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Office Managers, Medical Billers and Medical Coders
|Still Confused on How to Use Modifier 50 for Bilateral Procedure?
You have to understand that a Bilateral procedure means (anatomical site: Left Side and a Right
Side). For example, a right knee and a left knee, or a right shoulder and left shoulder - this is
You are appending the modifier -50 on your procedure code because you are reporting a two
side procedure. Common mistake is, you code a procedure as 2 units as if you are pointing to 1
unit for the left side and another 1 unit for the right side.
Check with your payors or with your software vendor, but in reality. You have to bill only 1 unit of
that procedure code having a modifier 50 (because this modifier is already reporting a bilateral,
Be careful with procedures that are not billable as bilateral! Be careful with procedure codes that
are neither unilateral or bilateral procedure, no bilateral modifier is needed.