Doctors and healthcare providers, do you wonder how often CPT codes are updated every year? Well, you’re in luck because we’ve got the latest scoop for you. The American Medical Association (AMA) releases a new set of updates to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set every year, and the most recent update for 2023 is a big one. With 225 new codes, 75 deleted codes, and 93 revised codes, this year’s update is aimed at simplifying the medical coding process, particularly for evaluation and management (E/M) visits.
If you’re a healthcare professional or just someone interested in the industry, keep reading this article to learn more about the latest changes in medical coding!
Artificial Intelligence & Virtual Technology
Healthcare is constantly evolving, and the American Medical Association (AMA) is keeping up with these changes by adding an appendix to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set for AI applications. This special taxonomy provides specific guidance and classification of AI medical services into three categories: assistive, augmentative, or autonomous. The AMA aims to establish a strong foundation and clear description of the AI applications, including their technical specifications and performance. In addition to these changes, the new CPT codes for 2023 include codes for emerging uses of virtual reality technology in mental health care and for people with neurodevelopmental disorders. It is also being utilized in place of some anaesthesia to reduce pain and increase tolerance. These changes reflect the ever-evolving nature of healthcare and its continued focus on providing better and more efficient care to patients.
Evaluation and Management
As said earlier, the upcoming 2023 CPT code set has brought a significant shift in the coding requirements for Evaluation and Management (E/M) visits. CMS has updated the documentation and coding regulations to reduce administrative burdens and streamline coding procedures. This change is not only limited to the existing E/M codes but also extends to observation care, inpatient emergency, and nursing facilities, as well as home and residence services. These new CPT codes are designed to simplify the coding process and make it easier for healthcare providers to accurately report and bill for their services. With these changes in this year’s code set, providers can expect to see a reduction in paperwork and administrative tasks, allowing them to focus more on patient care.
Pathology and Laboratory
If you are a laboratory personnel or pathologist reading this article, please know that it is important to stay up to date with the new medical coding in the Pathology and Laboratory section of the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes.
The new additions include 11 fresh codes and three revised ones. You’ll find specific codes such as 81449, 81451, and 81456 for targeted genomic sequence analyses, codes 87468, 87469, 87478, and 87484 for detecting infectious agents using DNA or RNA, code 81418 for analyzing drug metabolism using a genomic sequence, and code 81441 for detecting inherited bone marrow failure syndromes. There are also codes 84433 and 87467 for detecting the enzyme thiopurine S-methyltransferase and hepatitis B surface antigen, respectively.
These changes are purposely made for more accurate billing and record-keeping purposes. Therefore, make sure you are updated with these revisions to manage pathology and laboratory services effectively.
Abdominal Hernia Repair
When are CPT codes updated, you ask? Every year, we’ll say as new CPT codes go into effect on Jan 1st of every year. The CPT code set in 2023 is witnessing some major changes this time. One of the most notable changes includes abdominal hernia repair services. Fifteen new CPT codes have been added for anterior abdominal hernia repair services, ranging from 49591 to 49623. The new codes will make it easier to report hybrid abdominal hernia repairs, which can be done partially open and with a laparoscope. Additionally, these codes address the use of robots to perform surgery. These new CPT codes are already in effect, making it essential for medical coders and healthcare providers to stay up to date on the latest coding changes to ensure accurate and efficient billing practices.
Note that the 2023 CPT code set also includes seven new product codes and 20 administration codes for COVID-19 vaccines. These updates are in response to the evolving guidelines around COVID-19 vaccination, including the administration of a second booster dose and vaccines for the pediatric population. These CPT changes now include a specific adult booster-only code, as well as codes for patients aged 5-11 years, six months to 4 years, and six months to 5 years. As the healthcare industry continues to respond to the evolving COVID-19 vaccine guidelines, healthcare providers must stay up to date with the latest coding structures to ensure the same – accurate billing and efficient record-keeping.
The 2023 CPT code also has revisions for the Radiology section. It includes changes to limited ultrasound and tomographic SPECT codes. The limited ultrasound code 76882 descriptor has been updated to specify “focal evaluation of,” while the tomographic SPECT codes 78803, 78830, 78831, and 78832 now include “or acquisition” in their descriptors. Moreover, a new medical coding 76883 has been added for the ultrasound of nerves and accompanying structures throughout an entire anatomic course in one extremity.