AMA publishes new CPT codes for COVID-19 tests

Oct. 8, 2020

The American Medical Association (AMA) published an update to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set that includes new additions for reporting diagnostic tests related to COVID-19, the association said in a press release.

The update to the CPT code set was approved by the CPT Editorial Panel, the independent body convened by the AMA with authority to review and approve proposed additions and revisions to the CPT code set. The new additions to the CPT code set have been approved for immediate use. Two of the codes are for tests that detect SARS-CoV-2 and other infectious diseases, such as influenza, while a third code is for antigen tests.

For quick reference, the new CPT codes are:

·        87636, which is for tests that detect an infectious agent by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA), including SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus types A and B, with a multiplex amplified probe technique.

·         87637, which is for tests that detect an infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA), including SARs-CoV-2, influenza virus types A and B, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), with a multiplex amplified probe technique.

·         87811, which is for tests designed for antigen detection by immunoassay with direct visual observation for SARS-CoV-2 (Code 87426, which was added earlier in the year, is for antigen tests that can be read by machine).

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