Remote Medical coding has revolutionized how information is transferred and stored in doctor’s offices since it came about in the 17th century. Since then we’ve seen leaps and bounds in the technology we use to record and store this information, moving from books to computers only in the past few decades. We’re finally starting to see a shift again, with many doctor’s offices and hospitals realizing they can save money by implementing remote medical coding and billing

Whether it’s in house or remote medical coding or billing, the nuances which make these methods so efficient are always updating. There are several reasons for this, but when amendments are made it generally means improvements have been made to current standards. The Current Procedural Terminology or CPT is the language of medical billers and coders, and recent updates can reflect more holistic changes to both healthcare and society at large.

Here is an overview of what CPT codes are and how they function in our medical environment, as well as a look at recent updates and what may change in 2022.

Remote Medical Coding and Understanding CPT

If you’re reading this, then chances are you work somewhere in the healthcare industry, perhaps even in the Human Resources or Accounting department. While most people are familiar with why we use the CPT, it can still help to define it and look at how it functions.

According to Wikipedia, the Current Procedural Terminology is a copyrighted numerical medical code set maintained by the American Medical Association. It describes medical, surgical, and diagnostic services, and is designed to communicate uniform information about medical services and procedures. This is then shared amongst physicians, billers, coders, patients, accreditation organizations, and those payers for administrative, financial, and analytical purposes.

SImply put, the CPT code set is a specially built set of codes which allow staff to communicate detailed medical information without having to write it all out in full.

Categories

Within CPT codes are three categories aptly named Category 1, Category 2, and Category 3, with each of these being specific to certain aspects of healthcare.

Category 1

There are six sections within Category 1:

  • Codes for evaluation and management: 99201–99499
  • Codes for anesthesia: 00100–01999; 99100–99150
  • Codes for surgery: 10000–69990
  • Codes for radiology: 70000–79999
  • Codes for pathology and laboratory: 80000–89398
  • Codes for medicine: 90281–99099; 99151–99199; 99500–99607

These are used for the bulk of communication about patient health, history, etc.

Category 2

These are supplemental tracking codes which can be used for performance measurement, which decreases the need for record abstraction and chart review. This reduces administrative burdens on physicians and other health care professionals.

  • (0001F–0015F) Composite measures
  • (0500F–0584F) Patient management
  • (1000F–1505F) Patient history
  • (2000F–2060F) Physical examination
  • (3006F–3776F) Diagnostic/screening processes or results
  • (4000F–4563F) Therapeutic, preventive or other interventions
  • (5005F–5250F) Follow-up or other outcomes
  • (6005F–6150F) Patient safety
  • (7010F–7025F) Structural measures
  • (9001F–9007F) Non-measure claims-based reporting

Category 3

These are temporary codes assigned to emerging technologies, services, and procedures.

Remote Medical Coding and their Recent Developments

The last few decades have been monumental for CPT codes, as recording and transferring them moved from analogue to digital means. This allows all parties involved to save precious time, and has even allowed for software which can consolidate, analyze, and review, in a fraction of the time it took.

This shift from book to computers for coding and billing has allowed physicians to see more patients, and has also protected patient data to a much higher degree. We are now seeing a similar shift, instead from in-house to remote, as the technology is now fast and accessible enough that remote medical coding and billing aren’t just pipe dreams.

Remote or In-house

Remote working has been received rather conservatively by many businesses, but nowhere would it be more appropriate than in healthcare. The cost of running a healthcare practice is already staggering, with rent and staff being some of the biggest costs. By moving to remote staff, these practices can reacquire their precious space, and save capital on not needing a full-time employee.

2021 Updates to CPT Codes

These updates were considered some of the biggest in 25 years, and saw fundamental changes which aim to free up physicians from administrative burdens. With a total of 329 editorial changes, including 206 new codes, 54 deletions, and 69 revisions.

More can be read about the 2021 updates to the CPT codes here.

Remote Medical Coding and the 2022 Updates to CPT Codes

In the midst of the pandemic, changes to CPT codes were expected, especially in regards to the tracking and analysis of the various Covid-19 vaccines. Although these are only a few new codes among 405 editorial changes, including 249 new codes, 63 deletions and 93 revisions. For help with your medical coding codes contact us today!

Details of the updates to CPT codes for 2022 can be read here.