Ambulatory Surgical Center Terminated Procedures

Ambulatory Surgical Center Terminated Procedures

The following guidance determines the appropriate ambulatory surgical center (ASC) facility payment for a scheduled surgical procedure that is terminated due to medical complications, which increase the surgical risk to the patient.

  • Payment is denied when an ASC submits a claim for a procedure that is terminated before the patient is taken into the treatment or operating room
  • If the surgery is canceled or postponed because the patient on intake complains of a cold or flu
  • Payment is made at the rate of 50 percent if a surgical procedure is terminated due to the onset of medical complications after the patient has been prepared for surgery and taken to the operating room but before anesthesia has been induced or the procedure initiated For example If the patient develops an allergic reaction to a drug administered by the ASC prior to surgery. Modifier 73 should be utilized to indicate that the procedure was terminated prior to the induction of anesthesia or the initiation of a procedure.
  • Full payment for the surgical procedure is made if a medical complication arises that causes the procedure to be terminated after anesthesia has been induced or the procedure initiated. Modifier 74 should be used to indicate that the procedure was terminated after the administration of anesthesia or initiation of the procedure.

An ASC claim for payment for terminated surgery must include an operative report kept on file by the ASC and made available if requested. The operative report should specify the following: Reason for termination of surgery; Services that were actually performed; Supplies that were actually provided; Services not performed that would have been performed if surgery had not been terminated; Supplies not provided that would have been provided if the surgery had not been terminated; The time actually spent in each stage (pre-operative/ operative/ post-operative); Time that would have been spent in each of these stages if the surgery had not been terminated; Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System code for the procedure had the surgery been performed.

More About Modifier 73

As mentioned above modifier -73 is used by the facility to indicate that a procedure requiring anesthesia was terminated due to extenuating circumstances or to circumstances that threatened the well-being of the patient after the patient had been prepared for the procedure (including procedural pre-medication when provided), and been taken to the room where the procedure was to be performed, but prior to administration of anesthesia.

For purposes of billing for services furnished in the hospital outpatient department, anesthesia is defined to include local, regional block(s), moderate sedation/analgesia (“conscious sedation”), deep sedation/analgesia, or general anesthesia. This modifier code was created so that the costs incurred by the hospital to prepare the patient for the procedure and the resources expended in the procedure room and recovery room (if needed) could be recognized for payment even though the procedure was discontinued.”

When it comes to ASC medical billing, Medical Billers and Coders (MBC) is one of the best service providers. With our 15+ years of experience in the medical billing domain and with our proven ASC medical billing services, many surgical centers across the country have overcome denials and underpayments. Our billing professionals not only specialize in ASC coding and billing but also incorporate the knowledge throughout the process for offering end-to-end solutions. To know more about our ASC medical Billing services you can contact us at 888-357-3226/


Medicare Claims Processing Manual