Physician Practice

Q&A: You’ve got questions! We’ve got answers!

Physician Practice Insider, October 18, 2016

Submit your questions to Associate Editor Nicole Votta at and we will work with our experts to provide you with the information you need.

Q: Should modifiers for laterality be used for CPT® code 31624 (bronchoscopy, rigid or flexible, including fluoroscopic guidance, when performed; with bronchial alveolar lavage)?

A: Yes. The body contains a left main bronchus and a right main bronchus. Therefore, you should append modifiers -RT and -LT when appropriate. If the physician performs the procedure bilaterally, you can append modifier -50 (bilateral procedure).

Editor’s note: Shelley C. Safian, PhD, CCS-P, CPC-H, CPC-I, AHIMA-approved ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer, of Safian Communications Services in Orlando, Florida, answered this question. She is a senior assistant professor who teaches medical billing and insurance coding at Herzing University Online in Milwaukee. Email your questions to Associate Editor Nicole Votta at

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