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Network Matters
News and Information for the
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Network

May 2018

Correct Usage of Modifiers LT, RT, and 50

Harvard Pilgrim would like to offer providers some reminders regarding the appropriate use of the modifiers LT, RT, 50.

The intent of modifiers LT and RT is to identify which side of the body a procedure is performed on when it is only performed on one side. For example, if you are performing an extracapsular cataract removal (CPT 66982 or 66984) on a patient’s left eye, you should bill the procedure with the LT modifier.

It is not appropriate to bill a bilateral procedure as two lines of service using the LT and RT modifiers; procedures that are performed on both sides should be identified with modifier 50 and reported on one line.

Harvard Pilgrim requires that providers report modifiers RT, LT, and 50 when applicable, and procedures submitted without the appropriate modifier may be denied. It is also important to keep in mind that CPT or HCPCS codes for procedures that are inherently bilateral in their intent or have “bilateral” written in their description should not be reported with modifiers RT, LT, or 50 because there is no need to further identify the fact that they are bilateral.

For more information, please refer to the commercial Bilateral Services and CPT Modifier 50 Payment Policy.

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Eric H. Schultz,
President and Chief Executive Officer

Robert Farias,
Senior Vice President, Corporate Network Strategy

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Kristin Edmonston,
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