Modifier 77

Modifier 77 Definition, Billing Guidelines, Reimbursement & Examples

Modifier 77 is applied for service when a similar service performs by another physician or healthcare provider on the same day. If multiple or identical services perform in one day, they bundle with each other. CMS allows limited amounts of the unit to bill on one date. Modifier requires to unbundled the services.

Modifier 77 Definition

Modifier 77 usually reports for radiology services, and these services are rendered frequently in one day.

Surgical procedures can occur twice on the same day.

For Instance, EKG performs by one physician, and the results were questionable preliminary findings.

The second interpretation or opinion requires another physician to get a consistent result.

In contrast, any surgical procedure repeats due to unavoidable circumstances, and it is appropriate to report with modifier 77 to unbundle the services. 

Evaluation and management (E/M) codes do not accept modifier 77 and are medically not appropriate.

Only one E/M service can perform on the same date for one reason.

Another physician can report the other service if the patient encounters another reason on the same day with modifier 25 instead of modifier 77.

Medical documentation must support the medical necessity of the repeated service. The insurance or third party may deny it.

Check the appropriate guidelines for the repeated services. 

Modifier 77 is applied for service when a similar service performs by another physician or healthcare provider on the same day.

77 modifier
Modifier 77 Description

When To Use Modifier 77 & GA

Modifier GA bills if the physician is confident that service may deny by Medicare.

Advance beneficiary notice issues by the physician before services render to the patient.

If Medicare denies this service, the beneficiary will be responsible for payment.

For instance, the patient wants to repeat the service by another physician for a second opinion.

The service seems unnecessary to the physician.

Modifier 77 attach to unbundle the service, and modifier GA indicates that Medicare denies paying for this service.

Patients are responsible for paying for the services furnished by the physician. 

Modifier 77 Coding Guidelines

Documentation supports the medical necessity of service if repeated by another physician on the same day.

The patient condition reflects the significance of the service. 

The patient visited the physician for shoulder pain in the morning and got a steroid injection for the pain—similarly, another encounter with a different physician for diabetes.

E/M codes do not accept modifier 77, and it is not appropriate to report.

Modifiers 24 and 25 apply when the E/M service repeats if significantly identifiable service. 

Modifier 77 does not apply to specific services, and it is only applicable when services perform twice.

Modifier 77 does not include different services rendered by the physician.

It is only appropriate when services duplicate.

For example, a Doppler ultrasound of the abdomen and an Ultrasound of the abdomen perform on the same date.

Modifier 59 appropriates for these services as these services are distinct and not identical.

It does not become relevant to add modifier 77 to unbundle these services.

Radiologic and surgical procedures accept modifier 77.

For example, a patient had surgical removal of a foreign body in the right eye by physician A in the morning.

Physician A left the office. The patient still feels irritation in the right eye and presents similarly to the office.

Physician B performed surgical procedures again to remove retained contents.

Modifier 77 is appropriate to bill with Physician B’s surgical procedure.

Claim reports with the separate line when modifier 77 is attached.

Two units of procedure shall deny by the insurance, like 71046×2. It appropriates to reports such as:

  • 71046-R07.9 Physician A
  • 71046-77-R07.9 Physician A

If modifier 26 bills with radiology procedure, then modifier 77 orders second in the line such as 71046-26-77.

Modifier 77 does not appropriate bundled services and multiple services on the same day.

It is suitable to report with modifiers 59 and 51.

For example, service separately bills when imaging guidance does not include in the procedure code.

They may bill with modifier 59 if any crosswalk is present.

Modifier 51 bills for multiple services such as two similar procedures performs on the 1st digit and 2nd digit.

Another service appropriates to report with modifier 51.

Modifier 77 Reimbursement

Modifier 77 is necessary to attach with the repeated services when rendered by different by another physician on the same day in conjunction with other physicians.

Modifier 77 line separately reports indicating that a separate service performs. Insurance denies the procedure for similar services.

Modifiers 77 and 76

Modifier 76 is applied for service when a similar service performs by the same physician or healthcare provider on the same day.

For example, Physician A performed the procedure in the afternoon, and the same physician repeated the service in the evening.

