2024 CPT Code Guideline Resources

cpt 2024 December 7, 2023

It’s a familiar cycle: Each year, the American Medical Association (AMA) rolls out new rules for CPT codes to keep up with new medical procedures and technology. The updates may include new codes for different healthcare services, tweak existing rules for clarity, or remove outdated ones.

With this annual update comes two main challenges—adaptation and compliance. These changes aren’t just a series of boxes you need to check; they represent the evolving landscape of healthcare delivery, where precision in medical billing impacts patient care and practice sustainability. Whether you’re a seasoned coder, physician, or practice manager, knowing these new guidelines is critical to the health of your organization.

This article guides you through the key changes in the 2024 CPT coding guidelines, underscores the importance of precise coding, and outlines practical strategies to prepare for the code revisions.

Key Changes in the 2024 CPT Coding Guidelines

The CPT 2024 guideline includes significant updates stated below:

  • Spanish Language Descriptors: There will be Spanish language descriptors for over 11,000 medical procedures and services to improve inclusivity and transparency. 
  • Editorial Changes: There are 349 editorial changes, including 230 new codes, 49 deletions, and 70 revisions, reflecting the innovations in medical science and technology​​.
  • Immunization CPT Codes Changes: AMA consolidates over 50 previous codes to streamline COVID-19 immunization reporting, along with new provisional codes (91318-91322) for Moderna and Pfizer vaccines pending FDA approval and a universal vaccine administration code (90480)​​.
  • New RSV Immunization Codes: Five new codes (90380, 90381, 90683, 90679, and 90678) have been added to the CPT code set for reporting product-specific Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) immunizations. 
  • Evaluation and Management (E/M) Services: The 2024 revisions offer detailed explanations in response to inquiries from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regarding the documentation procedures for E/M services. Updates include:
    • Revisions include removing time ranges for office or other outpatient visit codes (99202-99205, 99212-99215) to standardize their structure with similar E/M codes.
    • Defining the substantive portion of split/shared E/M visits, where a doctor and a non-doctor provider collaboratively conduct all the work related to the encounter
    • Guidelines for reporting services related to hospital inpatient or observation care, as well as for admission and discharge services, particularly when employing codes 99234-99236 and the patient’s stay spans two calendar dates​ 

Why Is Precise CPT Coding Critical?

The stakes of CPT coding accuracy are high, impacting everything from the patient experience to the practice’s bottom line. Thus, proper coding is essential for your practice to achieve the following benefits:

1. Streamlined Billing and Reduced Claim Rejections

Accurate coding streamlines the billing process, which is integral to the financial health of any medical practice. It helps minimize incorrect or outdated codes, directly decreasing claim rejections and denials from insurers. This results in timely reimbursements and less costly interruptions. In addition, inaccurate coding delays payments and increases administrative burdens as staff spend time correcting and resubmitting claims.

2. Clearer Medical Documentation

Precise CPT coding also facilitates clearer medical documentation, which is vital for continuity of care. It provides a uniform language that healthcare providers can use to communicate clearly and efficiently. This aids in patient care within the same practice and across different healthcare facilities.

When each procedure is correctly coded, it paints an accurate picture of the patient’s medical history and the care they’ve received. This clarity is invaluable for subsequent providers who rely on a patient’s history to inform treatment decisions. Accurate coding and billing can protect healthcare providers from potential fines and penalties during audits or compliance reviews.

3. Better Compliance With Healthcare Policies and Regulations

When medical professionals accurately apply CPT codes, they comply with the standards set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other regulatory bodies. Adherence to these regulations safeguards providers against legal repercussions from incorrect coding. The goal isn’t just to avoid penalties or audits, it’s also about providing quality healthcare and demonstrating a commitment to ethical billing practices.

4. Easier Data Collection and Analysis

When everyone uses CPT codes the same way, it can help healthcare leaders see more significant patterns in patient care. Researchers rely on accurate data to track health trends, measure outcomes, and determine the effectiveness of treatments. Precise CPT coding contributes valuable data for public health research and policy-making

The Best Ways to Prepare for CPT Coding Guidelines 2024

Preparation is crucial in adapting to the CPT 2024 code changes. Below are some strategies to smoothly catch up on code guidelines and stay ahead of the curve.

1. Always Check the Official CPT Coding Manual

The official CPT coding manual is an indispensable resource. Coding professionals must reference the manual consistently to ensure coding accuracy and compliance. The manual offers the new CPT codes and provides the context and guidelines needed for their correct application.

2. Use Technology to Your Advantage

Computer-assisted coding (CAC) software comes with up-to-date coding tools that automate many aspects of the billing process, ensuring that practices accurately use the latest AMA 2024 CPT codes. It can validate codes against current guidelines, check for billing errors in real-time, and streamline claim submission, thereby reducing denials and improving reimbursement rates.

3. Conduct Ongoing Training and Skill Development

The CPT coding guidelines are ever-evolving, and so must the skill sets of those who navigate it. Workshops, webinars, and continuous education courses are essential for medical coders to stay current with the latest practices.

4. Outsource for Expert Assistance

Outsourcing your medical billing and coding to specialists who stay abreast of the latest updates and best practices guarantees proficient handling of every aspect of the entire billing process. This results in faster coding and fewer errors, improving the turnaround time for claims submissions. It can be more cost-effective to outsource than to hire and train additional in-house staff, especially for practices facing a temporary increase in workload due to the transition to new CPT Coding Guidelines 2024.

The global medical billing outsourcing market is projected to be worth US$ 25.7 Billion by 2028. This growth indicates increasing trust and reliance on outsourcing in healthcare, suggesting its role in improving the profitability of many organizations​.


As we edge closer to 2024, healthcare providers must embrace technology, use guideline resources, and commit to continuous learning to navigate the complex landscape of CPT coding. By taking proactive steps to prepare for these changes, practices can position themselves for success. Accurate CPT coding leads to improved revenue cycles, better compliance, and, ultimately, enhanced patient care.

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