If you want to be ahead of the curve, the AMA recently released their updates to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set for next year. According to Fierce Healthcare, they include 249 new codes, 63 deletions, and 93 revisions, or just over 400 changes in all. And, similar to the changes we saw for this year, 2022’s batch will reflect new information about coronavirus immunization, administrative services, and technology.
COVID codes, then and now
Many of these changes were expected, especially with the development and approval for COVID vaccinations since 2020. Codes released that November were meant to track, report, and analyze data regarding each vaccine, including Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Novavax. This August saw the addition of admin codes to report third COVID shots. Then September followed with eight new codes “to report the Pfizer tris-sucrose formulation,” as well as Pfizer and Moderna boosters.
Additional codes to note
Besides vaccinations, 2022’s CPT codes also address the following areas:
Therapeutic remote monitoring. Codes expand on last year’s remote physiologic monitoring.
Care management services. Codes allow providers to report these services for patients who exhibit one complex chronic condition.
AMA’s allocation focus
When discussing the latest changes, AMA President Gerald E. Harmon, MD, emphasized the importance of data collection and allocation in order to end the COVID pandemic: “Correlating each coronavirus vaccine and dosing schedule with its own unique CPT code has provided necessary analytical advantages to help track, allocate and optimize resources for immunization programs across the United States.”
Last year’s batch of updated vaccine codes were already evidence to this point, as they offered a high level of specificity: coupling a CPT code unique to a vaccine with an administrative code to identify dosage, which helped track each dose even when the vaccine wasn’t reported in a claim.
Keeping your codes (and data) accurate
If you’re concerned about the accuracy of your coding and data collection, we have a couple of suggestions. First, take a look at the AMA’s vaccine code finder resource for selecting the appropriate CPT code combination for type and dosage.
Second, make sure your team has the tools it needs to identify the healthcare data that’s most relevant, abstract it, and make sense of it. As you’re probably aware, a single error has the potential to invalidate your findings and force you to toss out your research — or, at the very least, require you to reevaluate it. For example, we used to think that breakthrough COVID infections in the vaccinated were a big transmission risk. NPR now reports that new evidence indicates otherwise.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your data allocation and abstraction, we can help. HCRS offers qualified nurses, statisticians, and coders who can examine your medical records and other documentation in order to find the relevant information you need. We can also review, interpret, and analyze that data on your behalf, or simply support the heavy lifting from your in-house team. If this sounds like a good fit with your services, click here to get in touch with us.