AMA releases coronavirus CPT codes

September 10, 2020
Keith A. Reynolds
Keith A. Reynolds

The two codes deal with the additional supplies and staff time needed to treat patients during the pandemic and laboratory testing.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has published a pair of current procedural terminology (CPT) codes to report medical services sparked by measure meant to counter the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

According to a news release, the update to the updated codes were approved by the CPT Editorial Panel and have been approved for immediate use.

“The CPT code set continues to quickly adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic to streamline the reporting of innovative tools and services now available to help reduce the COVID-19 disease burden, improve health outcomes and reduce long-term care costs,” AMA President Susan R. Bailey, MD, says in the release. “This update is the latest in a series of modifications to the CPT codes set to meet the needs of the healthcare industry as medical advancements expand the fight against COVID-19.”

CPT code 99072 seeks to account for the sweeping measure adopted by practices to stem the spread of COVID-19 while allowing patients to safely access high-quality care through in-person interactions with physicians. The additional supplies and staff time to perform safety protocols described in the code allow for the provision of evaluation, treatment, or procedural services during the public health emergency, the release says.

The other addition, CPT code 86413, is in response to the development of laboratory tests which provide quantitative measurements of COVID-19 antibodies as opposed to a qualitative (positive/negative) test for antibodies reported by other CPT codes, according to the release.

The two new Category I CPT codes and long descriptors are:

  • 99072 – Additional supplies, materials, and clinical staff time over and above those usually included in an office visit or other non-facility service(s), when performed during a Public Health Emergency as defined by law, due to respiratory-transmitted infectious disease
  • 86413 – Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) antibody, quantitative

Medium and short descriptors of the codes can be accessed on the AMA website along with other recent modifications to the CPT code set, the release says.