CPT® code applications

Applications beta platform open for test submissions

Beginning with the February 2020 CPT Panel meeting, CPT will require that all applications be submitted online. To prepare you for this change, CPT is phasing in the new online tool through a series of beta application periods. For the May 2019 CPT Panel meeting, there is a managed beta where invitees will be shepherded through the digital application process. You can access the CPT Smart App to review the tool and create an application.

Review the instructional materials

The AMA has created a series of six instructional courses on the CPT Code Change Application Process and the CPT Smart App. These courses have videos on how to use the tool and give examples on the types of responses that represent the information that the CPT Editorial Panel needs to review the code change applications. The courses are: 

Course 1 (pre-training)

Course 2 (basic and required entries)

Course 3 (code changes)

Course 4 (data collection)

Course 5 (supporting information)

Course 6 (submit/update-download)

Review FAQs before submitting an application

The first step in the process is to review the FAQs for CPT applications and CPT Smart App. The FAQ document linked on the downloads tab will help you confirm that you have all the necessary materials to successfully complete and submit an application.

CPT Smart App FAQs (PDF) 

CPT applications FAQs

Access CPT Smart App beta site

Go to the platform, see what the system offers and give us your feedback.

Benefits of online applications

  • Pre-fills and searches current codeset for less cutting and pasting
  • Easier reference and citation literature uploading and cataloging
  • Easy sharing of application with other applicants
  • Aggregation of applicants’ work in the cloud for ease of access
  • Improved communication of information needed to complete an application and comply with AMA guidelines
  • Information on application status and alerts of submission deadlines
  • Automatic rolling of applications to the next scheduled Panel meeting if submission deadline is missed

If you have questions concerning the digital application process, please contact us.

Submission requirements

All CPT code change applications must meet the following requirements in order to be placed on the agenda of the CPT Editorial Panel as an item of business:

  • Submission of a current, complete and materially compliant application form and all other necessary supporting documents
  • Adherence to all posted deadlines
  • Full cooperation with requests from CPT staff and/or Editorial Panel members for clarification and information
  • Compliance with all applicable policies and procedures including the CPT lobbying policy, confidentiality agreement (PDF) and conflict of interest disclosure requirements (PDF) (DocuSign® electronic signature may be required)

CPT staff initially receives and reviews applications for compliance with the above requirements. If necessary, CPT staff will reach out to the applicant for additional information. Applicants have three (3) business days to satisfactorily respond to CPT staff requests unless another deadline is stated. Applications that fail to meet the requirements, as specified above, will not be placed on the CPT Editorial Panel agenda for the immediate Panel meeting. Applicants are welcome to reapply for a subsequent meeting.

CPT code criteria

Strict conformance with established criteria is required for review of a code change application. 

Criteria for CPT Category I and Category III codes

Criteria for CPT Category II codes

CPT code process

Code change paper application submission

Paper applications will continue to be required for the next Panel meeting for all code change requests except PLA requests. Download the appropriate paper form below and email the completed form.

Category I & Category III CPT® Code(s) Application (DOCX)

Category I "Short Form" Codes Application (DOCX)

Molecular Pathology Multianalyte Assays with Algorithmic Analyses-Genomic Sequencing Procedures Codes Application (DOCX)

Pathology and Laboratory Application (DOCX)

Category II codes applications

Category II codes also require a paper application. For Category II codes, please review the submission instructions before submitting a paper application. 

Category II codes submission instructions

Submit an online PLA application

Proprietary Laboratory Analyses (PLA) codes application (sign in required)

Code submission

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