Skip to main content

Usage of CPT Index - Instructions

The alphabetic index is not a substitute for the main text of the CPT codebook.

Even if only one code is present, the coder must refer to the main term to ensure that the code is selected accurately and correctly to identify the services rendered.

Main Terms

The index is organized by main terms. Each main term can stand alone or can be followed by up to three modifying terms.

There are four primary classes of main entries,
  • Procedures or Services - E.g, Scopic, Anastomosis, Splint, Opening
  • Organ or Other Anatomical Site - E.g, Knee, Arm, Ear, Tibia, Colon
  • Conditions - E.g, Abscess, Entropion, Tetralogy of Fallot.
  • Synonyms, Eponyms, and Abbreviations. - ECG, EEG, PET, Brock Operations, Clagett Procdures

Modifying Terms

The main term may be followed by up to three indented terms that modify the terms they follow.
EG. The main term "Endoscopy" is subdivided by the anatomical sites in which the procedure is used. And within these anatomical sites, the specific purpose of the procedures is identified.

In the following example, The code for endoscopic removal of a foreign body from the bile duct could be located.
  • Bile Duct
    • Removal
      • Foreign Body........ 43275

Code Ranges

Whenever more than one code applies to a given index entry, a code range is listed. If several inconsequential codes apply, they will be separated by a comma. In the following example, three inconsequential codes apply,
  • Esophagus
    • Reconstruction ......... 43300, 43310, 43313
If three or more sequential codes apply, they will be separated by a hyphen. If more than one code range applies the code ranges will be separated by a comma as in the following example,
  • Anesthesia
    • Forearm...............01810-01820, 01830-01860


As a space-saving convention, certain terms carry meaning inferred from the context. This convention is primarily used when a procedure or service is listed as a subterm.

  • Knee
    • Exploration .............. 27310,27331

Pathology & Laboratory Codes

The pathology and Laboratory listing in the index presents the headings, subheadings, procedures, and analytes in the Pathology and Laboratory action of the CPT codebook.

Analytes are either listed alphabetically or cross-referenced to the index main heads where they are alphabetically listed.

Popular posts from this blog

Additional Information About Modifiers

Sequencing of modifiers  How can that be if the modifiers used were accurate?  There is an order to reporting modifiers and there are three categories that modifier usage fall under:  1. Pricing  Pricing modifiers are always sequenced “before” payment modifiers and/or location modifiers.   The only exception to this rule is when a global surgery package is involved.  For example, you would code modifier 58 first and modifier 82 second in a global surgery.  A few examples of pricing modifiers are: 22, 26, 50, 52, 53, 62, 80, and P1-P6.   2. Payment   Payment modifiers alert the insurance carrier that there is a special situation within the claim  Some examples of payment modifiers would be: 24, 25, 51, 57, 58, 59, 76, and 78.  3. Location  Examples of location modifiers are: E1-E4, FA, F1-F9, LC, LD, LT, RT, RC, TA, and T1-T9.  The general order of sequencing modifiers is ( 1) pricing (2) payment (3) location. Location modifiers, in all coding situations, are coded “last”.  If you code

Evaluation and Management (E/M) Services - Domiciliary or Rest Home Environment

Domiciliary, Rest Home, or Custodial Care Services CPT codes 99324 - 99337 Domiciliary, Rest Home (e.g. Boarding Home), or Custodial Care Services, are used to report E/M services to individuals residing in a facility which provides room, board, and other personal assistance services, generally on a long-term basis.  These codes are also used to report E/M services in an assisted living facility. The facility’s services do not include a medical component. A home or domiciliary visit includes a patient History, Physical Examination and Medical Decision Making in various levels depending upon a patient’s needs and diagnosis.  The visits may also be performed as counseling and/or coordination of car, when medically necessary outside the office environment and are an integral part of a continuous of the patient's care.  The patients seen may have chronic conditions, may be disabled, either physically or mentally, making access to a traditional office visit very difficult, or may have l