Updated Oct. 6, 2020

New Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes have been created that streamline the novel coronavirus testing currently available on the United States market.

Among these is a new code to describe the additional supplies and clinical staff time required to mitigate transmission of respiratory infectious disease while providing evaluation, treatment or procedural services during a public health emergency.

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Review a summary of the SARS-CoV-2 related CPT codes that have been approved and published for the 2021 CPT code set.

  • Accepted addition of code 87635 to report 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. The new code was effective March 13, 2020.
  • Accepted revision of code 86318 to report immunoassay for infectious agent antibody(ies) and to be a parent to 86328; addition of code 86328 to report single step antibody testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; addition of child code 86769 to report multiple-step antibody testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; and revision of the Immunology guidelines. The new codes and revision were effective April 10, 2020.
  • Accepted addition of PLA code 0202U to report the BioFire® Respiratory Panel 2.1 (RP2.1) test. The new code was effective May 20, 2020.
  • Accepted addition of code 87426 to report infectious agent antigen detection by immunoassay technique of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. In addition, two new PLA codes (0223U and 0224U) were accepted for detection of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Accepted addition of codes 86408 for reporting coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) neutralizing antibody screen and 86409 for reporting coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) neutralizing antibody titer. In addition, two new PLA codes (0225U and 0226U) were accepted for detection of SARS-CoV-2. These new codes are effective Aug. 10, 2020.
  • Accepted addition of code 99072 for the additional supplies and clinical staff time required to mitigate transmission of respiratory infectious disease while providing evaluation, treatment, or procedural services during a public health emergency, as defined by law. In addition, one code, 86413, was created for reporting quantitative antibody detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
  • Accepted addition of code 87636 for reporting combined respiratory virus multiplex testing for either SARS-CoV-2 with Influenza A&B, code 87637 for combined respiratory virus multiplex testing for either SARS-CoV-2 with Influenza A&B and RSV and 87811for antigen detection of SARS-CoV-2 by direct optical (i.e., visual) observation.  Two new PLA codes (0240U and 0241U) were accepted for detection of SARS-CoV-2, Influenza A and Influenza B; code 0240U also detects RSV. Additionally, Immunology guidelines were also revised, along with codes 87301, 87802 and their subsidiary codes.

Please note that, per the standard early release delivery process for CPT codes, you will need to manually upload these code descriptors into your EHR system. Most of these CPT codes will arrive as part of the complete CPT code set in the data file for 2021 later this year. However, as updates are released further into CY 2020, please ensure your systems are updated with the COVID-19-related code releases on this page.

Review and download the full CPT code descriptor release.

Category I/Pathology and Laboratory

CPT® Assistant provides guidance for new codes

CPT Assistant is providing fact sheets for coding guidance for new SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)-related testing codes.

The fact sheets include:

  • Codes, descriptors and purpose
  • Clinical examples
  • Description of the procedures
  • FAQs

Download the Oct. 6, 2020 CPT Assistant guide (PDF)

Download the Sept. 8, 2020 CPT Assistant guide (PDF, includes information on code 99070)

Download the Aug. 10, 2020 CPT Assistant guide (PDF)

Download the June 25, 2020 CPT Assistant guide (PDF, includes information on code 87301)

Download the May 20, 2020 CPT Assistant guide (PDF)

Download the April 10, 2020 CPT Assistant guide (PDF, includes information on codes 86602, 86635)

Download the March 13, 2020 CPT Assistant guide (PDF, includes information on codes 87631, 87632, 87633, 0098U, 0099U, 0100U)

Coding advice and testing guides

 

CPT © Copyright 2020 American Medical Association. All rights reserved. AMA and CPT are registered trademarks of the American Medical Association.

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