The Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) is a code set developed by CMS for reporting medical procedures and services. HCPCS is based on the American Medical Association's Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) coding system and its use was optional up until 1996 with the passing of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Today, HCPCS is used as a standard for representing medical procedures to Medicare, Medicaid, and several other third-party payors.
HCPCS breaks down into two sub systems, level I and level II. While level I is identical to CPT, level II is used primarily to identify products, supplies, and services not included in CPT. Some examples of HCPCS level II items are ambulance rides, wheelchairs, walkers, etc.