The world of medical billing is so chock full of different codes, standards, and various medical “authorities” of some type or another that it can be difficult to keep everything straight. What are CPT codes and how are they different from ICD codes? Which version are we on again? Who manages each and how do I get my hands on the various standards and updates?
Let’s start with the basics
CPT stands for Current Procedural Terminology. Unlike ICD, which is overseen by the World Health Organization and is publically available, CPT codes are developed and maintained by the CPT Editorial Panel of the American Medical Association (AMA). They are only available from the AMA itself or an AMA licensee. CPT codes apply to medicine practiced in the United States while ICD codes have been adopted by dozens of countries around the world. ICD and CPT code standards work in tandem with one another in that the ICD codes identify the ailment itself and the CPT codes identify the procedure that was used to treat them.