When it comes to code system updates, changes to Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes are some of the most important to stay on top of. With their close link to billing and reimbursement needs, falling behind can quickly impact your organization’s bottom line. Below, we highlight five significant takeaways from this year’s updates – with a link to more in-depth coverage for those wanting to learn more.
1. Scope of changes
The 2024 CPT code set update encompasses a total of 349 changes, including the addition of 225 codes, deletion of 75 codes, and revision of 93 codes. These changes have far-reaching implications for billing, coding practices, and compliance procedures.
A notable update in the musculoskeletal section pertains to codes for vertebral body tethering (VBT), a procedure for scoliosis without spinal fusion. You may recall existing VBT codes in the Category III section. Due to the increased procedure adoption, three codes for anterior thoracic VBT have been moved into this section.
A reminder that it’s best to consider the number of vertebral segments for accurate initial procedure coding. Code 22836 is up to seven vertebral segments and code 22837 is eight or more segments. In addition, a new code was added for the revision procedure – 22838.
Neurosurgery sees significant changes with the skull-mounted cranial neurostimulator, a device that helps fire stimulation to targeted brain areas. Three new codes were added for the insertion (61889), revision or replacement (61891), and removal (61892) of the procedure.
As technology has advanced for neurostimulators, the same applies to cardiac pacemakers. The update introduces new codes for dual-chamber leadless pacemakers, outlined by guidelines as systems featuring two pulse generators, a built-in battery, and an electrode. These codes, found in Category III, specify when the entire system or its components (atrial or ventricle) are placed, removed, or revised during the same or different sessions. While dual-chamber procedures are typically simultaneous, the codes allow for reporting when components are placed in separate sessions.
The 2024 CPT code update brings notable changes to vaccination and immunization codes. New codes now cover various diseases, including RSV vaccines for adults aged 60 and above and LNP mRNA RSV vaccines for specific age groups. COVID-19 vaccine codes have also been modified due to the XBB lineage of the Omicron variant, resulting in five new vaccine codes and one administration code. These changes require updates to guidelines and parenthetical notes, particularly in the evaluation and management section.
For an in-depth look at the code set changes, watch IMO’s on-demand webinar, New year, new CPT® code set changes, featuring coding experts June Bronnert and Shelly Jude.
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