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ATS Coding and Billing Issues

AMA CPT Coding/RUC Surveys

As part of our service to the members, the American Thoracic Society actively participates in the development and valuation of physician service codes known as Current Procedural Terminology or CPT codes.  An important step in establishing the value of a CPT code is surveying physicians who perform the service to compare the time, intensity and medical decision making of the surveyed code to established CPT codes.  The anonymous summary data from the survey process is used to make recommends to the AMA Resource Bases Relative Value Update Committee, better known as the AMA RUC, on the valuation of CPT codes and provide much of the justification for the final value established by Medicare for CPT codes.

The ATS regularly participates in surveys for codes that are used frequently by the pulmonary, critical care and sleep community.  If you have been contacted by the ATS to participate in a CPT coding survey and have experience performing the selected CPT code, we strongly encourage you to consider participating. 

The online survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. As part of the survey, you will be asked to read a CPT code description and a vignette of the typical patient receiving the procedure. The survey will then ask a series of questions to get your best estimate about the time, intensity and medical decision-making involved in performing the procedure.  All data will be aggregated to develop final recommendations.

Valid reasons for not participating in survey include 1) not being a licensed physician (MD or DO), 2) no experience providing the service 3) do not practice in the U.S. 4) are employed by drug or device industry. 

Below are documents that provide more detailed information about the CPT/RUC survey process. 

The Basics: the AMA Specialty Society RVS Update Committee (RUC) Survey (with notes)

The Basics: the AMA Specialty Society RVS Update Committee (RUC) Survey (w/o notes)

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Mr. Gary Ewart – Senior Director of ATS Government Relations (gewart@thoracic.org).

Footnote:   Physician’s Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes, descriptions, and numeric modifiers are © 2012 by the American Medical Association. All rights reserved. For more detailed information regarding the AMA RUC click here http://www.ama-assn.org//ama/pub/physician-resources/solutions-managing-your-practice/coding-billing-insurance/medicare/the-resource-based-relative-value-scale.page