CPT changes in 2020 include new codes to allow doctors to bill for digital health

Doctor working on iPad with hospital setting in background
New CPT codes will support e-visits and home monitoring services. (Getty/ipopba)

The American Medical Association (AMA) released updates to its Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for 2020, including new codes to keep doctors up-to-date with new technology.

The AMA released 394 code changes, including 248 new codes, 71 deletions and 75 revisions. The changes, which will take effect on January 1, 2020, reflect new tech-enabled patient services.

The CPT codes, which describe medical, surgical and diagnostic services provided to patients, are used to bill outpatient and office procedures. Among the changes for 2020 are codes that will give doctors more room to bill for e-visits and remote patient monitoring.

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“An annual editorial process draws insight from the entire health care community to produce practical code enhancements to CPT that support advancements in technology and medical knowledge available for the care of patients,” said AMA President Patrice A. Harris, M.D.

“With the advance of new technologies for e-visits and health monitoring, many patients are realizing the best access point for physician care is once again their home,” said Harris. “The new CPT codes will promote the integration of these home-based services that can be a significant part of a digital solution for expanding access to healthcare, preventing and managing chronic disease and overcoming geographic and socioeconomic barriers to care.”

  • CPT codes for new medical services sparked by digital communication tools such as patient portals. Specifically, CPT added six new codes to report online digital evaluation services or e-visits. The codes describe patient-initiated digital communications.
  • CPT codes to report self-measured blood pressure monitoring done by patients at home.
     
  • New codes for health and behavior assessments and intervention services. These codes replace six older codes to more accurately reflect the current clinical practice that increasingly emphasizes interdisciplinary care coordination and teamwork with physicians in primary care and specialty settings.
     
  • Enhancement of the codes for reporting long-term electroencephalographic (EEG) monitoring services. The AMA deleted four codes and added 23 new codes.

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