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Different Types of CPT Codes and How to Use Them

The cpt meaning Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) system used for clinical laboratory diagnostics is a system based on costs and procedures, rather than value, and often fails to account for all the costs and procedures associated with a given test. Lets read CPT codes and its different types below.

What are CPT Codes?

A CPT code is a five-digit numeric code that was developed, maintained, and copyrighted by the American Medical Association. CPT is a medical language for communication across healthcare. That enables seamless processes and advanced analytics in medical services. The codes measure the prevalence and value of certain procedures. And hospitals can evaluate their effectiveness over a year. As the healthcare system evolves, new codes may be developed for new services. Current codes may be revised, and old, unnecessarily generated codes may be discarded.

How are CPT Codes Created and Maintained?

The CPT dataset is updated twice a year by the CPT Editorial Panel with the help of perspectives from clinical and industry experts. The commission meets three days each year to consider requests for updated codes. Or revisions to existing codes or revisions to codes already in use.

In many health systems, there are specific medical codes that work within the CPT code set. To make sure suppliers are using the correct ICD codes and CPT codes for billing purposes.

Types of CPT Codes

There are three types of CPT Codes;

Category 1 CPT Codes:

CPT codes are used to describe devices and drugs (including vaccines) needed to perform a service or procedure. Services or procedures are accomplished by physicians and other health care providers. Services or procedures performed are considered for clinical use. Services or procedures accomplished by current medical practice. Any services or procedures that meet CPT conditions. These codes are billable for reimbursement.

There are 10 main sections;

  •   00000-09999 Anesthesiology services.
  •   10000-19999 Cover system.
  •   20000-29999 Musculoskeletal system.
  •   30000-39999 Respiratory, cardiovascular, hemic, and lymphatic systems.
  •   40000-49999 Digestive system.
  •   50000-59999 Urinary, male genitalia, female genitalia, maternal care, and delivery system.
  •   60000-69999 Endocrine, nervous, eye and eye adnexa, auditory system.
  •   70000-79999 Radiology Services.
  •   80000-89999 Pathology and laboratory services.
  •   90000-99999 Assessment and Management Services.

Category 2 CPT Codes:

Category Two codes are five-character alphanumeric codes that provide additional context to Category One codes. Category two is formatted to have four digits and the letter F. These codes are optional, but help provides additional information. That you can utilize for future patient care and production management. For example, if a physician requests a patient’s body mass index (BMI) during a routine visit, the coder would use category two code 3008F.

Category two CPT codes serve as supplemental tracking codes that can assist with performance measurement. And reduce the need for chart review and record abstraction. Category Two CPT codes also help reduce overall administrative hassles for healthcare professionals. These codes are designed to help collect data on the overall quality of care.

Category 3 CPT Codes:

The CPT Category 3 code consists of temporary codes that cover emerging technologies, services, and procedures. They differ from the list of CPT Category 1 medical codes in that they identify services. That may not be broadly performed by healthcare professionals, and may not have FDA approval. And may not have proven clinical efficacy. To be eligible, a service or procedure must be involved in an ongoing and planned research. The motive of these CPT codes is to help researchers track emerging technologies and services.

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How CPT Codes are Used

CPT codes directly influence how much a patient will pay for the medical care they receive.

Provider offices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities strictly adhere to the CPT coding method. They hire professional medical coders or coding services to make sure services are coded correctly.

Initial Coding:

The coding process is usually initiated by your healthcare provider or their office staff.

If they use paper forms, they will indicate which CPT codes apply to your visit. If they use an electronic health record (EHR) during your visit, it will be recorded in this system. These systems typically allow staff to call up codes based on the name of the service.

Verification and Submission:

After you leave the office, medical coders and billers will review your records. Ensures correct CPT codes are assigned.

Next, the billing department sends a list of your services to your insurer or payer. Most healthcare providers store and transmit this information digitally. But many are quite done by mail or fax.

Claim Processing:

Your health idea or payer uses CPT codes to process the claim. They will decide how much you will pay your provider. And how much you will owe for the services you received.


Health insurers and government officials use coding data to predict future healthcare costs for patients in their systems. State and federal governments examine the use of coding data to track trends in medical care. This information helps plan and budget for Medicare and Medicaid.

Commonly Used CPT Codes

The six most commonly used CPT codes for healthcare billing are as follows:

new patient office visit codes: codes used to bill patients who have never been seen by a doctor in the same specialty in the same group in the past three years.

  • established patient office visit codes: used to bill patients who have been examined by a doctor of the same specialty within the same group in the last three years.
  • initial hospital care codes for new or established patients: used to bill patients admitted to the hospital.
  • subsequent hospital care codes.
  • emergency department visit codes.
  • office codes: used for patients who request a doctor’s opinion at the request of another doctor.


CPT codes are combinations of letters and numbers that correspond to health care services and supplies. The AMA developed the CPT codes to ensure that all healthcare providers have a uniform system for reporting the services they provide to patients.

When you visit a healthcare facility, your provider uses CPT codes to tell your insurer or payer what services you got from them. The insurer or payer then reimburses the provider based on the CPT codes. You can see the codes on discharge papers, bills, and benefit statements.

When you receive your bill or statement, it’s a good idea to check the codes. Your provider or coder can sometimes make mistakes if they are not fixed.

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