The American Medical Association, or AMA, is the sole source of complete CPT codes and guidelines, according to its online store's CPT 2016 Professional Edition product description. Current Procedural Terminology, or CPT, codes express services rendered by health care providers, reports the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
CPT codes fall into three major categories, labeled I, II and III, states The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Category I codes are assigned to services cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and currently practiced throughout the United States. Category II codes are assigned to services that must undergo process improvement; these codes define performance measures. Category III codes are assigned to new or emerging technologies; five years from their original publication date, the AMA removes all Category III CPT codes from its list.
CPT codes give health care providers, government agencies and third-party payers a common shorthand for logging, reporting and paying for services rendered to patients nationwide, says the AMA. The CPT Editorial Panel meets three times a year in a continual updating process to ensure the codes reflect current medical processes and technologies. As of August 17, 2000, the Department of Health and Human Service's Final Rule designates CPT codes and modifiers as the national standard for a range of services, including transportation, pursuant to the requirement in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.