Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) Codes

Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes form the universal system for identifying, describing and reporting medical services for payment. Created more than 50 years ago by the American Medical Association (AMA), these codes are used by consumers to make medical service purchasing decisions.

The development and management of the CPT® code set relies on a rigorous, transparent and open process led by the AMA CPT® Editorial Panel. As the practice of health care changes, new codes are developed for new services, current codes may be revised, and old, unused codes discarded. This process ensures clinically valid codes are issued, updated and maintained on a regular basis to accurately reflect current clinical practice and innovation in medicine.

There are three categories of CPT® codes:

  • Category I codes identify a procedure or service that is approved by the AMA and performed by healthcare professionals nationwide. There are approximately ten-thousand of these five-digit numeric codes.
  • Category II codes are alphanumeric tracking codes used internally by healthcare providers for performance management.
  • Category III codes are temporary and used to report experimental or emerging services or procedures.

Category I codes are further broken down into six sections:

  1. Evaluation & Management Services (99202 to 99499)
  2. Anesthesia Services (01000 to 01999)
  3. Surgery (10021 to 69990)
  4. Radiology Services (70010 to 79999)
  5. Pathology and Laboratory Services (80047 to 89398)
  6. Medical Services and Procedures (90281 to 99607)

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