A Service That Is Distinct Because It Was Performed On A Separate Organ/Structure. The examples are as follows:
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This article is not intended to and does not serve as legal advice or as consultative services, but is for general information purposes only.