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NIH Genetic Test Registry to Integrate AMA's CPT Codes

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The American Medical Association said today that it plans to add its Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for molecular pathology tests to the National Institutes of Health's database of genetic tests under an agreement with the National Library of Medicine.

AMA said the CPT codes, which include the most widely accepted medical nomenclature for medical procedures and services for public and private health programs, will be integrated into the NIH Genetic Testing Registry, which is managed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

AMA also noted that new, more highly detailed CPT codes for molecular pathology took effect last year to describe the most recent advances in molecular testing.

The GTR was launched last year to provide an information hub about which genetic tests are available and what they claim to do. It receives information submitted voluntarily by test makers and provides information about the purpose, methodology, validity, and utility of the genetic tests, as well as lab contacts and credentials for the providers.

The resource also includes expert-authored summaries about genetic testing and counseling for specific conditions, a catalog of human genes and Mendelian genetic disorders, information about rare diseases and orphan drugs, and descriptions of genetic terms and concepts.

"CPT codes are a critical element to building an infrastructure that supports moving new genetic discoveries to the front lines of clinical care as we move into an era of personalized medicine," AMA President Jeremy Lazarus said in a statement. "Adding a CPT coding reference to the Genetic Testing Registry gives physicians an invaluable information source that will enhance the reporting of genetic tests and services."

GTR Director Wendy Rubinstein said in a statement that adding the codes to the GTR will "help clinicians pinpoint practical information about genetics in a centralized resource."