CMS Develops New Code for Coronavirus Lab Test


On February 13, CMS took further action to ensure America’s health care facilities and clinical laboratories are prepared to respond to the threat of the 2019-Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Specifically, CMS developed a new HCPCS code for providers and laboratories to test patients for SARS-CoV-2. This code will allow those labs conducting the tests to bill for the specific test instead of using an unspecified code, which means better tracking of the public health response for this particular strain of the coronavirus to help protect people from the spread of this infectious disease.

Health care providers who need to test patients for Coronavirus using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2019 Novel Coronavirus Real Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Test Panel may bill for that test using the newly created HCPCS code (U0001).

The Medicare claims processing system will be able to accept this code on April 1, 2020, for dates of service on or after February 4, 2020. HCPCS is a standardized coding system that Medicare and other health insurers use to submit claims for services provided to patients.  

For More Information:

·         Memo: Critical steps for health care facilities to prepare

·         Memo: Information for CLIA-certified laboratories on how to test

 

See the full text of this excerpted CMS News Alert (issued February 13).