CPT codes and HCPCS codes

Current Procedure Codes. (CPT)


An acronym for Current Procedural Terminology, CPT is a systematic method for coding procedures and services performed by physicians and other health care professionals.

Key points about CPT Codes.
•CPT codes are five-digit numeric codes.
•CPT codes describe procedures, services and supplies.
•CPT codes represent the first level called level 1 of the HCPCS coding system.

•CPT codes are self-definitive. With the exception of a few codes that contain the term "(specify)" in the description each code has only one meaning.
•CPT codes are revised annually. Hundreds of CPT codes are added, changed or deleted each year. Because so many codes are added, changed or deleted, you need to purchase a new copy of CPT each year.


HCPCS National Level 2 Codes.



HCPCS an acronym that stands for HCFA's Common Procedure Coding System. This is a systematic method for coding supplies, materials, injections and services performed by physicians and other health care professionals. Each supply, material, injection or service is identified with a five digit alphanumeric code. With the HCPCS coding system the supplies, materials, injections and services rendered to Medicare patients can be specifically and accurately identified.

Key Points Regarding HCPCS Level 2 and Level 3 codes.

•The HCPCS coding system is a three-level system consisting of CPT Level 1, National Level 2, and Local Level 3 codes.
•HCPCS codes are five-digit, alphanumeric codes. The first digit is a letter between A and Z,and the second through fifth digit are numbers.
•The HCPCS coding system includes two-digit modifiers at the National and local levels which may be alphabetic or alphanumeric.
•HCPCS codes describe supplies, materials, equipment, and services provided by medical professionals.
•HCPCS codes are mandatory for billing Medicare carriers and some Medicaid carriers as well.
•HCPCS codes are revised annually. Typically hundreds of codes are added, changed or deleted. You need to obtain a copy of the revised codes each year.
•HCPCS codes follow a specific hierarchy of selection and use. Use of Level 3 codes take precedence over National Level 2 codes and use of National Level 2 codes take precedence over CPT level 1 codes.

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