Additional Anesthesia Modifiers 22, 23, 53

The following modifiers should be used as secondary or tertiary modifiers only and not as the primary modifier. These modifiers are intended to provide additional information specific to the services provided; there will be no additional reimbursement made for these modifiers.

Modifier Description

22 Increased Procedural Service — Per CPT Appendix A modifiers: When the work required
to provide a service is substantially greater than typically required, it may be identified by adding modifier 22 to the usual procedure code. Documentation must support the substantial additional work and the reason for the additional work (i.e., increased intensity, time, technical difficulty of procedure, and severity of patient’s condition, physical and mental effort required). Note: This modifier should not be appended to an Evaluation and Management (E/M) service.

23 Unusual Anesthesia — Occasionally, a procedure which usually requires either no anesthesia or local anesthesia must be done under general anesthesia because of unusual circumstances. Unusual circumstances may be reported by adding the modifier “23” to the procedure code of the basic service.

53 Discontinued Procedure — Under certain circumstances, the physician or other qualified healthcare professional may elect to terminate a surgical or diagnostic procedure. Due to extenuating circumstances or those that threaten the wellbeing of the patient, it may be necessary to indicate that a surgical or diagnostic procedure was started but discontinued. This circumstance may be reported by adding modifier 53 to  the code reported by the individual for the discontinued procedure. Note: This modifier is not used to report the elective cancellation of a procedure prior to the patient’s anesthesia induction and/or surgical preparation in the operating suite. For outpatient hospital/ambulatory surgery center (ASC) reporting of a previously scheduled procedure/service that is partially reduced or cancelled as a result of extenuating circumstances or those that threaten the wellbeing of the patient prior to or after administration of anesthesia, see modifiers 73 and 74 (see modifiers approved for ASC hospital outpatient use).

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