Surgery Coding: Look at Service Date Before Appending Modifier 59

Make sure your documentation supports the additional substantial complexity of the hernia repair and mesh.

Question: A patient presented for a colectomy for colon cancer. The physician also discovered that the patient had a ventral incarcerated hernia that required a complex repair using mesh. Because of the separate work, we reported 44140 and then reported 49561 with modifier 59. The payer denied the claim. Were we wrong to append modifier 59?

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