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The American Medical Association Announces New CPT Code For COVID-19 Testing

The current coronavirus pandemic is creating high tension all over the world – and with good reason. The number of worldwide confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to grow rapidly. Just two weeks ago, here in the United States, there were 130 confirmed cases. That jumped to 1,215 cases one week ago. As of yesterday, the CDC reports 7,038 cases with 327 of them, here in the State of Florida. 97 have resulted in death. These are trying times – and that’s putting it mildly.

Our objective, with this week’s blog, is not to heighten panic and fear, but instead to be informative about an undeniable reality. We must all do our part in trying to prevent the spread of infection. You’ve probably heard countless times to wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and self-isolate. The Allegiant Experts team is doing just that as we are all working from home, for the time being. And we’re pleased to offer a bit of promising news.

There is a new CPT code for coronavirus testing.

This past Monday, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced that the CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) Editorial Panel approved a new addition to the CPT code set. It will help streamline data-driven resource planning and allocation in the battle against the coronavirus as the number of confirmed cases in the United States continues to rise at a rapid rate.

For quick reference, the new Category I CPT code and short, medium and full descriptors are:

87635 – SARS-COV-2 COVID-19 AMP PRB (short)


87635 – Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]), amplified probe technique (full)

“The code is effective immediately for use as the industry standard for reporting of tests for the novel Coronavirus across the nation’s health care system,” informs AMA, “You will need to manually upload this code descriptor into your EHR system.”

CPT Assistant is providing a fact sheet for coding guidance.

As part of the AMA announcement, they revealed that CPT Assistant is providing a fact sheet for coding guidance for the COVID-19 test in relation to the use of the new CPT code. The fact sheet includes code, descriptor and purpose; a clinical example; a description of the procedure and FAQs. You can download the CPT Assistant guide as a PDF file HERE.

The Allegiant Experts team continues to offer its best wishes to everyone. This current COVID-19 crisis is impacting all of our lives in ways we’ve never experienced. Let’s all do our part to prevent the spread of infection in hopes that we can return to normalcy sooner than later.

As always, if you have any questions about our clinical expert services, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We have two decades of experience being experts in our field and can help your legal team by bridging the disciplines of medicine, coding and billing to ensure accurate payment and data is achieved. Give us a call at 407-217-5831 or email us at

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