The Power of the 59 Modifier

Nokomis Health | Modifier 59

Do you know how much power there is in a single two-digit number? Most payors and health plans don’t realize the impact that the 59 modifier can have on claim costs. Adding this simple modifier to a CPT code allows that code to bypass several code edits, resulting in erroneous and often incorrect payments. Providers have learned that the way to avoid denials is to append a 59 modifier to many codes. The problem is that in many instances, the modifier is not appropriate.

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How Do You Become an Expert Medical Coder?

Nokomis Health | Director of Coding Anne Karl

INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR OF CODING ANNE KARL

How did you get into coding?
My father was a family practice physician and I’ve always been drawn to that world. When I came out of school the traditional job for an RHIA (Registered Health Information Administrator) was to be the Director of Medical Records in a hospital setting, but that didn’t really interest me. The physician setting is much more fast-paced and I’ve spent a majority of my career in that area. I always had my heart in it – making sure the providers were paid fairly for their services. Payment starts with the documentation of the provider and the codes assigned. Poor documentation and/or coding can really hurt the reimbursement to a provider. After working in some very non-traditional jobs, I found that coding was really my passion.

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