Modifier AS is used to indicate that an assistant, such as a physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or clinical nurse specialist provided assistance during a surgical procedure. These assistants report their services under the primary surgeon’s provider number and must clearly document the medical necessity for their involvement in the medical record.
What Is Modifier AS?
Modifier AS, also known as the Assistant Surgeon modifier, is used by health care professionals such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners, or clinical nurse specialists when they assist in surgery.
These professionals report their services under the provider number of the primary surgeon and must document the medical necessity for their involvement in the medical record.
The AS modifier is vital for accurately reporting the services provided during surgery.
Using the modifier AS, healthcare professionals who act as assistants during a procedure can demonstrate their involvement in the surgery, and the primary surgeon can receive payment for their services.
The leading surgeon needs to specify the medical necessity for utilizing the services of an assistant in the medical record. This documentation will help ensure that the appropriate payment is received and that the services are accurately reported with modifier AS.
Insurance carriers look for a clear and documented explanation of why the assistant surgeon was used during the procedure.
This documentation must demonstrate that the use of an assistant was medically necessary and improved the procedure’s outcome. Different insurance carriers have different policies and requirements regarding using the AS modifier.
HCPCS defines the description of AS modifier: “Physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or clinical nurse specialist services for assistant at surgery.”
How To Use The AS Modifier
When a health care professional, such as a physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or clinical nurse specialist, acts as an assistant during a surgical procedure, modifier AS can be appended to the claim.
The procedure performed by the assistant must be reported to the insurance company, but it is often done under the provider number of the primary surgeon. The HCPCS modifier AS is a way to distinguish the services provided by the assistant from those of the primary surgeon.
The use of the modifier AS is not a guarantee of payment. The leading surgeon must specify in the medical record the medical necessity for utilizing the services of an assistant.
When reporting the services an assistant provides during a surgical procedure, the assistant must append modifier AS to the identical procedure code used by the primary surgeon to indicate to the insurance company that the assistant performed the procedure and not by the primary surgeon.
Keep in mind that all insurance companies may not recognize the AS modifier. Some insurance companies may not reimburse for services reported with this modifier.