AMA releases new CPT codes for COVID-19 laboratory testing

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The AMA on August 10 announced four new CPT® codes for reporting COVID-19 laboratory testing, including two codes for reporting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibody detection. 

The new CPT codes, which went into effect immediately, are:

  • 0225U, infectious disease (bacterial or viral respiratory tract infection) pathogen-specific DNA and RNA, 21 targets, SARS-CoV-2, amplified probe technique, including multiplex reverse transcription for RNA targets, each analyte reported as detected or not detected
  • 0226U, surrogate viral neutralization test, severe acute respiratory
  • 86408, neutralizing antibody, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19); screen
  • 86409, titer

Codes 0225U and 0226U describe Proprietary Laboratory Analyses for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Code 86408 describes a SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody screen and code 86409 describes a SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody titer. The tests are used to determine if a person has had COVID-19 by verifying whether their body has created antibodies to help fight the infection, according to a special edition CPT Assistant fact sheet.

Physicians and health systems must manually upload the new code descriptors into their electronic health record systems. The new codes will be published in the 2021 CPT code set, anticipated for release later this year.

Healthcare professionals can find additional information on COVID-19 testing codes, including clinical examples and FAQs, in the special edition CPT Assistant fact sheet.

Editor's note: This article was first published on Revenue Cycle Advisor.