Cosmetic Closure After Spine Surgery

January 5, 2017

My friend the spine surgeon asked for my help on an upcoming case. It is a two-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion where the patient requested a plastic surgeon to make the incision and do a cosmetic closure. I checked with his billing office and the codes for the case are 22551, +22552, +22845, and +20931. Am I a co-surgeon (modifier 62) on all the same codes because I’m doing the incision and closure?

Actually, you should not bill anything to insurance. The incision and usual closure are included in the primary procedure code, 22551. If the patient wants a “cosmetic” result then this is cash from the patient and it should not be billed to insurance.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 01/05/17.



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