How To Apply a Modifier

Modifiers are two-character descriptors added to a service, or CPT, code, designed to provide additional information about how a service was rendered. Modifiers are generally categorized as one of two types: functional (Level 1) or informational (Level 2). When entering modifiers, it is best to put functional modifiers first, as they often affect the reimbursement rate for services. Claims can include up to four modifiers.

While many modifiers are considered industry standard, not every payer accepts modifiers, and not every modifier is applicable to every service code. Consult your payer contracts or contact Provider Relations for your payers to learn if you should include modifiers with your claims.

In TherapyNotes, modifiers can be manually added per billing line item or automatically added to applicable dates of service through Clinician Billing Setting Overrides, Service Codes settings, or Multiple Practice Locations settings.

Automatically Applying Modifiers

Default modifiers can be set for Clinician Billing Setting Overrides, Service Codes, and Multiple Practice Locations, and these modifiers are added automatically to any applicable date of service. Modifiers can populate automatically on electronically submitted claims, generated CMS-1500 forms, and superbills.

To set default modifiers in a Clinician Billing Setting Override:

Role Required: Practice Biller or Practice Administrator + Clinician
  • Click Staff > Staff Name > Billing tab
  • Click anywhere on the Clinician Billing Setting Overrides box to edit

  • Enter up to four two-character modifier codes in the Default Modifiers fields of the appropriate override.
  • Click the Save Changes button.

To set default modifiers for Service Codes:

Role Required: Practice Administrator, Practice Biller, or Clinical Administrator, or Practice Biller
  • Click the User Icon > Settings > Service Codes
  • Click the service code to add default modifiers to.

  • Enter p to four two-character modifier codes in the Default Modifiers fields.
  • Click the Save Changes button.

To set default modifiers for Multiple Practice Locations:

Role Required: Practice Administrator
  • Click the User Icon > Settings > Multiple Practice Locations
  • Enter up to four two-character modifier codes in the Default Modifiers fields of the appropriate alternate location.
  • Click the Save Changes button.

TherapyNotes automatically reorders modifiers on the date of service and corresponding claim according to best practices. If more than four default modifiers apply to a date of service, TherapyNotes will automatically select the most important ones to include on your claim. Modifiers that are pulled from Clinician Billing Setting Overrides are prioritized, followed by those from Service Codes settings, and finally from Multiple Practice Locations settings. Duplicates are removed automatically, and the modifiers are automatically organized to prioritize functional modifiers first and informational modifiers second.

Even if modifiers are applied automatically, they can always be manually changed on a date of service. See the next section for instructions to manually change or apply modifiers.

Manually Applying Modifiers

Even if modifiers are automatically populated for a date of service based on your settings, they can be manually overridden. Manually saving modifiers to a date of service replaces any automatically added modifiers for that date of service only.

To apply a modifier to a date of service:

Role Required: Practice Biller or Biller for Assigned Patients Only
  • Click Patients > Patient Name > Patient Billing tab
  • Click the date of service.

  • A dialog with additional details about the date of service appears. The Billing tab is open by default.
  • Enter up to four two-character modifier codes in the Modifiers fields.
Quick Tip: As a general rule, try to keep your most important modifiers in the first two fields. Although claims can include up to four modifiers, some insurance companies only look at the first two.
  • Click the Save Changes button

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