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What is a CPT code?

CPT is an acronym for Current Procedural Terminology. CPT codes are published by the American Medical Association. The purpose of the coding system is to provide uniform language that accurately describes medical, surgical, and diagnostic services. A CPT code is a five digit numeric code that is used to describe medical, surgical, radiology, laboratory, anesthesiology, and evaluation/management services of physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers. There are approximately 7,800 CPT codes ranging from 00100 through 99499. Two digit modifiers may be appended when appropriate to clarify or modify the description of the procedure.

It is published in two versions - the first is the most common, CPT Physician's Current Procedural Terminology. A second publication is also available - the CPT Physician's Current Procedural Terminology Specially Annotated for Hospitals. The Hospital version contains all the information in the original version with the addition of special Medicare guidelines and notations for identifying criteria applicable to outpatient hospital billing. The rules for assigning the appropriate code are complex, and so we advise individuals who are determining the appropriate codes receive the proper training and credentials. This would include any office or clinic personnel who play a significant role in coding.