The Current Procedural Terminology (CPT)® code set is a medical code set maintained by the American Medical Association through the CPT Editorial Panel. The CPT (copyright protected by the AMA) describes medical, surgical, and diagnostic services and is designed to communicate uniform information about medical services and procedures among physicians, coders, patients, accreditation organizations, and payers for administrative, financial, and analytical purposes.
CPT codes are a critical part of the laboratory billing process. They are similar to ICD-9 and ICD-10 coding, except that it identifies the services rendered rather than the diagnosis on the claim. CPT is currently identified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as Level 1 of the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS).
The AMA’s CPT Editorial Panel engages in an ongoing process improvement effort that frequently includes re-examination of the CPT Category I and Category III criteria.
CPT Category I codes are the codes most used in clinical lab and pathology group billing. They are the five-digit numeric codes included in the main body of CPT. These codes represent procedures that are consistent with contemporary medical practice and are widely performed. Codes assigned to this category have met certain criteria including:
- Procedure or service approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Procedure or service commonly performed by health care professionals nationwide
- Procedure or service’s clinical efficacy is proven and documented
The use of the code is mandated by almost all health insurance payment and information systems, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and HIPAA, and the data for the code sets appears in the Federal Register.
After a clinical laboratory service is provided, diagnosis and procedure codes such as CPT codes are assigned to assist the insurance company in determining coverage and medical necessity of the services. Once the procedure and diagnosis codes are determined, the lab bill enters the laboratory collections/revenue cycle management phase.
This is an excerpt of a 3,163-word article in the Dec. 16, 2019 issue of THE DARK REPORT (TDR). The full article is available to members of The Dark Intelligence Group.
CEO SUMMARY: There was plenty of bad news in 2019 for clinical labs and pathology groups. Yet lurking inside this news are clear opportunities –
CEO SUMMARY: Two lawsuits filed in federal courts against Laboratory Corporation of America and Quest Diagnostics may have consequences for the entire lab industry. The plaintiffs are patients who allege that the two defendant lab companies charged them as much as 10 times more than what Medicare, Medicaid, or commercial health plans charged. Allegations include overcharging,
CEO SUMMARY: There are both surprises and several valuable insights to be harvested from THE DARK REPORT’s “Top 10 Lab Industry Stories for 2019.” Financially, 2019 proved to be a tough year for both clinical labs and anatomic pathology groups in the United States. One reason is because Medicare and private payers continue to use
CEO SUMMARY: One association representing pathologists says new payment rates that Anthem, Inc., is introducing in 14 states do not cover the costs of performing anatomic pathology and clinical lab testing for the tests in question. Another association says the steep payment cuts threaten the viability of small and rural pathology groups. State-by-state, Anthem is
CEO SUMMARY: Consultants who work with anatomic pathologists have several theories about why Anthem is enacting deep cuts of 50% to 70% for the professional component of many anatomic pathology services. While they have different ideas about what motivates the nation’s second largest health insurer, they agree that such reductions in payments will have a
CEO SUMMARY: Deep cuts in what Anthem pays pathologists for the professional component for certain AP services are having a harmful effect on the long-standing relationships that dermatologists have with dermatopathologists, some physicians say. By disrupting these relationships, Anthem is harming patient care, they add. Since late last year, in a growing number of states,
CEO SUMMARY: Reviewing an AP practice’s expenses is vitally important today when payers are cutting reimbursement. In the past, government and private payers paid more for the technical and professional components of anatomic pathology work, but those rates have eroded. While conversations about revenue tend to obscure the need to talk about expenses, effective financial
CEO SUMMARY: As of Aug. 1, Aetna will stop paying out-of-network pathologists for the professional component review of certain clinical pathology tests. Until now, the health insurer has paid for the professional component when out-of-network labs billed for clinical lab tests using the modifier 26. In a notice to labs, Aetna said it will pay
CEO SUMMARY: Anthem is making big changes to its relationships with anatomic pathology groups. Getting most of the attention at the moment are the insurer’s letters announcing price cuts for anatomic pathology services of 50% to 70% of Medicare fees. But another major change may also trigger negative consequences for pathologists. Anthem is moving pathology
This is a synopsis of a 2,120-word article in the July 1, 2019 issue of THE DARK REPORT (TDR). The full articles are available to members of The Dark Intelligence Group.
CEO SUMMARY: Anthem is making big changes to its relationships with anatomic pathology (AP) groups. Getting most of the attention at the moment are the