Updated on: September 28, 2020

AMA Releases New CPT® Codes and Coding Resources for COVID-19 Reporting

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Original story posted on: September 14, 2020

On Sept. 8, the American Medical Association (AMA) released two new codes related to the coding and reporting of COVID-19 testing and management. The additions include one new code in the Pathology and Laboratory sections and one new code in the Medicine section of CPT.

A summary of the new codes is outlined below.

  • #86413 – Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease COVID-19) antibody, quantitative
  • This code was created to allow reporting of quantitative antibody detection of SARS-CoV-2.
  • This is a resequenced code that will follow code 86409 in the CPT Tabular.
  • 99072 – Additional supplies, materials, and clinical staff time over and above those usually included in an office visit or other non-facility service(s), when performed during a public health emergency, as defined by law, due to respiratory-transmitted infectious disease



Expanded guidance from CPT indicates that code 99072:

  • Reports the provision of additional supplies, such as face masks and cleaning supplies
  • Reports clinical staff time for activities such as pre-visit instructions and office arrival symptom checks
  • Is reported only once per in-person patient encounter, per day, regardless of the number of services rendered at that encounter
  • May be reported when the additional clinical staff duties are performed by the physician or other qualified healthcare, professional in lieu of clinical staff

The COVID-19 Coding and Guidance web page on the AMA website was updated to include these new codes. The web page features coding guidance and other resources related to the use of these and previously released CPT codes for COVID-19 reporting.

The web page can be accessed at the following link:

https://www.ama-assn.org/practice-management/cpt/covid-19-coding-and-guidance

The web page features severable resources that include:

  • Summary of all SARS-CoV-2-related CPT codes approved for release in the 2021 code set

Note: While most COVID-19-related codes will be included in the 2021 code set data file released later this year, immediate use of these codes will require providers to manually upload the code descriptors into their electronic health records (EHRs).

  • Downloadable short, medium, and long code descriptors for CPT Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) codes.
  • Downloadable guidance from CPT Assistant from March 13 to Sept. 8 that includes:
    • Codes, descriptors, and purpose
    • Clinical examples
    • Descriptions of the procedures
    • FAQs
  • Links to coding advice and testing guidance

Anyone coding for COVID-19 testing and/or treatment should make use of the resources on the AMA website to ensure accuracy and consistency in coding and reporting that yields reliable data, from which both sound standards of care and public health policy can be founded.

Be sure to check the website regularly for updates.

Cari Greenwood, RHIA, CCS, CPC AHIMA approved ICD-10 Trainer

Cari A. Greenwood, RHIA, CCS, CPC, CICA is an independent coding consultant. She is an AHIMA approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer and an HFMA Certified Inpatient Coding Auditor with more than 16 years of experience in health information management (HIM). She specializes in auditing and coding education.

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