When to use the AQ Modifier

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Every year starting January 1, all of the previous years Geographic HPSAs start receiving the 10-percent Medicare bonus. If your zip code is on this list of automatic payments, you should not attach the “AQ” modifier to any of your Medicare claims, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Toward the bottom of the CMS page discussing automatic payments, there are several links to spreadsheets with automated Zip Codes included. The main page can be found by clicking here.

If your Zip Code is not on this list, and you are certain to location where eligible services are offered is within a HPSA, you will need to attach the AQ modifier. The reason that you are not on this list is that your zip code is not fully within the Geographic HPSA, areas of the Zip Code lie outside of the designation.

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