CPT Code 21146

CPT code 21146 is for a Lefort I-2 piece surgery with graft, used to classify and bill for this specific medical procedure.

Accelerate your revenue cycle

Boost patient experience and your bottom line by automating patient cost estimates, payer underpayment detection, and contract optimization in one place.

Get a Demo

What is CPT Code 21146

CPT code 21146 is for a surgical procedure known as a LeFort I osteotomy, where the surgeon divides the upper jaw (maxilla) into two pieces and then uses a graft to help reposition and stabilize the bone. This procedure is often performed to correct facial deformities or misalignments.

Does CPT 21146 Need a Modifier?

When billing for CPT code 21146 (Lefort I-2 piece with graft), it is essential to consider the appropriate use of modifiers to ensure accurate reimbursement and compliance with payer requirements. Below is a list of potential modifiers that could be used with CPT code 21146, along with the reasons for their use:

1. Modifier 22 (Increased Procedural Services): Used when the work required to perform the procedure is substantially greater than typically required. This could be due to factors such as increased complexity or time.

2. Modifier 50 (Bilateral Procedure): If the procedure is performed bilaterally, this modifier indicates that the same procedure was performed on both sides of the body.

3. Modifier 51 (Multiple Procedures): Applied when multiple procedures are performed during the same surgical session. This helps in identifying that more than one procedure was carried out.

4. Modifier 52 (Reduced Services): Used when the procedure is partially reduced or eliminated at the physician's discretion. This indicates that the full service described by the CPT code was not performed.

5. Modifier 53 (Discontinued Procedure): Applied when a procedure is started but discontinued due to extenuating circumstances or those that threaten the well-being of the patient.

6. Modifier 59 (Distinct Procedural Service): Used to indicate that a procedure or service was distinct or independent from other services performed on the same day. This is often used to bypass National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) edits.

7. Modifier 62 (Two Surgeons): When two surgeons work together as primary surgeons performing distinct parts of a single reportable procedure, this modifier is used to indicate their collaboration.

8. Modifier 66 (Surgical Team): Applied when a complex procedure requires the services of several physicians, often of different specialties, working together as a team.

9. Modifier 76 (Repeat Procedure by Same Physician): Used when the same procedure is repeated by the same physician or other qualified healthcare professional subsequent to the original procedure.

10. Modifier 77 (Repeat Procedure by Another Physician): Applied when the same procedure is repeated by a different physician or other qualified healthcare professional subsequent to the original procedure.

11. Modifier 78 (Unplanned Return to the Operating/Procedure Room by the Same Physician Following Initial Procedure for a Related Procedure During the Postoperative Period): Used when a related procedure is performed during the postoperative period of the initial procedure.

12. Modifier 79 (Unrelated Procedure or Service by the Same Physician During the Postoperative Period): Indicates that an unrelated procedure was performed by the same physician during the postoperative period of the initial procedure.

13. Modifier 80 (Assistant Surgeon): Used when an assistant surgeon is required during the procedure.

14. Modifier 81 (Minimum Assistant Surgeon): Applied when a minimum assistant surgeon is required during the procedure.

15. Modifier 82 (Assistant Surgeon (when qualified resident surgeon not available)): Used when an assistant surgeon is necessary, and a qualified resident surgeon is not available.

16. Modifier AS (Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, or Clinical Nurse Specialist Services for Assistant at Surgery): Indicates that a non-physician practitioner assisted in the surgery.

Each modifier serves a specific purpose and should be used accurately to reflect the circumstances of the procedure. Proper use of modifiers can help in avoiding claim denials and ensuring appropriate reimbursement.

CPT Code 21146 Medicare Reimbursement

Determining whether a specific CPT code, such as 21146 (Lefort I-2 piece with graft), is reimbursed by Medicare involves several steps. Medicare reimbursement policies are governed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and they can vary based on several factors including the setting of the service (inpatient vs. outpatient), the geographical location, and the specific Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) overseeing the region.

1. Medicare Coverage Database (MCD): The first step is to check the Medicare Coverage Database to see if there are any National Coverage Determinations (NCDs) or Local Coverage Determinations (LCDs) that apply to CPT code 21146. These documents provide guidance on whether a service is covered and under what conditions.

2. Fee Schedules: For outpatient services, the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) can be consulted to determine if CPT code 21146 is listed and the corresponding reimbursement amount. For inpatient services, the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) would be relevant.

3. MAC Policies: Each MAC may have specific policies or guidelines that affect reimbursement. Checking the MAC's website for any local policies or bulletins related to CPT code 21146 is advisable.

4. Clinical Justification: Even if a CPT code is generally covered, reimbursement may depend on the clinical justification provided in the claim. Documentation supporting the medical necessity of the procedure is crucial.

As of the latest available data, CPT code 21146 is generally covered by Medicare when deemed medically necessary. However, the exact reimbursement amount can vary. For instance, the MPFS may list a specific allowable amount, but this can be adjusted based on geographic practice cost indices (GPCIs) and other factors.

To get the most accurate and up-to-date information, healthcare providers should:

- Check the latest MPFS for the specific allowable amount for CPT code 21146.

- Review any relevant NCDs or LCDs.

- Consult their regional MAC for specific guidelines and reimbursement rates.

By following these steps, healthcare providers can determine if CPT code 21146 is reimbursed by Medicare and understand the potential reimbursement amount.

Are You Being Underpaid for 21146 CPT Code?

Discover how MD Clarity's RevFind software can meticulously read your contracts and detect underpayments down to the CPT code level, including specific codes like 21146 for Lefort i-2 piece with graft. Ensure you're receiving the full reimbursement you deserve from every payer. Schedule a demo today to see RevFind in action and protect your revenue.

Get paid in full by bringing clarity to your revenue cycle

Full Page Background