Procedure Code

A combination of letters and numbers used to uniquely identify a particular healthcare service for purposes of record-keeping and billing for payment. For purposes of payment, services performed by physicians and services performed in physician offices and hospital outpatient departments are coded using CPT and HCPCS codes; services performed by hospital staff during hospital inpatient stays are coded on claims forms using the ICD system. Because physicians and hospitals generally bill separately for their services, the exact same service delivered to the same patient will be coded one way on the physician’s claim form and a different way on the hospital’s claim form. There is not a one-to-one crosswalk between the two systems, in many cases, CPT codes are more detailed than ICD procedure codes, but there are also ICD procedure codes for services for which there is no corresponding CPT code. 

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