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CPT® Authorized Use and the Definition of a User

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The AMA holds copyright in Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) and use or reprinting of CPT in any product or publication requires a license. Licensing is on a per product/per User basis. 

What is Considered Authorized Use of CPT Data Files

Regardless of the department an individual works in, each individual User that has direct or indirect access to the CPT data set is required to have a CPT data license. AMA licenses each annual release of the CPT data file. 

How AMA Defines a User for CPT Licensing

A "User" is defined as an individual who:

  • Accesses, uses or manipulates CPT Editorial Content contained in the Electronic Licensed Product; or
  • Accesses, uses or manipulates the Electronic Licensed Product to produce or enable an output (data, reports or the like) that could not have been created without the CPT Editorial Content embedded in the Electronic Licensed Product even though CPT Editorial Content may not be visible or directly accessible; or
  • Makes use of an output of the Electronic Licensed Product that relies on or could not have been created without the CPT Editorial Content embedded in the Electronic Licensed Product even though CPT Editorial Content may not be visible or directly accessible

Data files licenses are for use by a specified number of Users and are permitted to be integrated into HIT applications for use by the specified number of Users licensed, regardless of whether the application is internally developed or is developed by a 3rd party. Such 3rd party applications include, but are not limited to: EPIC®, McKesson STAR™, Series 2000™ or Paragon®.

There are some instances that allow CPT data to be used without a license. Please refer to the U.S. Copyright Laws, Section 107 for more information on what is considered fair use.  Please contact the AMA if you have further questions about whether a CPT license is required.

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