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CPT® Frequently Asked Questions

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Where can I get answers to my CPT coding questions?

You may submit your CPT coding questions to AMA's online CPT Network service. This online service features an option to search a database of frequently asked questions about CPT coding and clinical vignettes of procedures. It also includes a standardized form for submitting online inquiries on issues not contained in the Knowledge Base. The new online service is offered as a benefit to AMA members and subscribers.

How can I submit requests for changes to CPT?

Complete details on the CPT Process, including forms for submitting code change requests.

Where can I find back issues for CPT Assistant?

Back issues are available through the AMA Store. The back issues are for viewing and printing only.

Where can I buy other CPT products?

You can order other hard copy products/CDs through the AMA Store or by calling (800) 621-8335.

Where can I find more information on other AMA products and services?

Check the AMA Store to see our full line of coding products and the CPT Product Page for immediate download of data file, back issues of CPT Assistant, coding education and more.

I am developing a product that will contain CPT codes. Do I need permission from the AMA?

Yes. The AMA holds copyright in CPT and use or reprinting of CPT in any product or publication requires a license. To use CPT codes in a product that will be sold or distributed to others, please obtain a distribution license.

How can I get a distribution license for CPT?

To initiate the license process, simply return a completed license application to us. Completed license applications can be emailed to [email protected] or returned by mail at CPT Intellectual Property Services, American Medical Association, AMA Plaza, 330 N. Wabash Ave, Suite 39300, Chicago, Illinois 60611-5885.

Where can I get a license application?

License applications are available at the CPT Intellectual Property Services section of the AMA website.

How long does it take to get a distribution license?

Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for the completion of your license. A license contract will typically be sent to you within a month of your initial application. Additional time will be needed for your review of the agreement and for signature of the contract by both your company and the AMA.

What is the fee for a distribution license?

The royalty for the use for CPT material in an electronic or Internet product is $15 per user per product. Depending on the terms of the License Agreement, royalties are due either quarterly or semiannually in arrears. Print publication royalty is $15.50 per distributed copy. No minimums or upfront fees are required. You will, however, need to purchase the CPT data file separately.

What are the other license terms?

Reprinting of CPT alone is not permitted. The licensed product must contain code level value-added information. Altering CPT is not permitted.

License term is generally 1 year and can typically be renewed.

Reports and payments are made semiannually.

Distribution may be in print, electronic media or over the Internet. Internet distribution requires use of certain security features. International rights are available.

How do you define "user"?

End User definition - CPT data files are licensed on an individual (as opposed to concurrent) user basis.

We consider individuals CPT users if they directly access CPT data in a product or, in the case where CPT is embedded in a product and not directly accessible, rely on embedded CPT data to perform their intended function with the product or its output.  Anyone who can't do a part of their job if AMA data disappears from a system or process is a user.

I just want to incorporate CPT material into my information management system. What kind of license do I need?

You need an end user or "internal use" license. An internal use license gives permission when CPT will only be used within a company and will not be redistributed.

The royalty fee for an internal use license is $80 per legal entity plus $15 per user. The CPT data file is included in the license fee.

To apply for an internal use license, please obtain a license application at our website and return the completed license application to us by email to [email protected] or by mail at CPT Intellectual Property Services, American Medical Association, AMA Plaza, 330 N. Wabash, Suite 39300, Chicago, Illinois 60611-5885.

Licenses for internal use by fewer than 11 users can be obtained through purchase of electronic CPT through AMA Store, or by calling (800) 621-8335.

Visit the AMA CPT Data Files Page for immediate download of files licensed for up to 25 users.

My product will only use a few CPT codes. Do I need a license?

You should evaluate whether your proposed use of CPT falls within "fair use."

The U.S. Copyright Law, under Chapter One, Section 107, exempts certain limited use of copyrighted works, referred to a "fair use" and such uses are permissible without a license.

The law requires that you make a good faith determination based on the balance of 4 statutory factors. These factors are subject to interpretation, and careful analysis is required. Consulting your legal advisor is a good idea. For more information on fair use and the copyright law, see the U.S. Copyright Office website.

U. S. Copyright Law, Chapter One, Section 107, Fair Use

U. S. Copyright Office Library of Congress

What is the correct format for the copyright notice?

When incorporating CPT content into other works, please place the following notices prior to initial display of CPT content:

"CPT Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.
CPT® is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association."

(Please note that the use or reprinting of CPT content in any product or publication requires a license. For more information about the licenses available, see CPT License Information.)

Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use

Fee schedules, relative value units, conversion factors and/or related components are not assigned by the AMA, are not part of CPT, and the AMA is not recommending their use. The AMA does not directly or indirectly practice medicine or dispense medical services. The AMA assumes no liability for data contained or not contained herein.

I need more information. Who can I contact?

Please contact Intellectual Property Services at (312) 464-5022 or email [email protected].

CPT® is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.

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