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Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS)

What is Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS)?

The Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) is a code set developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for reporting medical procedures and services. Procedures and services have specified codes within the system used to standardize medical billing.

What is the difference between HCPCS and CPT coding systems?

HCPCS is based on the American Medical Association's Current Procedure Terminology (CPT) coding system. Level I of the HCPCS coding system is identical to the CPT coding system, as both are used specifically for coding services and procedures.

The distinct difference between the systems is that the HCPCS has a second level which differs from the CPT system. In contrast to HCPCS level I which codes for services and procedures, HCPCS level II is used to identify products, supplies, and services that are not included in CPT codes. Common examples of services and supplies coded in level II include ambulance rides, wheelchairs, and other durable medical equipment.

Why is Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) important in healthcare?

HCPCS is used as a billing standard for representing medical procedures to Medicare, Medicaid, and other third-party payors. This standard coding language makes billing more accurate and efficient for healthcare facilities and insurers. Additionally, it makes medical bills clearer for patients as they can view an itemized list of codes used for procedures, services, and supplies that are being billed.