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Last Modified: 11/14/2020 Location: FL, PR, USVI Business: Part A, Part B

CMS develops new code for coronavirus lab test

On February 13, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took further action to ensure America’s health care facilities and clinical laboratories are prepared to respond to the threat of the 2019-Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Specifically, CMS developed a new HCPCS code for providers and laboratories to test patients for SARS-CoV-2. This code will allow those labs conducting the tests to bill for the specific test instead of using an unspecified code, which means better tracking of the public health response for this particular strain of the coronavirus to help protect people from the spread of this infectious disease.
Health care providers who need to test patients for coronavirus using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2019 Novel Coronavirus Real Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Test Panel may bill for that test using the newly created HCPCS code (U0001). The Medicare claims processing system will be able to accept this code on April 1, 2020, for dates of service on or after February 4, 2020. HCPCS is a standardized coding system that Medicare and other health insurers use to submit claims for services provided to patients.
For more information:
Memo external link: Critical steps for health care facilities to prepare
Memo external link: Information for CLIA-certified laboratories on how to test
See the full text of this excerpted CMS News Alert external link (issued February 13).
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