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Technical Component (TC) Modifier

Date:
May 22, 2019

The proper use of modifiers can be one of the most important, yet challenging aspects of medical billing. These two-digit prefixes provide additional context and ensure proper reimbursement for the procedures or services delivered.                                                                   

The technical component (TC) modifier is one of these key modifiers. Some services can be described by a single CPT code, yet there are two separate aspects to the service – the professional component and the technical component.

  • The technical component includes the delivery of equipment, supplies, personnel, and costs related to the service.
  • The professional component is usually provided by a physician, and includes management, reading or interpretation, and a written report.

For example, in the case of a radiology procedure, a hospital may supply the technical component, while a physician supplies the professional component. In this instance, it is appropriate for the hospital to bill the CPT code with the TC modifier. If a physician bills their respective portion of the service separately, they should use modifier 26.

BlueShield requires the use of the TC modifier in such cases. The TC modifier also applies when a hospital or facility owns the equipment being used and someone else is billing for the service or procedure. Use of the TC modifier may be necessary for not only radiology, but also some laboratory and medicine billing.

Our online clinical editing search tool can provide guidance on whether the TC modifier should be used with a CPT code. Before submitting a claim, you can log into here for clarification.

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