Can’t-Miss Corrections to CPT® 2018 Available Now!

Don't miss CPT 2018 corrections

Time to bring out the red pen and take your CPT® 2018 preparations to the next level! Every detail counts in coding, and that means that after you’ve taken a look at the initial announcements about code changes, you need to dig deeper to make sure you’re aware of corrections, too. The AMA released several corrections you’ll want to be sure you note in your 2018 manual if you’ve got a hard copy. And when the code set is implemented on Jan. 1, 2018, confirm that your online coding resources have incorporated these changes, too. You can get started with some top changes described below.

Pick Up on Changes to Prolonged Services

Those of you who report prolonged, non-face-to-face E/M services using 99358 and +99359 will want to have quick access to the corrections. Along with some clarifications to the guidelines for reporting the codes, the corrections add to the list of codes that 99358 and +99359 aren’t reportable with during the same month. There’s also a table added to simplify reporting based on time. The table helps show that the time has to pass the halfway point listed in the code descriptor before you can report a code.

Example: Once you reach 75 minutes, the table shows that you may report one unit of 99358 (to represent the first hour) and one unit of +99359 (to represent each additional 30 minutes). The total of 75 minutes breaks down into:

  • 60 minutes (reported with “first hour” code 99358) AND
  • 15 minutes (reported with +99359 because 15 minutes meets the halfway point requirement for reporting the “each additional 30 minutes” code).

Plan for These Care Plan Services Revisions

CPT® 2018 will introduce new code 99483 (Assessment of and care planning for a patient with cognitive impairment …). The corrections document updates the exclusionary parenthetical note, changing the list of codes that aren’t reportable in conjunction with 99483. Having a correct listing of these codes is crucial, helping to ensure you don’t miss out on any codes that you may report together and also preventing denials caused by reporting codes together that you shouldn’t. Watch for these changes:

  • removed from the exclusionary note: monthly chronic care management codes 99487-99490 and transitional care management codes 99495-99496
  • added to the exclusionary note(so don’t report with 99483): health risk assessment administration codes 96160-96161.

Keep in mind: Because I mentioned capturing every reportable code and preventing denials, I should add one caution. The exclusionary note in the CPT® code set provides the basic rule and sets forth the AMA’s intent for the use of the code, but individual payers may have additional restrictions about which codes they will reimburse when reported together.

See It for Yourself

The corrections document posted on Oct. 30, 2017, is 22 pages, so I can’t cover everything here. Review it for yourself, especially if you report these services:

  • care management services 99487-99490 (check for clarification on services required, separately reportable services, and counting clinical staff time)
  • cystourethroscopy (see updates to instructions on when reporting 77485 for radiological supervision and interpretation is appropriate)
  • proprietary lab analyses (see updated guidelines on selecting from duplicate codes that vary based only on the proprietary name listed in an appendix, get information about a new symbol, and see an updated table of PLA codes).

How About You?

Have you ever encountered problems coding only to discover it was because you missed a correction? How do you make sure your code set has updates?



Deborah works on a wide range of TCI SuperCoder projects, researching and writing about coding, as well as assisting with data updates and tool development for our online coding solutions. Since joining TCI in 2004, she’s covered the ins and outs of coding for radiology, cardiology, oncology and hematology, orthopedics, audiology, and more.

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