Contact Us
TempDev’s Glossary
Back to our glossary

Glossary Terms

What are HCPCS Codes?

What are HCPCS Codes?

The Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) is a set of standardized codes used in the billing and processing of health insurance claims with Medicare, Medicaid, and other insurers. 

Before 2001, the acronym HCPCS stood for HCFA Common Procedure Coding System, a medical billing system that was used by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). HCFA established HCPCS to meet the need for a standardized coding system that describes medical services and products. 

In 2001, the HCFA was renamed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), leading to the creation of the current HCPCS acronym.

HCPCS Level I and Level II

HCPCS is divided into two subsystems: Level I and Level II. 

Level I is made up of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes. CPT codes feature five numeric digits. CPT codes are maintained by the American Medical Association (AMA) and represent services and procedures provided by healthcare professionals.

Level II codes identify products, services, and supplies that are not included in the CPT codes. Level II codes consist of a letter followed by four numeric digits. 

In general, Level I/CPT codes describe what a provider did in a particular procedure or service, and Level II codes describe what the provider used. However, this is not a concrete rule, and there is some overlap between the two sets of codes.

Choosing Between CPT Codes and HCPCS Level II Codes

When Level I and Level II codes exist for the same service, Medicare usually requires the Level II code to be used. As many health insurers follow Medicare guidelines, they will also have a preference for Level II codes. However, you should be familiar with the coding guidelines for all of your third-party payors to ensure timely claims processing.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) established the AHA clearinghouse to handle HCPCS Level II coding questions in conjunction with CMS. According to CMS, the AHA clearinghouse strives to educate hospitals, policymakers, and the public at large on HCPCS coding.

How TempDev Can Help You With HCPCS

TempDev's team of NextGen consultants, developers, and trainers support your needs whether you're looking to implement, switch, or even upgrade your current EHR system. From dashboards and revenue cycle consulting to automation and workflow redesign, TempDev offers the tools you need to make the most of your NextGen EHR system, with top tips and tricks that will ensure your success now and in the future.

With TempDev's NextGen dashboards, templates, and reports, you can better support your patients' needs. Our team is here to help you design, organize, and implement the whole system. We offer the tips that you need for your organization to achieve best practices. With hands-on training, you and your team are ready to handle all your electronic health record systems. 

Contact us here or by calling us at 888.TEMP.DEV to get the help you need to work with HCPCS and medical coding.


Agree with our point of view? Become our client!

Please submit your business information and a TempDev representative will follow up with you within 24 hours.

Hello! I’m the assistant Twinkie.

If you want to know more about TempDev please fill in your contact information below.
We’ll make sure to reach back as quickly as possible.
Hello! I’m the assistant Twinkie. How can I help?