The American Medical Association (AMA) has announced their 2022 Current Procedure Terminology (CPT ®) new codes and changes. For 2022, there are 405 editorial changes in the 2022 CPT code set, including 249 new codes, 63 deletions and 93 revisions. So, for the coding professional, there is a lot to understand and learn about these new codes and changes.

According to the AMA CPT Symposium agenda the following provides a list of the categories which have new codes or changes and will be presented at the virtual event in November:

  • Cardiology                                         
  • Pathology                                                         
  • Digital Medicine                               
  • Urology                                                                           
  • Neurosurgery & Spine Surgery       
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery                                   
  • Anesthesia & Pain Management                                  
  • Vaccines & Immunization Administration
  • Evaluation & Management                            
  • Interventional Cardiology
  • Radiology            
  • Orthopaedic Surgery

The AMA worked closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the development of the vaccine-specific codes dating back to 2020 when in November the first CPT codes for coronavirus vaccine were released. For 2022 there will be a series of 15 vaccine-specific codes

There are three types of CPT codes:

  • Category I: Procedures that are consistent with contemporary medical practice and are widely performed.
  • Category II: Supplementary tracking codes that can be used for performance measures.
  • Category III: Temporary codes for emerging technology, services, and procedures. These codes help foster more thorough and efficient documentation and help with proper utilization and reporting of new technologies.

Included in the CPT codes for 2022 are five (5) new therapeutic remote patient monitoring codes (98975, 98976, 98977, 98980 and 98981). These codes are added to the current codes for remote physiologic patient monitoring (99453, 99454, 99457, 99458) created by in 2020. We’ve seen the use/assignment of these codes expand with the Public Health Emergency (PHE) due to the coronavirus.

Also included for 2022 are some Radiology category I and category III codes for reporting the following services:

  • trabecular bone score (TBS)
  • thermal destruction of the intraosseous basivertebral nerve
  • quantitative ultrasound tissue characterization (non-elastographic)
  •  artificial intelligence (AI) analysis for the detection of vertebral fractures.

There are several editorial changes linked to new technology services within the Category III codes.

CPT codes for 2022 are effective with encounters on or after 1/1/2022. Visit the following AMA link to their CPT announcement for 2022: Nearly 250 new CPT codes in store for 2022 | American Medical Association (ama-assn.org)

Between now and January 1, 2022, education is going to be the key for Health Information Management Coding Professional in order to prepare for these new CPT codes and editorial changes. Be sure to ask your external coding vendor and/or your professional association about educational offerings. In addition, obtaining coding books and other products to aid with the transition to the new codes will be helpful. Don’t forget to have the necessary changes made to software and any charge capture systems that have CPT codes linked to them will need to be updated, testing and made ready. 

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Written by Gloryanne Bryant, RHIA, CDIP, CCS, CCDS, AHIMA Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer