Q&A: Implementing processes for CPT updates

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Q: What is the recommended process for managing year-end CPT® updates?

A: The CPT file is typically available for download from the AMA the day after Labor Day. Once you’ve downloaded the file, create either a new tab or a separate spreadsheet containing the revisions, additions, and deletions. Run a report of both the chargemaster and revenue and usage (including cost centers). For revisions, bring the current and the new descriptions into the spreadsheet. You will also want to bring in the charge description master (if one is built for the CPT) and revenue and usage, which will help determine who is using the charges. Determine what will change, whether the change will impact how the code is used, and which departments are impacted. For deletions, follow the same process, but also check whether replacement codes were released. For additions, bring in the descriptions, then assess whether the addition is a replacement or remap for a deleted code. Depending on your organization’s revenue integrity structure, the revenue integrity team should assign codes (by charge code, rather than CPT) per team member.

Editor’s note: For more information, see Managing CPT/HCPCS year-end updates,” by NAHRI Advisory Board member Lisa Kanivetsky, BA, CPC, CHRI, in the July issue of the NAHRI Journal.