What You Need to Know:
– AMA announces it will fast track CPT code development for a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) test to bolster a data-driven response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.
– 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.
– According to the CDC, there is a total of 647 confirmed cases of COVID-19 resulting in 25 deaths in the United States.
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.
New Coronavirus CPT Code Timeline
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 the 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.
Supporting a Data-Driven Response to COVID-19 Outbreak
“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 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 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.