CMS develops new code for coronavirus lab test

Feb. 21, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has created a Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System code (U0001) specifically for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. Labs and healthcare providers using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Real Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Test can use the code for billing.

CMS said the code provides better tracking, and Medicare will begin accepting this code April 1 for claims with dates of service on or after Feb. 4, 2020.

CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other groups continue to monitor the supply chain of drugs and personal protective equipment coming out of China. In a press briefing, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, "I’ve written to 12 chief executives of manufacturers of personal protective equipment to seek their cooperation to ensure supply to protect health workers.” He added that there is a “good signal” from those manufacturers. The CDC also released a webinar on how health systems can optimize the N95 respirator supply.

WHO reports nearly 76,000 confirmed cases and over 2,000 deaths, with the majority in China.

AHA has the announcement.

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.