What’s the news: The AMA has published an update to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code set that includes new vaccine-specific codes to report immunizations for the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

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Working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CPT Editorial Panel has approved a unique CPT code for each of two coronavirus vaccines as well as administration codes unique to each such vaccine.

The new CPT codes clinically distinguish each coronavirus vaccine for better tracking, reporting and analysis that supports data-driven planning and allocation. The CPT codes are available prior to the public availability of the vaccines to facilitate the updating of health care electronic systems across the U.S.

Why it’s important: “An effective national immunization program is key to bringing the coronavirus pandemic to an end,” said AMA President Susan R. Bailey, MD. “Correlating each coronavirus vaccine with its own unique CPT code provides analytical advantages to help track, allocate and optimize resources as an immunization program ramps up in the United States.”

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For quick reference, the new Category I CPT codes and long descriptors for the vaccine products are:

  • 91300: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) vaccine, mRNA-LNP, spike protein, preservative free, 30 mcg/0.3mL dosage, diluent reconstituted, for intramuscular use.
  • 91301: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) vaccine, mRNA-LNP, spike protein, preservative free, 100 mcg/0.5mL dosage, for intramuscular use.

In accordance with the new vaccine-specific product CPT codes, the CPT Editorial Panel has worked with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to create new vaccine administration codes that are both distinct to each coronavirus vaccine and the specific dose in the required schedule. This level of specificity is a first for vaccine CPT codes, which offers the ability to track each vaccine dose, even when the vaccine product is not reported—for example, when the vaccine may be given to the patient for free.

These CPT codes report the actual work of administering the vaccine, in addition to all necessary counseling provided to patients or caregivers and updating the electronic record.
 

Learn more: All the new vaccine-specific CPT codes published in today’s update will be available for use and effective upon each new coronavirus vaccine receiving emergency use authorization or approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

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Short, medium and long descriptors for the new vaccine-specific CPT codes can be accessed on the AMA website, along with several other recent modifications to the CPT code set that have helped streamline the public health response to the SAR-CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease.

Questions on CPT coding and content should be directed to the CPT Network, the authoritative source for CPT coding answers.

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