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Measure Specification

Current Procedural Terminology (CPT)

CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association (AMA). The CPT Category I (CPT I) codes are a listing of descriptive terms and identifying codes for reporting medical services and procedures performed by physicians. The purpose of the terminology is to provide a uniform language that accurately describes medical, surgical, and diagnostic services, and thereby provides an effective means for reliable nationwide communication among physicians, patients, and third parties.

Each CPT category 1 code corresponds to a single procedure or service. The intent of CPT codes is not to transmit all possible information about a procedure or service; the intent is to identify the procedure or service. The CPT code for a name is unique and permanent.

CPT Category II (CPT II) codes, developed through the CPT Editorial Panel for use in performance measurement, serve to encode the clinical actions described in a measure’s numerator. CPT II codes consist of five alphanumeric characters in a string ending with the letter “F.”

  • Electronic clinical quality measures do not use CPT Category II codes.

CPT Category III (CPT III) codes are temporary alphanumeric codes for new and developing technology, procedures, and services. They are for data collection, assessment, and in some cases, payment of new services and procedures that currently do not meet the criteria for a CPT I code.

The AMA requires users to include a set of notices and disclosures when publishing measures using CPT codes. The current full set of notices and disclaimers includes

  • copyright notice
  • trademark notice
  • government rights statement
  • AMA disclaimer

There are annual updates to CPT codes. For questions regarding the use of CPT codes, contact the AMA CPT Information and Education Services at 800-634-6922 or at the AMA website. Measure developers should account for contractual timelines when considering applying for new concepts.

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