CHICAGO—To empower surveillance and laboratory testing in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the American Medical Association (AMA) announced a unique Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code for reporting novel coronavirus tests will be considered at a special CPT Editorial Panel meeting this week.

If approved, the new CPT code will support the response to the urgent public health need for streamlined reporting of novel coronavirus testing offered by hospitals, health systems and laboratories in the United States.

“Moving as quickly as possible to put in place a CPT code for a novel coronavirus test will bolster a data-driven response to the COVID-19 disease outbreak in the United States,” said AMA President Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A. “By streamlining the flow of information on novel coronavirus testing, a new CPT code facilitates the reporting, measuring, analyzing, researching, and benchmarking that is necessary to help guide the nation’s response to the public health emergency.”

The CPT Editorial Panel will manage the expedited process including the creation of a test description to accompany the code and the effective date of the code. The CPT Editorial Panel is an independent body convened by the AMA with sole authority to manage revisions to the CPT code set.

Throughout the past several weeks, the AMA has worked closely with leaders at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and experts in the health care community to ensure the new CPT code meets the emergent demands for accurate reporting of a diagnostic test to detect the novel coronavirus.

The AMA will continue to keep physicians informed of the CDC’s resources and updates, including on the AMA’s COVID-19 online resource center and new Physicians Guide to COVID-19, via social media, and through direct communications to physicians. Additionally, the AMA’s JAMA Network™ has a comprehensive overview of the coronavirus—including epidemiology, infection control and prevention recommendations—available on its JN Learning website.


Media Contact:

Robert J. Mills

ph: (312) 464-5970

[email protected]

About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.