To bridge language barriers and make healthcare more inclusive and transparent for patients who speak Spanish, the American Medical Association (AMA) now offers Spanish language descriptors for more than 11,000 medical procedures and services.
The consumer-friendly descriptors in Spanish were added to the newly released Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) 2024 code set, the nation’s leading data-sharing terminology for medical procedures and services.
The consumer-friendly descriptors are an important resource that many hospitals, health plans, medical offices and other CPT users already incorporate into English-language medical documents, insurance forms, price sheets, and patient portals. Including CPT consumer-friendly descriptors in Spanish that are clear and straightforward will help CPT users better engage and assist many in the Latinx community.
“Navigating medical care and paperwork can be especially challenging for Latinx patients who do not speak English or speak English as a second language,” said AMA senior vice president of health solutions Lori Prestesater. “Providing approximately 41 million Spanish speaking individuals in the United States with an easy-to-understand description of medical procedures and services can help build a more inclusive health care environment, where language is no longer a barrier and patients can actively engage in their own care.”
Other changes to the CPT code set
The annual update to the CPT code set created 349 editorial changes, including 230 additions, 49 deletions and 70 revisions. With 11,163 codes that describe the medical procedures and services available to patients, the CPT code set continues to grow and evolve with the rapid pace of innovation in medical science and health technology.
Changes to the CPT code set are considered through an open editorial process managed by the CPT Editorial Panel, an independent body convened by the AMA that collects broad input from the health care community and beyond to ensure CPT content reflects the coding and data-driven demands of a modern health care system. This rigorous editorial process keeps the CPT code set current with contemporary medical science and technology so it can fulfill its vital role as the trusted language of medicine today and the code to its future.