2021 CPT code set includes 329 modifications — 4 things to know

Angie Stewart - Print  |

The American Medical Association released the 2021 Current Procedural Terminology code set Sept. 1. 

What you should know:

1. Healthcare organizations have four months to understand and be ready to use the CPT code set proposed for adoption by CMS on Jan. 1, 2021, which includes 206 new codes, 54 deletions and 69 revisions, for a total of 329 editorial changes.

2. Modifications to CPT codes ranging from 99201-99215 were intended to reduce administrative burden stemming from coding and documentation of evaluation and management services in offices and other outpatient settings. The changes include eliminating history and physical exam as elements for code selection; permitting code level selection based on medical decision-making or total time; and adding more detail to descriptors and guidelines.

3. Other changes include new codes for retinal imaging, external extended electrocardiogram monitoring, and COVID-19-related medical testing services. Sixty-three percent of the new codes for 2021 involve new technology services described in Category III CPT codes and the Proprietary Laboratory Analyses section.

4.The CPT Editorial Panel, an independent body convened by the AMA, manages an open editorial process through which modifications to CPT codes are considered. The panel considers input from the healthcare community to ensure changes reflect contemporary medicine and technology.

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