In contrast, Modifier 77 is applicable for the distinct physician.

It reports with modifier 76, while furnished by a different physician indicates 77.

Modifier 77 Examples

The following are the examples relevant to modifier 77:

Example 1

A 39-year-old male with tumors on the lumbar region presented to the emergency department with c/o constant low back pain that started two days ago.

The patient was unable to walk for 1-week.

The patient is consulted with his primary care physician and suggested to go emergency department.

He denies trauma, heavy palpitations, dizziness, cough, recent illness, fever, chills, back pain, abdominal pain, nausea, recent travel, known sick contacts, antibiotic use, near-syncope or syncope, changes in stool color, urinary complaints, or any other symptoms.

The patient took his routine medication. The physician ordered an X-ray of the lumbar region at midnight.

X-ray findings show unremarkable findings. The patient still has pain in the lumbar region in the morning.

Another X-ray performs by physician B to assess the results again.

It reports like 72100 for the first and 72100-77 second service.

Example 2

A 76-year-old male presents to the office for radiculopathy and stenosis of the lumbar region.

He has had severe low back pain since last week. The patient took some medication for pain but is getting worse day by day.

Denies trauma, heavy palpitations, dizziness, cough, recent illness, fever, chills, back pain, abdominal pain, nausea, recent travel, known sick contacts, antibiotic use, near-syncope or syncope, changes in stool color, urinary complaints, or any other symptoms.

CT scans of the lumbar region reveal spondylosis at the L2-L3 level, disc protrusion at the L4-L5 level, and degenerated changes at the L5-S1 area.

The physician ordered a steroid injection in the epidural space at the L4-L5 level and got relief from the pain.

The patient still has pain in the lumbar region in the morning.

Another CT performs by physician B to assess the results again.

It reports like 72131 for the first and 72131-77 second service.

Example 3

A 39-year-old male presents to the office with PMH of thyroid cancer presented to the emergency department with c/o constant neck pain that started four days ago and was unable to eat anything for 1-week.

The patient denies trauma, heavy palpitations, dizziness, cough, recent illness, fever, chills, back pain, abdominal pain, nausea, recent travel, known sick contacts, antibiotic use, near-syncope or syncope, changes in stool color, urinary complaints, or any other symptoms, and took his routine medication.

The patient is consulted with his primary care physician and suggested to go ED.

The physician ordered a CT scan of the soft tissues of the neck.

The study revealed that multiple thyroid nodules and biopsies were sent to labs to check if the lesion or malignant.

PHYSICIAN B PERFORMS another CT scan of the neck to assess the results again.

It reports like 70490 for the first and 70490-77 second service.

Example 4

A 70-year-old female presented to the office with cervicalgia for one week. The pain gets worse with movement and when lying down.

The patient took some medication for pain.

The patient denies any other symptoms such as headache, numbness, urinary problems, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath.

The physical exam revealed swelling in the neck region.

The physician ordered a CT of the cervical spine. It shows the cervical spine’s degeneration at C1 – C2, C3 – C4, and disk budging at the C4-C5 level.

The patient also has spondylosis of the cervical spine. The physician prescribed medicine for pain and treatment.

PHYSICIAN B PERFORMS another CT scan of the cervical spine to assess the results again.

It reports like 72141 for the first and 72141-77 second service.

Example 5

A forty-six-year-old female presents to the emergency department with PMH of hypertension and a family history of heart disease, heart murmur, LBBB dx 1 year ago, migraines, tested positive for COVID 1 month ago.

The patient does not receive the vaccine for COVID. She presents to ED c/o constant lip-tingling, lightheadedness, left-sided chest discomfort since yesterday afternoon, and she woke this morning with the same symptoms.

She also developed left upper extremity tingling and bilateral hand tingling.

PT Denies headache, shortness of breath, back pain, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, changes in vision, urinary complaints, or any other symptoms.

The patient has a strong family history of heart disease—the physician plan to do labs, EKG, X-ray, CT, and MRI of the chest.

PHYSICIAN B PERFORMS another CT scan of the cervical spine to assess the results again.

It reports like 93010 for the first and 93010-77 second service.

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