The American Medical Association allows patients to look up CPT code references free of charge. However, patients should read the fine print before beginning the search, as the online database may limit searches due to licensing issues.
Once a patient is logged into the American Medical Association database, a prompt states that the patient cannot share or sell the information; additionally, if the company feels the individual is using the database system too much, it will limit search capabilities. Users should print a copy of the terms and the agreement for personal records if required.
A patient can begin a search by inputting the city and state in which he lives. He can then proceed to look up any specific CPT codes. However, the database limits how many codes an individual can look up at one time. If a patient does not have the specific CPT code, the database allows users to search key words for a particular procedure. For example, a user can type in "heart surgery" and generate a search for relevant codes that way. Once the results appear on the screen, the patient can also view the cost of the procedure and see which insurance providers will pay the doctor to perform it.