Usage of Modifier - 79

Unrelated Procedure or Service by the Same Physician During the Postoperative Period:

The physician may need to indicate that the performance of a procedure or service during the postoperative period was unrelated to the original procedure. This circumstance may be reported by using the modifier '-79'. (For repeat procedures on the same day, see '-76').


•Do not use on E&M codes
•Applicable to surgical procedures only

•Use only during a postoperative period to identify a service that is unrelated to the original procedure
•Use only if the diagnosis is different than the diagnosis requiring the original procedure
•Used only if the surgery is performed by the same physician as the original procedure during the postoperative period of the original procedure

*Note: See modifier -24 for E&M service


•Patient has a total knee replacement on September 1
•On September 15, the patient falls and requires fracture care, open treatment (25620)
•The surgery is performed during the postoperative period of the knee surgery but is unrelated to the knee surgery
•Coding example: 25620-79

CPT code Modifiers
CPT modifier
CPT modifiers
ASC modifier SG
CPT modifier 51
CPT modifier 62 and 66
CPT Modifier 22 and 51
CPT modifier 22 and 24
CPT modifier 52 and 53
CPT modifier 26 and TC
CPT modifier 59
CPT anesthesia modifier codes
ASC modifiers
Modifier 59
CPT modifier 25
CPT modifier 24
CPT modifier 57
CPT modifier 78
CPT Modifier 79
Surgical modifiers
CPT modifier 58

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