Those who work in the medical field have a significant amount of responsibility. Not only the doctors and nurses who treat you but also the coding and billing professionals that work behind the scenes on paperwork and medical records. There are countless medical regulations and processes that go into medical coding, and it is crucial that the coding is done properly. We’re going to look at what proper coding is, and exactly what is the importance of knowing proper CPT coding.
What Is A CPT Code?
CPT stands for Current Procedural Technology, and CPT codes create a uniform reporting and coding language that is used to make reporting easier, as well as more efficient and accurate. CPT codes are used for medical billing that is either five digits, or four digits and one letter long, and they indicate medical or administrative management procedures. They are used for claims processing as well as for the creation and modification of medical care review guidelines.
Why Is Proper CPT Coding Important?
Most medical facilities rely on insurance providers for the majority of their funding and revenue. Other sources like healthcare programs contribute as well, but the greatest portion is provided by insurers. Insurance companies make their money by charging policyholders a premium, or fee, that is often paid monthly. Since there are many more people who have insurance than are sick at any one time, it allows the insurers to cover most of the medical expenses or costs for those who hold policies. That said, there is a huge portion of income coming from reimbursements, and a very tiny share coming from patients’ pockets.
This is why proper CPT coding is so crucial. Every single patient that visits a hospital, care center, or doctor’s office has a file of medical records that need to be kept updated and accurately documented. If the coding and billing are done incorrectly, it can result in the hospital losing significant amounts of money in lost reimbursements. Additionally, accurate and correct billing and coding are needed to ensure that patients are being charged more than they should be and that their respective insurer is charged the correct portion of the costs.
Types Of CPT Codes
There are codes assigned for every potential procedure or service that medical providers can provide or perform. CPT codes even include many unlisted codes for procedures or special services that are not specified in other unique CPT codes. There are three categories of CPT codes created by the AMA, the categories are:
CPT Category I
Category I contains the largest body of standard codes. These are the codes most commonly used by healthcare providers to report frequently used services and procedures.
CPT Category II
Category II contains supplemental codes that are used for performance management and other administrative purposes. There are codes relating to patient history, diagnostics, patient safety, and follow-up procedures.
CPT Category III
CPT Category III contains the most infrequently used CPT codes. It also contains temporary codes that are used to code and bill experimental services, rare procedures, or emerging treatments.
Understanding CPT Codes And The Importance Of Proper Coding Is Vital For Accurate Recordkeeping
Hopefully, we’ve been able to shed some light on just why proper CPT coding is so essential to the continued operation of healthcare facilities. Without accurate and proper CPT coding, patients would be charged wrong amounts for procedures they never had performed, and the facility would lose out on potentially millions in insurance reimbursements. This can jeopardize not only the health of patients but the longevity of the medical facility as well.