types of cpt codes

Types of CPT Codes to Service in NY Practices

Current procedural terminology (CPT) codes serve as the backbone of accurate and efficient reimbursement processes. Understanding the nuances of various types of CPT codes is essential for healthcare professionals to ensure proper billing and reimbursement.

Here, we explore the different types of CPT codes, so you can have a thorough understanding of the various types of CPT coding and their importance in effective medical practice management.

The Background of CPT Codes

CPT codes are developed and maintained by the American Medical Association (AMA), a professional organization representing physicians and medical professionals across the United States. The AMA introduced CPT codes in 1966 as a standardized system for describing medical, surgical, and diagnostic services provided by healthcare providers.

Creating and updating these codes involves collaboration among medical experts, healthcare professionals, specialty societies, and other stakeholders within the healthcare industry. These individuals and organizations contribute their expertise and insights to ensure that CPT codes accurately reflect the evolving medical practice and technology landscape.

AMA’s CPT Editorial Panel oversees the development and maintenance of CPT codes. This panel consists of physicians nominated by national medical specialty societies and organizations representing healthcare professionals. The panel reviews proposals for new codes, revisions to existing codes, and updates to the code set based on advancements in medical practice, technology, and healthcare delivery.

Once approved by the CPT Editorial Panel, new or revised CPT codes are published annually in the CPT codebook, which serves as the official reference for healthcare providers, insurers, and other stakeholders involved in medical billing and coding processes. Additionally, the AMA provides online resources and tools to assist healthcare professionals in understanding and utilizing CPT codes effectively.

Overall, CPT codes result from a collaborative effort among medical experts and stakeholders within the healthcare industry, intending to provide a standardized and comprehensive system for describing medical services and procedures performed by healthcare providers.

The Different Types of CPT Codes

Evaluation and Management (E/M) Codes

E/M codes form the foundation of medical billing for patient encounters. These categorize different levels of patient visits, whether in-office or in hospital settings, based on the complexity of the service provided. For instance, a routine office visit may warrant a different E/M code than a hospital consultation.

Procedural Codes

Procedural codes serve as a comprehensive catalog of medical services and interventions, covering a vast spectrum of healthcare offerings crucial for patient care. From intricate surgical procedures to diagnostic imaging modalities and essential laboratory tests, these codes encapsulate the diverse array of services provided within healthcare settings.

Categorized meticulously into different specialties and subspecialties, procedural codes enable healthcare providers to precisely document and bill for myriad services rendered to patients. This classification ensures that each service is accurately captured and billed, facilitating transparent communication between healthcare providers, insurers, and patients regarding the nature and scope of medical interventions.

Modifiers complement procedural codes by providing additional granularity and context to the billed services. These two-digit codes appended to the primary procedural code convey specific circumstances or conditions that may affect the complexity, scope, or circumstances surrounding the procedure performed.

Medicine Codes

Medicine codes cover a broad spectrum of healthcare services, including medications, injections, and vaccinations. These are vital for accurately documenting and billing for pharmaceutical and therapeutic interventions provided to patients. Medicine codes are also essential for ensuring that healthcare providers can accurately document and bill for a wide range of pharmaceutical and therapeutic interventions, thereby facilitating comprehensive patient care and efficient reimbursement processes.

Ancillary Codes

Ancillary codes represent services that are ancillary to the primary healthcare service provided, such as laboratory tests, diagnostic imaging, and durable medical equipment. These are crucial in comprehensive patient care, enabling healthcare providers to bill for ancillary services delivered in conjunction with primary medical services. In essence, ancillary codes serve as a vital component in the holistic approach to patient care, enabling healthcare providers to capture and bill for the full spectrum of services required to comprehensively address patients’ medical needs.

Category II and III Codes

Category II and III codes are supplementary codes used to capture additional information about patient encounters and procedures. While Category II codes are optional and used to report performance measures and quality metrics, Category III codes are temporary codes used to track emerging technologies, services, and procedures. These supplementary codes are valuable for enhancing data collection and analysis in healthcare, aiding in the evaluation of clinical outcomes and quality improvement initiatives, and integrating innovative healthcare technologies and procedures into practice.


Modifiers are two-digit codes appended to CPT codes to provide additional information about the service rendered. They convey specific circumstances or conditions that may affect the reimbursement or coverage of the service. For instance, modifiers may indicate the involvement of multiple surgeons, the use of advanced technology or equipment, or the provision of a service in an unusual or emergent setting.

By incorporating modifiers, healthcare providers can ensure that the billed services accurately reflect the nuances and intricacies of the care delivered. Therefore, they can facilitate fair and transparent reimbursement processes while maintaining compliance with billing regulations and standards. Understanding and appropriately applying modifiers is essential for accurate coding and billing practices.


Mastering the intricacies of CPT coding is paramount for NY practices and their healthcare professionals seeking to optimize billing and reimbursement processes. By understanding the different types of CPT codes and their applications, providers can ensure accurate documentation, billing, and reimbursement for their services. At StarkBilling, we encourage healthcare professionals to further explore and understand CPT coding for effective medical practice management.

Capture more revenue, and grow your New York procedural-based practice with a specialized medical billing partner that has in-depth knowledge of the coding requirements for all your diverse procedures. Schedule a free consultation now.