Physician's Coding Strategist: Use modifier -60 for complicated surgeries
The CPT manual introduced modifier -60 in 2001 to allow providers to indicate when a procedure was more complex than normal due to an altered surgical field. Previously, coders had to use the usual services modifier (modifier -22) for a variety of conditions. The -60 modifier, however, is more specific.
Modifier -60 should be used when a procedure is significantly more surgical or requires more time as a result of:
- previous surgeries;
- significant scarring, adhesions, or inflammation;
- distortion of the anatomy;
- very low birth weight ( i.e., neonates and small infants weighing less than 10 kg).