The year 2015 is in its nascent stages and it’s that time of the year when medical practitioners need to keep their eyes on the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT). The advent of 2015 is going to see significant changes in the CPT codes.

  • As per reports, more than 500 changes are being implemented in 2015. There are 266 new codes being introduced, 147 codes are getting obliterated and 129 codes are getting a face lift.
  • The American Medical Association (AMA) released the 2015 CPT code changes which came into effect on January 1, 2015. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has already released the Medicare values for these new codes as part of the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Final Rule.

The key specialties that will see these significant changes in their CPT codes are Pathology and Laboratory, Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal and Radiation Oncology departments. Coders of these specialties will have to make changes based on the ICD-10 codes and guidelines. The physicians and coders should vet the entire 2015 CPT manual for the guidelines and changes pertinent to their practices.

Industry Watch

  • The year 2015 is already causing ripples for the healthcare industry. The CPT codes have changed and ICD is also scheduled to change in October this year. It is important that the providers keep these changes in mind and include them in their practice.
  • Healthcare spending usually accounts for 10% of the GDP in developed nations; the figure in US is higher. With the spending in healthcare increasing; this accounts for approximately 17% of the GDP.
  • One of the major reasons for this is the ageing population. It is estimated that a large number of the population will keep on turning 65 every day for the next couple of years.

Action Steps

Medical practitioners need to take the following steps to include the CPT code changes:

  • Reviewing the CPT manual for changes pertinent to their medical practices as well as other specialties within their practice
  • The charge capture tools and the electronic health records (EHR) will have to be updated to include the new codes
  • They need to make sure that the charges are created for the new and revised codes appropriately
  • Finally, they need to make sure that all the reporting and documentation and coding requirements are met for the new and revised codes

Reasons for CPT Update

This is the fourth edition of updates and like previous years, extensive new instructions and guidelines have been added to the CPT manual to clarify coding in a variety of situations. CPT has modified code descriptions, instructions and guidelines to improve provider neutrality language.

Hence, these updates and revisions take place to make the descriptions clearer and objective. It also clears the stance of the doctor and educates them about the steps they need to take in different situations.

In these volatile times it would augur well for medical practitioners to partner with who, with their team of experts can absorb these ever increasing changes and provide par excellence services.

Published By - Medical Billers and Coders
Published Date - Feb-25-2015 Back

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