The Current Procedural Terminology, or CPT for short, was first introduced by the American Medical Association (AMA) in 1966. And throughout the years there have been many updates, revisions, and subsequent editions. In 1983 CPT became part of the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System or HCPCS to report Medicare Part B physician’s services. In 1986 Medicaid required HCPCS for reporting and by 1986 the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act required CPT codes for any outpatient hospital surgical procedures. In 1996 after the start of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountably Act (HIPAA), both CPT and HCPCS were named the procedural code sets for physician services, physical and occupational therapy services, radiological procedures, clinical laboratory tests, other medical diagnostic procedures, hearing and vision services, and transportation services including ambulance.
As of 2000, the AMA completed project CPT-5. This resulted in three separate categories of CPT codes for organization. There is category I, category II, and category III. Category I codes are procedures and services. These codes are identified by a five digit CPT code. Category I is also separated into six sections. These sections are Evaluation and management (E/M), Anesthesia, Surgery, Radiology, Pathology and laboratory, and Medicine. Category II codes are optional “performance measurements” tracking codes that are assigned an alphanumeric identifier with a letter in the last field. These codes are located after the medicine section. Category III codes contain “emerging technology” temporary codes assigned for data collection purposes. (Green)
The Alphabetical index is fairly self-explanatory. Main terms are organized alphabetically, starting with AAT and ending with Zymotic. Main terms are printed in blue boldface type. Main terms are procedures/services, organs, anatomic sites, conditions, eponyms, or abbreviations.
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