The American Medical Association (AMA) has recently announced the release of the CPT 2024 code set, bringing several noteworthy updates and improvements to the medical community. Among these changes is an important focus on language inclusivity, which aims to bridge communication gaps between healthcare providers and Spanish-speaking patients. In this blog post, we will delve into the key highlights of the CPT 2024 code set, including the addition of Spanish-language descriptors, consolidation of codes for COVID-19 immunizations, and other significant revisions that streamline medical procedures and foster a more inclusive healthcare environment.   

Spanish Language Descriptors for Medical Procedures: CPT

To address language barriers and enhance transparency, the AMA has incorporated Spanish-language descriptors for over 11,000 medical procedures and services into the CPT 2024 code set. These consumer-friendly descriptors help hospitals, health plans, medical offices, and other users better engage and assist the Latinx community. By providing patients with clear and straightforward descriptions in their native language, the AMA aims to break down language barriers and improve inclusivity in healthcare.   

Streamlining the Reporting of COVID-19 Immunizations: 

The CPT 2024 code set includes several updates related to COVID-19 immunizations. The consolidation of over 50 previous codes simplifies the reporting of immunizations for COVID-19, ensuring a more efficient documentation process for healthcare providers. Additionally, provisional codes (91318-91322) have been approved to identify monovalent vaccine products specifically for Moderna and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines. Furthermore, a new vaccine administration code (90480) replaces all previously approved product-specific vaccine administration codes, offering a streamlined approach to reporting COVID-19 vaccinations for any patient.   

Novel Additions for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Prevention: 

The CPT 2024 code set acknowledges the importance of product-specific innovations by including five new codes to report RSV immunizations (90380, 90381, 90683, 90679, and 90678). These additions facilitate better tracking, reporting, and analysis, empowering data-driven planning and allocation for the prevention of RSV, a virus causing acute respiratory infection across all age groups.   

Enhancing Clarity and Reporting of Evaluation and Management (E/M) Services: 

To promote consistency and accuracy, the CPT 2024 code set aligns with clarifications sought by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the reporting of E/M services. Notable revisions include removing time ranges from office or other outpatient visit codes (99202-99205, 99212-99215) to align the format with other E/M codes. The updated set also provides a clear definition for determining the “substantive portion” of a split/shared E/M visit, where a physician and a non-physician practitioner work jointly to provide comprehensive care during the visit. Additionally, instructions are included to accurately report hospital inpatient or observation care services and admission and discharge services when a patient’s stay crosses over two calendar dates.   

The release of the CPT 2024 code set by the AMA brings valuable updates that improve the language inclusivity, efficiency, and reporting accuracy within the medical community. By introducing Spanish-language descriptors, medical procedures and services become more accessible to Spanish-speaking patients. The streamlined reporting of COVID-19 immunizations and the addition of codes for RSV prevention demonstrate the AMA’s commitment to addressing public health challenges. Moreover, the revisions to E/M services ensure clearer reporting and facilitate accurate coding. The CPT 2024 code set is a testament to the AMA’s dedication to advancing healthcare practices and fostering an inclusive, data-driven, and modern healthcare system. 

To explore the complete list of changes in the CPT 2024 code set and understand its implications for healthcare providers, visit the AMA website here. 

  

References: 

AMA Press Release: AMA Releases CPT 2024 Code Set 

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