The next version of Current Procedural Terminology codes will be more amenable to integration with electronic medical records and computerized physician order entry systems, according to the AMA and a technology partner.
The AMA and medical terminology software developer Apelon, Ridgefield, Conn., on Wednesday announced a seven-year agreement to add functionality to and modernize the national physician organization's proprietary CPT billing codes.
"This agreement formalizes an ongoing joint development effort," says Jack Bowie, Apelon sales and marketing vice president.
The AMA regularly updates CPT codes to reflect new medical procedures and billing rules. The next version is due out this fall.
"Augmenting that normal effort will be this technology making the linkage between the codes to make them more friendly for computers," Bowie says. "The idea is to provide various capabilities for CPT access" to sort, search and mine patient records by multiple criteria, including medical devices, medical condition or part of the body affected.
The process involves standardizing medical terminology within healthcare organizations.
"To aggregate data (by CPT code), you have to have an ability to dice and slice data in a much richer environment," Bowie says. "One of the main drivers toward the utilization of standard terminologies ... is to analyze the resulting data."
Apelon already provides some of the framework technology behind Snomed CT, the nomenclature development at Kaiser Permanente and other terminology sets, according to Bowie.