General Tips for Using Modifier 24

October 16, 2012

The Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) defines modifier 24, as follows: “The physician may need to indicate that an evaluation and management service was performed during a postoperative period for a reason(s) unrelated to the original procedure. This circumstance may be reported by adding the modifier 24 to the appropriate level of E/M service.”

This modifier is to be used with Evaluation and Management (E/M) procedure codes only.

When the patient presents during the postoperative period (which could be 10 or 90 days from the original procedure), with an unrelated problem, it is appropriate to report the E/M service with modifier 24.  For postoperative Evaluation and Management services, the postoperative periods are defined as 10 days for a minor surgery and 90 days for a major surgery. 

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