CPT codes to be reviewed in 2000
(National Psychologist, January/February issue, Vol 9, No. 1., p.19)
By Paula Hartman-Stein, Ph.D.
Beginning in January 2000, the values and codes for the Physicians Current Procedural Terminology (CPT codes) will be reviewed. Congress has mandated that reviews of all codes occur every five years, based on the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1989. The American Medical Assn. established the review process under the Resource Based Relative Value Committee (RUC). The committee consists of 10 physicians and one psychologist, James Georgoulakis, Ph.D., who represents all allied health professionals. In addition to these duties, Georgoulakis serves on the six-person work group to develop the basic guidelines and procedures for reviewing the codes.
The Health Care Finance Administration (HCFA) relies on the RUC to make recommendations on the value of the codes. These values are then converted into reimbursement rates. In the last two years, psychologists saw increases of their allowed rates while some medical subspecialties experienced rate drops.
The guidelines and procedures for the congressionally mandated review must be completed by the end of February 2000. The process and procedures for the codes are to be conducted as if "evaluating an all payor system" rather than only the Medicare system, said Georgoulakis.
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