Sunday, November 8, 2020

Very Brief Blog: AMA Posts Results of Panel Actions, October 2020 CPT Meeting

AMA holds CPT editorial meetings three times a year for the review of new code proposals.  Meetings in May and October 2020, and planned meetings for February and May 2021, were or will be virtual.

A month before the meeting, CPT publishes abbreviated descriptions of code proposals, and a month after the meeting, CPT publishes results.  These are called "Summary of Panel Actions."

CPT has published Summary of Panel Actions for the October 2020 meeting - here.


It's a 15 page document with 96 action items.  The October meeting is now the last meeting for codes for the next CPT year (2022); the February meeting used to hold that position.

Digital medicine

Item 95 is a new "Digital Medicine Taxonomy" which will appear in October 2021 for the 2022 code book.  (Occasionally AMA elects to publish items like that in advance, as well).   Appendix P is updated with 18 additional codes for "synchronous telemedicine services."  

Remote physiological monitoring codes get a set of 5 new codes in the format of remote "therapeutic monitoring" codes.  

Withdrawn or Rejected

Typically, applicants withdrawn codes if it's clear they will be rejected by the panel.  This is akin to resigning in chess when it's clear it's "mate in two."  27 applications were withdrawn.  5 were rejected.  In total, 32 of 96 were withdrawn or rejected.  

Lab Codes

For pathology consults, four new codes will be added and legacy clinical pathology consult codes 80500, 80502 are deleted.  I wrote in July that this is potentially a big deal in some circles (here).

There is a new code for liver or small bowel allograft rejection (Tab 45), breast cancer via RNA sequencing MAAA (Tab 46), a breast cancer MAAA rejected (Tab 47), an Admin-MAAA code for  diffuse B cell lymphoma, 20 genes (Tab 49).  


I tallied addition of 11 Category III code proposals, many of these for code sets.

Cat III to Cat I:  Surg Tech and Imaging Tech Withdrawals

An application to upgrade the Aquajet prostate ablation service from Category III to Category I was withdrawn.   

A proposal to upgrade the Heartflow service (0501T-04T) to Category I was withdrawn.