• Billing Bilateral Punctal Plugs


    Question: How should I bill punctal plugs with Medicare patients? We always bill the eye code with modifier -25, along with 68761 -RT and 68761 -LT, however Medicare is no longer processing the claim.

    Answer: Submit bilateral punctal occlusion as a single line item appended with modifier -50. Place 1 in the unit field and double your fee. CMS’ Medically Unlikely Edits published in April 2013 said that all bilateral procedures must be submitted this way. Payment will be 150 percent of the allowable.

    Look at the exam documentation. While medically necessary, was the established patient exam performed solely to confirm the need to insert the punctal plugs? If yes, then the established patient exam is not separately billable as it does not meet the definition of modifier -25.

    Learn more about minor procedures in Ophthalmic Coding: Learn to Code the Essentials.