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Breaking Down COVID’s Newest Rules For Admins And Billing Specialists

This approach streamlines billing for COVID, allowing hospitals and clinics to focus on their patients’ health and not highly-technical billing.

The American Medical Association (AMA) just announced new guidelines around medical procedure codes for coronavirus. Effective March 13, new guidelines will help administrators better bill and track healthcare related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The AMA explained, “Due to the emergent nature of the public health concern surrounding novel coronavirus testing, the American Medical Association (AMA) Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Editorial Panel convened a special meeting and approved a new, specific CPT code to describe laboratory testing for [COVID-19.]”

Needing to be manually uploaded in the Electronic Health Records (EHR) system, the codes are set to be a part of another nation-wide change before 2021. Additional resources are available from the AMA, including:

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The California Medical Association (CMA) responded to the change with affirmation, saying, “The new CPT code assigned to the test for the novel coronavirus provides analytical advantages for tracking, allocating and optimizing resources as testing ramps up in the United States.”

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Medical Economics writes, “The CPT code is 87635, and is a child code listed beneath parent code for microbiology procedures (87471).”

Effective immediately for use for all COVID-19 patients, the new industry standard code of 87635 is to be used for most procedures to do with coronavirus and the pandemic. This approach streamlines billing for COVID, allowing hospitals and clinics to focus on saving lives and not highly-technical billing.

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