American Medical Association launches CPT app and medical app contest

By: Brian Dolan | Mar 30, 2011        

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mzl.xvbljjei.320x480-75This week the American Medical Association (AMA) announced the launch of its first smartphone app called CPT E/M QuickRef, a reference guide that helps physicians determine the appropriate CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) code to use for billing. The AMA also launched a medical app contest for physicians and medical students.

“Compatible with Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad, the app features both decision-tree logic and quick search options, allowing physicians to digitally track CPT codes and email them anywhere,” according to the AMA’s iPhone app description. “Physicians can also save their most frequently used codes by location or type of service to allow for even more ease of use.”

The app carries a caveat: “This app provides suggested codes,” the AMA wrote. “Final code selection remains the full responsibility of the individual user.”

The AMA 2011 App Challenge is looking for ideas for apps from physicians, medical students and residents, which the AMA will then “bring to life.” Winners get $2,500 (cash and prizes) and a ticket to New Orleans to watch the “unveiling” of their app at the AMA’s annual gathering later this year.

“The AMA’s new CPT quick reference app helps physicians determine the appropriate E&M code for billing quickly, easily and accurately,” AMA Board Secretary Steven J. Stack, M.D. stated in the association’s press release. “To find the next great medical app idea we are going right to the source by inviting physicians, residents and medical students to participate in the first-ever AMA App Challenge.”

Assuming Stack was referring to the CPT quick reference app as the most recent “great medical app idea,” our research shows at least 46 other developers beat the AMA to the punch. MobiHealthNews’ last survey of the health-related apps available for the major smartphone platforms found that 46 apps were available to download from Apple’s AppStore as of September 2010. This group of apps grew 170 percent over the six months leading up to our survey — in February 2010 there were only 17 apps that helped healthcare providers look up billing codes. (More in our apps report: The Fastest Growing and Most Successful Health & Medical Apps.)

For more on the AMA’s app and app challenge, see the press release below:

AMA Introduces Its First-Ever Physician App; Launches App Challenge

For immediate release:

March 29, 2011

CHICAGO – The American Medical Association (AMA) today introduced its first-ever app designed specifically for physicians that allows them to quickly find CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) billing codes. The app is now available for free through the iTunes store. It also launched the 2011 AMA App Challenge to find the next great medical app idea.

“The AMA’s new CPT quick reference app helps physicians determine the appropriate E&M code for billing quickly, easily and accurately,” said AMA Board Secretary Steven J. Stack, M.D. “To find the next great medical app idea we are going right to the source by inviting physicians, residents and medical students to participate in the first-ever AMA App Challenge.”

Open to all U.S. physicians, residents and medical students, the 2011 AMA App Challenge calls on those on the front lines of medicine to submit their unique app idea for a chance to have the AMA bring it to life. Participants can submit their app ideas easily through an online form beginning today. Submissions will be accepted through June 30th, 2011. Two winners will be selected, one from the resident/fellow or medical student category and one from the physician category. The winners will each receive $2,500 in cash and prizes, plus a trip for two to New Orleans for the grand unveiling of their winning idea at the AMA’s meeting in November.

Developed by the AMA for physicians, the CPT evaluation and management quick reference app is an on-the-go reference guide that helps physicians determine the appropriate CPT code to use for billing. Compatible with Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad, the app features both decision-tree logic and quick search options, allowing physicians to digitally track CPT codes and email them anywhere. Physicians can also save their most frequently used codes by location or type of service to allow for even more ease of use.

“Quick access to accurate information physicians use daily was the goal behind creating the CPT app,” said Dr. Stack. “We are eager to discover which other medical apps physicians, residents and medical students would find useful through their App Challenge idea submissions, and we are thrilled to be able to bring two of the best ideas to the physician community.”

  • Lowell Scott Weil, Sr, DPM

    Unfortunately, it does not include CPT’s for “procedures” which compromise 90% of CPT codes.

  • MobiHealthNews

    Oof. Well, maybe that is the winning entrant for AMA’s next great medical app contest: A CPT code app that is useful more than 10 percent of the time!

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