Awareness : OBC Tips

Assistant At Surgery (Modifier 82)

A surgical assistant is a physician who actively assists another physician who is in charge of performing a surgical procedure. When there is an assistant surgeon or an assistant at surgery, the surgeon of record is listed as the primary surgeon. The surgeon of record is responsible for identifying the presence of the assistant surgeon or assistant at surgery and the work performed. In this situation, the assistant surgeon or assistant at surgery does not dictate an operative note.

The Teaching Surgeon must personally document that no qualified resident is available to perform the services.  This includes the following certification: “I certify that the services for which payment is claimed were medically necessary and that no qualified resident was available to perform the services”.

General Rule: No payment is allowed for services of assistants at surgery furnished in a teaching hospital that has a training program related to the medical specialty required for the surgical procedure and a qualified resident is available, with very limited exceptions.