The AMA recently published the 2022 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code set. Knowledge of the changes is important to ensure accurate billing of outpatient and office procedures, as medical coding errors can result in higher claim denials, loss of revenue, and potentially, federal penalties.

So, what has changed? The 2022 update incorporates a series of 15 vaccine-specific codes that are designed as a model for efficiently reporting and tracking coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) immunizations and administrative services.

In conjunction with the CDC, the AMA developed vaccine-specific CPT codes starting in November 2020 to help clinically distinguish each coronavirus vaccine and dosing schedule for better tracking, reporting, and analysis of patient vaccinations. The AMA offers a vaccine code finder resource to help identify the appropriate CPT code combination for the type and dose of COVID-19 vaccine provided to each patient. In the 2022 CPT code set, there’s now an appendix that acts as a single-access resource and unique educational guide to all codes for COVID-19 vaccine reporting. There are a total of 405 editorial changes in the 2022 CPT code set, including 249 new codes, 63 deletions, and 93 revisions. As it relates to new and novel areas of medicine, 43% of editorial changes were tied to new technology services described in Category III CPT codes and the continued expansion of the Proprietary Laboratory Analyses, or PLA, section of the set.

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Other key additions to the 2022 CPT code set include a response to the fast pace of innovation in digital medicine services that can improve healthcare access and enhance outcomes for patients. This response is illustrated by five new CPT codes (98975, 98976, 98977, 98980, 98981) to report therapeutic remote monitoring, an important facet of patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic, which are an expansion of remote physiologic monitoring codes created in 2020.

Changes to the CPT code set are considered through an open editorial process managed by the CPT Editorial Panel, an independent body convened by the AMA that collects broad input from healthcare professionals and others to ensure that the content reflects the coding demands of digital health, precision medicine, augmented intelligence, and other aspects of modern healthcare systems. This independent editorial process is designed to keep the CPT code set current with contemporary medical science and technology to serve as both the trusted language of medicine today and the code to its future.