AMA Wire

Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012

This Week's News

CPT® 2013 code changes announced; new codes reflect care advancements

CPT® 2013 code changes  announced; new codes reflect care advancements

Important updates to the 2013 Current Procedural Terminology® (CPT®) code set announced last week will allow physicians to report advancements in health care services, including new molecular tests and care coordination.

Reflecting the constant evolution in health care, the 2013 CPT code set has added 186 new codes, deleted 119 outdated ones and revised another 263 codes. The single largest expansion was the result of significant advancements in medical understanding of and testing for the molecular basis of disease, including the Human Genome Project. The 2013 codes include 116 for molecular pathology.

The new codes will enhance reporting of innovative diagnostic tools that will promote medicine's overarching goals of reducing disease burdens, improving health outcomes and reducing long-term care costs. Additional updates to the 2013 CPT code set reflect practice changes and technology improvements in cardiology, neurologic testing and psychiatry.

"Medical knowledge is constantly advancing, and as steward of CPT, the AMA invests extensive resources each year to keep the code set current with contemporary medical science and technology," AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD, said in a news release.

The CPT code set is updated annually with direct input from the health care community, including practicing physicians, allied health professionals and advisors from more than 100 medical specialty societies. Such input has allowed the code set to better support the reporting needs of physicians and other professionals in emerging models of care, including patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organizations.

"Tapping into the clinical expertise of the health care community produces the practical enhancements that CPT needs to reflect the coding demands of the modern health care system," Dr. Lazarus said.

Physicians can attend the AMA's annual CPT/RBRVS Symposium, which takes place Nov. 14–16 in Chicago, to learn about the significant code set changes from CPT experts. AMA members receive a discount on registration.