Highlights
Modifier -50, Bilateral Procedure

You will append modifier 50 for procedures that are obviously billable as bilateral
(or two sides, both sides), performed on the same day, the same operative
session, on identical anatomical sites, organs (arms, legs, spine).

For example:

A Facet Nerve Block  Injection
(CPT Code 64493 Injection(s), diagnostic or
therapeutic agent, paravertebral facet (zygapophyseal) joint (or nerves
innervating that joint) with image guidance (fluoroscopy or CT), lumbar or
sacral; single level)  ---
is unilateral and can be billed as bilateral.

When using a modifier 50, make sure you only bill for one unit on the claim form
since there is only 1 procedure performed bilaterally.

Though guidelines from other payers may differ. They may require you to list it
twice (line 1 and line 2 on the claim form). You are responsible to clarify this with
your payors.

You use this modifier with add-on codes too! Do not use this modifier with
procedures which are already described as bilateral procedures.


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*** Always consult your CPT Code Book! and the NCCI Edits
*** Get more information on clinical guidelines and policies from your local CMS
carriers and from your third party payors
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AMA's Bookstore!
When and How Do
I Use Modifier -50?
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