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Describing CPT Coding Categories

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The medical coding process can be very difficult to understand. Today, I will do my best to try and explain it as simply as possible. It is my goal to make you, the employees, understand this process better so that your job becomes easier to complete.

Category I codes are always procedure codes. They are codes which exist for any and all types of procedures that are done within our facility. It does not matter what the procedure is that is completed, there will always be a particular code to coincide with it. One example of a category I code would be 96360. This is the code used for intravenous infusion and hydration- initial, 31 minutes to 1 hour in length.

Category II codes are used for tracking performance measures. These codes are used to help doctors to track services that may be needed for a patient in the future. These codes help physicians to track certain things about a patient that they feel is important. One example of a category II code would be the code 4000F. This code is used for tobacco use cessation intervention and counseling. Once this code is entered it will be easy for a physician to follow up on that patient trying to quit smoking.

Category III codes are used for emerging or new technology services and procedures which a patient uses or receives. These codes are temporary and are used when new types of technology, services, or procedures are used on a patient. One example of a category III code is 0182T. This code would be used to describe a patient who is receiving a high dose rate of electronic brachytherapy per fraction.

I hope me breaking the three categories down like this has somewhat made them easier to understand. Each individual category has its own purpose and type of codes. The key is for us employees to determine which category we need to be looking through and to go from there.

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