In September 2019, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced the release of the 2020 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set. This code set contains identifiers and descriptors assigned to each surgical, medical, and diagnostic service available to patients. The CPT code set has been trusted since 1966 as the health system’s common language. CPT codes enables accurate reporting, measurement, analysis, and benchmarking of medical services and procedures across the nation’s healthcare system. The 2020 CPT codes are effective for reporting January 1, 2020.
In the release of the 2020 CPT code set, there are 394 code changes which includes 248 new codes, 71 deletions, and 75 revisions.
While making these updates, the CPT Editorial Panel considered input from physicians, medical specialty societies, and the greater healthcare community.
One of the more important additions to the 2020 code set was the medical services that derive from digital communication tools like patient portals, which assist healthcare professionals to more efficiently connect with patients at home and exchange any needed information. Six new codes were added to report online digital evaluation services or e-visits. The codes that describe patient-initiated digital communications provided by a physician or other healthcare professional are 99421, 99422, and 99423. The codes that describe patient-initiated digital communications provided by a non-physician healthcare professional are 98970, 98971, and 98972.
Some other code additions were created to better support home blood pressure monitoring to align with current clinical practice. The goals of these codes is to expand reporting pathways for physicians who take care of a diverse set of patients which have different access to healthcare. The CPT codes added to report self-measured blood pressure monitoring are 99473 and 99474.
Additional CPT code changes for 2020 include new codes for health and behavior assessment and intervention services. These codes replace six olde codes to more accurately report current clinical practice that increasingly emphasizes interdisciplinary care coordination and teamwork with physicians in primary care and specialty settings. The new 2020 CPT codes are 96156, 96158, 96164, 96167, 96170, and add-on codes 96159, 96165, 96168, and 96171.
The largest application expansion to the 2020 CPT code set was the codes for reporting long term electroencephalographic (EEG) monitoring services which is the code range 95700-95726. Four older codes were deleted and twenty-three new codes were added to better provide clarity around the services reported by a physician, technician, or other healthcare provider.