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Medical Coding News Archives


October 27, 2009:

The American Medical Association (AMA) has released CPT® 2010; in addition to the 224 new codes, 155 revised codes and 76 deleted codes, the AMA has also begun a new numbering methodology that could be confusing initially.

Resequencing of CPT codes: Beginning with CPT® 2010 the AMA will employ a new numbering methodology of resequencing. Resequencing is the practice of displaying the codes outside of numerical order in favor of grouping them according to the relationships among the code descriptions. According to the AMA, there are instances in which a new code is needed within an existing grouping of codes and an unused code number is not available. In these situations, the AMA will resequence the codes; that is, the association will assign a code that is not in numeric sequence with the related codes. However, the code and description will appear in the CPT manual with the other related codes.

An example of resequencing from CPT® 2010 is given below.

▲21555          Excision, tumor, soft tissue of neck or anterior thorax, subcutaneous; less than 3 cm
●21552                        3 cm or greater
▲21556          Excision, tumor, soft tissue of neck or anterior thorax, subfascial (e.g., intramuscular); less than 5 cm
●21554                        5 cm or greater

Note that codes 21552 and 21554 are out of numeric sequence. However as they are indented codes they are in the correct placement in terms of the code concept and relationship to the codes under which they are indented.

The codes that are resequenced are listed two times in the CPT manual. First, they are listed in their original numeric position with instructions noting that the code is out of numerical sequence and referring the user to the code range containing the resequenced code and description.

#+▲51797    Code is out of numerical sequence. See 51725-51798.

Second, the code and its narrative will appear in the group of codes to which it is related, as shown below.

●51729            Complex cystometrogram (i.e., calibrated electronic equipment); with voiding pressure studies (i.e., bladder voiding pressure) and urethral pressure profile studies (i.e., urethral closure pressure profile), any technique

#+▲51797    Voiding pressure studies, intra-abdominal (i.e., rectal, gastric, intraperitoneal) (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)

CPT appendix N identifies all the CPT codes that are resequenced.

The AMA will continue to assign codes in numeric order where possible and may still delete codes and replace with a new set of codes where appropriate. An example for CPT® 2010 is deleting codes 64470–64476 and replacing them with codes 64490–64495.

Ingenix will display the resequenced coding as assigned by the AMA in the CPT manual so that the user can understand the code description relationships.

Note: The AMA has also informed Ingenix that code 0140T has been deleted and, even though it appears in the CPT manual, it should not be used.


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