How is a service reported by a pediatrician when not performed in its entirety? That question pops up periodically, and the answer depends on the reason the service was halted. In many instances, either modifier 52 (reduced service) or modifier 53 (discontinued procedure) is appropriately appended to the code for the partial service. The full descriptors of modifiers 52 and 53 found in Appendix A of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) are helpful in understanding correct utilization of these modifiers.

52, reduced services: Under certain circumstances a service or procedure is partially reduced or eliminated at the discretion of the physician or other qualified health care professional (QHP). Under these circumstances the service provided can be identified by its usual procedure number and the addition of modifier 52, signifying that the service is reduced. This provides a means of reporting reduced services without disturbing the identification of...

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