Postoperative period and global days of surgical billing

Postoperative Periods

The difference between major and minor surgical procedures is reflected in the number of follow-up (postoperative) days after the surgery.

The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Data Base (MPFSDB) will show the exact number of postoperative days associated with each procedure. The number of global days associated with a procedure can be found under the “GLOB DAYS” column in the MPFSDB. Postoperative periods are generally designated as follows:

Procedure   Global Period
Major            90
Minor           0 or 10
Endoscopic   0

A surgery with 90 follow-up (postoperative) days is considered a major surgery.

A surgery with zero to 10 follow-up (postoperative) days is considered a minor surgery.

Some procedures in the surgical CPT range are strictly diagnostic (such as some endoscopies) and may not involve actual surgery. Most of these have “zero” follow-up days and include an allowance for the normal pre- and postoperative care associated with the procedure.

Note: See more information on billing minor surgeries and office visits under the 25 modifier.

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