A main focus of this year’s CPT code update is reducing medical coding burden for evaluation and management (E/M) visits. The AMA has long been focused on reducing administrative tasks in medicine that drive physician burnout. There are also exciting changes that reflect innovations in healthcare like artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual technology.
Highlights from the new 2023 CPT codes
Now let’s identify some of the specific changes that are coming to the code set for the year 2023.
Evaluation and Management (E/M) CPT codes
A substantial portion of the update contains changes to E/M codes. The documentation and coding requirements for E/M visits were recently updated by CMS to ease administrative burdens and streamline coding processes. The changes will expand to observation care, inpatient, emergency, nursing facilities, as well as home and residence services.
AI and virtual technology CPT codes
Along with those changes the AMA is reacting to ever evolving world of innovative health care by adding an appendix with a special taxonomy for AI applications. The taxonomy in question provides specific guidance and classification of AI medical services which are put into three categories: assistive, augmentative or autonomous. The AMA hopes to establish a strong foundation and clear description of the AI applications as well as the technical specifications and performance.
Over the last two years, the world has had to adapt due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and health care is no different. There are codes in the 2023 CPT code set that revolve around the new and emerging use of virtual reality technology in mental health care and for people with neurodevelopmental disorders. Virtual technology is also being used in place of some anesthesia to reduce pain and increase tolerance.
Abdominal hernia repair CPT codes
Finally, fifteen new CPT codes were added for anterior abdominal hernia repair services (49591-49623). The new codes address the difference in reporting for hybrid abdominal hernia repairs which can be done partially open and with a laparoscope. They also address the use of a robot to perform the surgery.
Streamlining updates to CPT codes in your systems
The AMA has done a great job to responding to the ever-evolving world of healthcare, especially in a challenging time for providing patient care. The 2023 changes to the CPT code set will help ease these challenges and make patient care more accessible and understandable for all parties involved.
As the new year approaches, we know your team has been hard at work implementing these changes. If your organization could use support with these or other terminology updates, our Health Language team is here to help! Our decades of expertise in healthcare terminology and industry-leading data interoperability solution can help your organization can streamline content updates across the enterprise.