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Medical Coding News Archives

Medicine Section Hardest Hit by CPT Changes for 2013

October 4, 2012:

Karen Adkins, Clinical/Technical Editor

It’s that time again when the American Medical Association (AMA) releases the annual update to CPT. In terms of new and revised codes, the most number of changes—more than 160—have been made to the medicine section codes. Many of the changes involve the noninvasive cardiovascular and pulmonary subsections.

A total of 184 code descriptions have been revised to incorporate the words “other qualified health care provider.” The evaluation and management (E/M) section alone has 89 codes that now include this language, followed by the medicine section with 82.

Below is a summary of the code changes involving new, revised, and deleted codes by section:

Revised New Deleted Total
EM 82 7 0 89
Anesthesia 2 0 0 2
Surgery 22 47 11 80
Radiology 15 5 19 39
Path/Lab 19 41 24 84
Medicine 114 51 48 213
Category II 6 7 1 14
Category III 3 28 16 47
263 186 119 568

Remember that it is important also to reference the AMA official web site for any updates or changes. In fact, an errata to the 2013 CPT manual dated September 11, 2012, has already been posted that notes some additional changes to parenthetical notes below CPT codes as well as to appendix O to include omitted Category I codes for multianalyte assays with algorithmic analyses (MAAA).

In addition, four vaccine codes will be effective January 1, 2013, that will not be in CPT until the 2014 edition. The codes—90685, 90686, 90687, and 90688—all describe influenza virus vaccines. Forty Category II and 10 Category III codes are effective January 1, 2013, and are also not in the 2013 CPT manual.

Descriptions for three codes not included in the errata have misspelled words; they include 42894, 81503, and 81506.


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