Spotlight: Services Excluded from Global Surgery Payment

The following services are excluded from global surgery payment according to Noridian Medicare.

 These services may be paid for separately.

  • The initial consultation or evaluation of the problem by the surgeon to determine the need for surgery. Please note that this policy only applies to major surgical procedures. The initial evaluation is always included in the allowance for a minor surgical procedure;
  • Services of other physicians except where the surgeon and the other physician(s) agree on the transfer of care. This agreement may be in the form of a letter or an annotation in the discharge summary, hospital record, or ASC record;
  • Visits unrelated to the diagnosis for which the surgical procedure is performed, unless the visits occur due to complications of the surgery;
  • Treatment for the underlying condition or an added course of treatment which is not part of normal recovery from surgery;
  • Diagnostic tests and procedures, including diagnostic radiological procedures;
  • Clearly distinct surgical procedures during the postoperative period which are not re-operations or treatment for complications. (A new postoperative period begins with the subsequent procedure.) This includes procedures done in two or more parts for which the decision to stage the procedure is made prospectively or at the time of the first procedure. Examples of this are procedures to diagnose and treat epilepsy (codes 6153361534615366153961541, and 61543) which may be performed in succession within 90 days of each other;
  • Treatment for postoperative complications which require a return trip to the operating room (OR). An OR for this purpose is defined as a place of service specifically equipped and staffed for the sole purpose of performing procedures. The term includes a cardiac catheterization suite, a laser suite, and an endoscopy suite. It does not include a patient’s room, a minor treatment room, a recovery room, or an intensive care unit (unless the patient’s condition was so critical there would be insufficient time for transportation to an OR);
  • If a less extensive procedure fails, and a more extensive procedure is required, the second procedure is payable separately;
  • For certain services performed in a physician’s office, separate payment can no longer be made for a surgical tray (code A4550).
  • Immunosuppressive therapy for organ transplants; and
  • Critical care services (codes 99291 and 99292) unrelated to the surgery where a seriously injured or burned patient is critically ill and requires constant attendance of the physician.