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I heard there are new CPT codes to report COVID-19 antibody testing, what are the new codes and how are they used?

On April 10th the AMA announced the creation of two new CPT codes, 86328 and 86769, to report when patients receive blood tests that detect COVID-19 antibodies. We have provided the CPT code long descriptors for the newly established codes below. Per the AMA, code selection between CPT 86328 and 86769 is dependent on the method utilized:

“Code 86328 was established for antibody tests using a single step method immunoassay. This testing method typically includes a strip with all of the critical components for the assay and is appropriate for a point of care platform. Code 86769 was established for antibody tests using a multiple step method.”

The AMA states the codes are available for immediate use beginning April 10th, 2020. However, we would caution there has been no guidance yet from CMS on when claims processing systems will be updated to accept these new codes. Please check with your individual MACs and/or commercial payers prior to claim submission for code availability and reimbursement amounts.

CPT Code Long Descriptors:

  • 86328 Immunoassay for infectious agent antibody(ies), qualitative or semiquantitative, single step method (eg, reagent strip); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19])
  • 86769 Antibody; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19])

AMA CPT Assistant Article, “SARS-CoV-2 Serologic Laboratory Testing”:

https://www.ama-assn.org/system/files/2020-04/cpt-assistant-guide-coronavirus-april-2020.pdf