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CPT, SNOMED-CT Codes Ally to Boost Healthcare Data Integrity

The proprietors of CPT codes and the SNOMED-CT code set are working together to increase integration and data integrity across the disparate systems.

By Jennifer Bresnick

- The American Medical Association and the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation (IHTSDO) are engaging in a new collaborative agreement that will result in increased data integrity and better integration between two of the most widely-used coding standards in the world.

CPT and SNOMED-CT healthcare data integrity

“We are excited about this new work,” said IHTSDO CEO Don Sweete. “This new agreement focuses on specific projects to develop products that will benefit from the granularity and sophisticated structure of SNOMED-CT, and the broad utility and adoption of CPT.”

The Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes are vital to healthcare billing and classification in the United States, while SNOMED-CT serves as the international standard for clinical terminology. 

Additional code sets, including LOINC and ICD-10, are also used to aggregate and standardize data on diagnoses and procedures, but translating between the systems required complicated cross-mapping algorithms that may not adequately capture all relevant information. 

Healthcare data integrity may be at risk when one-to-one mapping is not available, limiting the data’s usefulness for research across international lines.

The AMA-IHTSDO collaboration aims to improve integration between CPT codes and SNOMED-CT, by producing tools for physician practices, hospitals, payers, and other stakeholders to help better organize healthcare data.

“IHTSDO and the AMA view this collaboration as an important step toward increasing the coordination and integration of our terminology products to shape a better health care system,” said AMA CEO and Executive Vice President James L. Madara, MD.

“We intend to use this collaboration as a foundation to achieve our shared goals of increased responsiveness to market needs and greater innovation through improved interoperability among ours and related terminologies.”


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