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Covid19 Medtech Insight

The American Medical Association (AMA) has added two new Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for reporting antigen tests that detect both COVID-19 and influenza.

Effective immediately, the new Category I CPT codes are 87636 and 87637.

87636

Long Code Descriptor

Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]) and influenza virus types A and B, multiplex amplified probe technique

Medium Code Descriptor

IADNA SARSCOV2 & INF A&B MULT AMPLIFIED PROBE TQ

Short Code Descriptor

SARSCOV2 & INF A&B AMP PRB

 

87637

Long Code Descriptor

Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]), influenza virus types A and B, and respiratory syncytial virus, multiplex amplified probe technique

Medium Code Descriptor

IADNA SARSCOV2 & INF A&B & RSV MULT AMP PROBE TQ

Short Code Descriptor

SARSCOV2 & INF A&B&RSV AMP PRB

 

These new codes “report nucleic acid assays that allow a single test to simultaneously detect the novel coronavirus and a combination of common viral infectious agents, including influenza A/B and respiratory syncytial virus,” AMA president Susan Bailey explained on 7 October. “Concurrent detection promises to conserve important testing resources, allowing for ongoing surveillance of influenza while testing for the novel coronavirus.”

Meanwhile, the AMA added a third new Category I code, 87811, for reporting “infectious agent antigen detection by immunoassay with direct visual observation.”

87811

Long Code Descriptor

Infectious agent antigen detection by immunoassay with direct optical (ie, visual) observation; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19])

Medium Code Descriptor

IAADIADOO SEVERE AQT RESPIR SYND CORONAVIRUS

Short Code Descriptor

SARS-COV-2 COVID19 W/OPTIC

 

The AMA says other recent changes to the CPT code set in relation to COVID-19 can be found on the group’s website.

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