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Analysis

AMA Releases New COVID-19 and Flu Combo Codes

By Revenue Cycle Advisor  
   October 12, 2020

The new codes describe nucleic acid assays that simultaneously detect COVID-19 and a combination of common viral infectious agents, including influenza virus types A and B.

A version of this article was first published October 12, 2020, by HCPro's Revenue Cycle Advisor, a sibling publication to HealthLeaders.

The American Medical Association (AMA) released two new CPT codes October 7 for reporting antigen tests that detect the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and influenza.

Effective immediately, coders may report the following new laboratory CPT codes:

  • 87636, infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and influenza virus types A and B, multiplex amplified probe technique
  • 87637, infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); SARS-CoV-2, influenza virus types A and B, and respiratory syncytial virus, multiplex amplified probe technique

The new codes describe nucleic acid assays that simultaneously detect COVID-19 and a combination of common viral infectious agents, including influenza virus types A and B (the two most common types of influenza), and respiratory syncytial virus. According to AMA President Susan R. Bailey, MD, concurrent detection of COVID-19 and influenza will conserve important testing resources and allow for ongoing surveillance of influenza during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The AMA’s CPT Editorial Panel also made changes to CPT codes 87301-87430, removing the term “multi-step method” from code descriptors to distinguish between antigen tests that are read by a machine and those that are visually interpreted.

Revenue Cycle Advisor combines all of HCPro's Medicare regulatory and reimbursement resources into one handy and easy-to-access portal. News is not just repeated from other sources. It is analyzed by our Medicare experts so professionals can comprehend any new rule and regulatory updates thoroughly. Learn more.


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