A1 modifier - When and where to use - Dressing modifier

Types of Dressings

• Primary dressings
− Therapeutic or protective coverings
• Applied directly to the wounds or lesions

• Secondary dressings

− Material that serves a therapeutic or protective function and secure primary dressing

• Modifier A1-A9

Surgical Dressings

Modifiers A1 through A9 are used with surgical dressings to indicate the number of wounds. If modifier A9 (dressing for nine or more wounds) is used, information must be submitted in Item 19 on a paper claim, or the electronic equivalent, indicating the number of wounds.

Modifiers AU (item furnished in conjunction with a urological, ostomy or tracheostomy supply), AV (item furnished in conjunction with a prosthetic or orthotic device) and AW (item furnished in conjunction with a surgical dressing) are used when billing codes for tape, A4450 and A4452.

− Indicates item being used as a primary or secondary dressing as well as number of wounds that dressing
is being used for, not the total number of wounds

− Do not use if not for primary or secondary dressing on surgical or debrided wound

• Modifier GY

− Used for noncovered reasons
• Example: Gauze used for wound cleaning A6216GY
• Must be documented in the claim line item narrative


• Modifier AW
− Tape, A4450 & A4452, used with surgical dressings
• In addition to appropriate A1-A9 modifier
− Gradient compression stocking, A6531 & A6532
• For open venous stasis ulcer
• Do not use A1-A9 modifier
• Modifier RT & LT
− Gradient compression stockings bilaterally
• Both items on one line using LTRT and 2 units

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