Also pronounced hick-picks, Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) came into being to provide a standardized coding system. Although these codes were used voluntarily initially, nowadays most organizations include HCPCS codes for electronic transactions.
HCPCS codes are two tiered, referred to as Level I and level II.
HCPCS CPT code: The first level is the CPT coding system, which was developed by American Medical Association (AMA). Level I comprises Current Procedural Terminology (CPT-4) codes and are used for any in-patient or office visits where the treatment or supplies is used in the medical facility.
On the other hand, the second tier is the HCPCS Level II coding which was developed by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). These codes are also referred to as alpha-numeric codes because they consist of a single alphabetical letter followed by 4 numeric digits. These codes are used for billing ambulance services, prosthetics and other insurance to cover items outside of an office visit.
A brief history of HCPCS coding:
The first level of HCPCS codes came into being way before the 1980s. As new procedures and systems came into being, the second level was created during the early 1980s. The third level of HCPCS codes came into existence in 2003 as new procedures and medical tools were available to localized markets. These codes were developed by both public and private payers on a local level. However, Level III codes are no longer in use these days.
HCPCS code sets and manuals are updated at the start of every calendar year. The changes include coding additions, deletions and replacements.