by Wyn Staheli, Director of Research
March 17th, 2020
On March 13, 2020, a new CPT code was announced by the American Medical Association (AMA) who maintains the CPT code set. This early release of a CPT code is rare and is effective immediately. According to the press release, “The new CPT code assigned to the test for the novel coronavirus provides analytical advantages for tracking, allocating and optimizing resources as testing ramps up in the United States.” (See References below)
The following new code has been added to Find-A-Code with an effective date of March 13, 2020:
87635 Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]), amplified probe technique
Note: Due to this type of release, not all EHR systems or payers may have added this code.
What makes this interesting is that back in February (see References below), CMS announced that there was a new HCPCS code (U0001) which was to be used for reporting testing. Then on March 5, 2020, they announced another code (U0002). Both codes will be effective for reporting as of April 1, 2020. It is unknown at this time if CMS will want both the HCPCS and/or the CPT code to report. Watch for further announcements.
As for reporting the diagnosis, at the time of this article the current official guidelines announced February 20, 2020 have not changed. CLICK HERE to read about those guidelines. Sometime during the next two days, they will be discussing the addition of a new ICD-10-CM code. We will monitor this situation and make an announcement when we know more.
For detailed coding guidelines see "Understand the New Codes for Testing & Reporting the COVID-19 Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)"