What Are CPT Codes And Why Do They Matter

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In our article, we will speak about various codes that you, as a medical coding specialist, has to know.

Being that a huge number of healthcare-related abbreviations exist, we would like to explain a difference among them.

Medical assistants are usually troubled with the strange language known as medical terminology.

Abbreviations like PERRLA, VS, HR, OD, and OS make administrative medical assistant worried about whether they will be able to deal with them all.

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Are CPT Codes and ICD-10 Codes the Same Thing?

ICD-10 stands for International Classification of Disease Codes which are used to determine the symptoms, injuries, illnesses, and medical conditions of patients.

These codes are frequently used between health care providers and health insurance companies.

CPT stands for Current Procedural Terminology, codes that are describing procedures and services provided by medical professionals and other health care staff.

There is a relationship between ICD-10 codes and CPT, as the ICD-10 codes support the need for the procedure to be completed, which later on, allows the procedure to be covered.

CPT codes are used by medical professionals, hospitals, clinics, and insurance offices to help them identify medical, surgical, radiological, laboratory, and diagnostic services.

This allows for standardized payment and reimbursement from health insurance companies.

The American Medical Association was first to introduce Current Procedural Terminology codes.

It was in the 1960s and its aim was to enable medical staff to use standardized terms to document procedures and services in medical records.

Nowadays, more than 10,000 different 6-digit CPT codes ranging between 00100 and 99499 exist and each code consists of six digits.

Furthermore, two-digit modifying codes can be added with the aim to provide more clarification on the specifics of a procedure that has to be done.

These additional digits in codes are required in cases when the code only describes a part of a procedure.

People who want to work with these codes have to be specially trained and educated professionals.

Not anyone can handle an office’s medical coding and billing, due to the fact that this work is so precise.

Medical coders have to be formally educated and trained in coding and billing procedures.

Also, the CPT codes are evolving all the time, and there are instances when they change so as to keep up with advancing medical practices.

The organization which is in charge of these changes is the CPT Editorial Panel.

They meet three times a year, review the needed changes, and adjust CPT codes if that is necessary.

The changes are made based on the input from physicians, medical device manufacturing companies,

However, the request has to be submitted within the deadline and these request forms will be announced on the American Medical Association website.

The CPT Editorial Panel reviews 350 requests each year and their decisions can be to add the new code or revise an existing one, to refer the suggestion to committee further evaluation, to postpone the review, or to reject the change.

We know that upon reading this you may think that this is so complex and that you will not be able to grasp all the codes, we assure you that this is not that complicated and that many people find it interesting and exciting to work with.

CPT codes are supposed to simplify the medical billing process and if you become an administrative medical assistant, you will become an essential part of this process.


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