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Is there a new CPT code to report COVID-19 antigen testing?

Yes. On June 25, 2020 the AMA announced the creation of new CPT code 87426 to report laboratory antigen testing of patients suspected of being infected with the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). We have provided the CPT code long descriptor for the newly established code below.

Per the AMA:

“The new code is intended for use as the industry standard for accurate reporting and tracking of antigen tests using immunofluorescent or immunochromatographic technique for the detection of biomolecules produced by the SAR-CoV-2 virus.”

As always, we caution that there will be a delay for both Medicare and private payers to establish a payment rate and update their claims processing systems to accept this new code. To avoid claim rejections and denials we would advise checking with your individual MACs and/or commercial payers prior to claim submission to confirm code availability.

CPT Code Long Descriptor:

87426 Infectious agent antigen detection by immunoassay technique, (eg, enzyme immunoassay [EIA], enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA], immunochemiluminometric assay [IMCA]) qualitative or semiquantitative, multiple-step method; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (eg, SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19])86769 Antibody; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19])

AMA press release, “AMA announces CPT code for antigen tests in the fight against COVID-19”:

https://www.ama-assn.org/press-center/press-releases/ama-announces-cpt-code-antigen-tests-fight-against-covid-19?utm_source=Selligent&utm_medium=email&utm_term=%25m%25d%25y&utm_content=HS_Comm_CPTCodeAncmt_COVID_Antigen_Test_062520&utm_campaign=HS_Comm_CPTCodeAncmt_COVID_Antigen_Test_062520&utm_uid=15199724&utm_effort=&utm_h