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Anesthesia Coding Education: Sciatic Nerve Block & Same-Day General Anesthesia

Posted on 22. Oct, 2009 by in Coding Challenge, Hot Coding Topics

Question: My anesthesiologist performed a sciatic nerve block for a patient with postoperative pain on the same day he provided general anesthesia for that patient’s knee surgery. How should I code this?

Answer: Use modifier 59 (Distinct procedural service) when you need to show that your physician performed two distinct services on the same day. When your physician places a sciatic nerve block for postoperative pain management (for example, 64445, Injection, anesthetic agent; sciatic nerve, single), and on the same day provided general anesthesia for knee surgery (01400, Anesthesia for open or surgical arthroscopic procedures on knee joint; not otherwise specified), your final codes are 64445-59 for the block, along with 01400 for the anesthesia.

AUDIO: Take the billing ache out of postoperative pain. With Joanne Mehmert, CPC, CCS-P.

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