CPT Codes 2014 Ready For Implementation
The American Medical Association (AMA) created CPT, or Current Procedural Terminology, codes to standardize the way medical professionals refer to diagnostic, surgical, and medical procedures and services. This code set, developed in 1966, makes it possible for patients, insurance companies, accreditation organizations, and physicians to share information in the industry using a common language. The AMA provides annual updates to the code set and there are more than 300 changes for CPT Codes 2014, which will go into effect at the beginning of the year.
Each code consists of a series of numerals indicating a different medical procedure or service. The coding is intricate and relays specific information about various services and procedures. Up to thirteen different numbers are used to indicate a simple influenza vaccine depending on the kind of vaccine and how the healthcare provider administers it to the patient.
The code allows all individuals working in the community to exchange accurate information about services provided to patients. The AMA made the current changes in response to input provided by professionals in the healthcare community. The most recent changes to this code address recent scientific and technological advancements in the medical field and implemented in clinical practice.
The CPT code is divided into three specific categories. There are six sections in Category I. They are Evaluation and Management, Anesthesia, Surgery, Radiology, Pathology and Laboratory, and Medicine. Category II addresses Performance Measurement while Category II reflects Emerging Technology.
Nearly 25 percent of the changes set to go into effect in 2014 came about in response to a two-year effort to recognize major advancements in endoscopic techniques, devices, and technology in the area of gastroenterology. Gastrointestinal services have vastly improved in recent years. Companies in this field have worked hard to develop new imaging technologies, powerful optical magnification and miniaturization of diagnostic tools.
These changes are associated with upper gastrointestinal services. They deal with the newest endoscopic procedures medical professionals use to detect digestive disorders, including cancer. Changes to the code set for lower gastrointestinal services are expected to be ready for implementation in 2015.
Advancements in medical technology required additional changes. These include numerous new and revised codes for a variety of procedures. Changes were made for vascular embolization and cardiology procedures, breast imaging and biopsies as well as catheter drainage guided by multi-system imaging techniques.
Enhancements to diagnostic codes broaden the scope of molecular pathology services. The AMA has added 316 molecular tests to the list. These include tests for germlines, detection of genes and somatic disorders.
Medical facilities can purchase and download the new code list and descriptors. The files are ready for direct input into existing billing and claims software. The package includes official coding guidelines and descriptors for physicians and patients.
Members of the healthcare industry must stay in compliance with reporting. This means they are required by law to update their software on an annual basis. The AMA revealed the number of changes in late July 2013 but the specifics were under embargo until early September. The CPT Codes 2014 officially go into effect on January 1, 2014.