Modifier 79

Unrelated procedure or service by the same physician during the postoperative period


This modifier is used when an unrelated procedure or service, by the same physician, is performed during the postoperative period (10 or 90 day global) of the original procedure.

A new post-operative period begins when the unrelated procedure is billed.

Correct Use

  • Only on surgical codes
  • Append modifier 79 in first position as pricing modifier
    • Not necessarily needing return to operating room
    • Failure to append could result in noncoverage
    • For repeat procedures on same day, append modifier 76

Incorrect Use

  • If Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) indicator list marked with "XXX," no modifier is needed as there are no global days

Claim Coding Example

  • Provider performs right toe amputation on May 24, 2015, and on June 25, 2015, a medically necessary left foot amputation surgery was performed within this 90 day global
Date Treatment Description CPT/Modifier
05/24/15 Amputation big toe, RT 28820 TA
06/25/15 Amputation foot, LT 28800 79




Last Updated Dec 09 , 2023