COVID-19 cases are surging again in many states, with the U.S. setting new records for daily infections. These are the key codes to remember when testing for or diagnosing the illness:
U07.1, COVID-19. This is the diagnosis code for all cases of COVID-19, whether it’s diagnosed based on testing, symptoms, exposure, or any combination of the three.
Z20.828, Contact with and (suspected) exposure to other viral communicable diseases. Use this code when you think a patient has been exposed to the novel coronavirus, but you’re uncertain about whether to diagnose COVID-19 (i.e., test results are not available). It should be accompanied by codes for the patient’s symptoms, if there are any.
B94.8, Sequelae of other specified infectious and parasitic diseases. Use this code for patients who are still suffering from COVID-19 complications after clearing the initial infection. It should be combined with other diagnosis codes for the patient’s ongoing symptoms.
87426, Infectious agent antigen detection by immunoassay technique (e.g., enzyme immunoassay, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, fluorescence immunoassay, immunochemiluminometric assay), qualitative or semiquantitative; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (e.g., SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2). This recently revised code is for administering an antigen test, which is quicker and simpler than other tests for COVID-19 and therefore is more likely to be done at the point of care.
86328, Immunoassay for infectious agent antibody(ies), qualitative or semiquantitative, single-step method (e.g., reagent strip); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)(Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]). This is the code for a single-step test to identify antibodies in patients previously or currently infected with the novel coronavirus.
87637, Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)(Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]), influenza virus types A and B, and respiratory syncytial virus, multiplex amplified probe technique. This is a new code for a single genetic test that can identify COVID-19, the seasonal flu, or respiratory syncytial virus (for tests that combine only COVID-19 and the flu, report 87636).
Read more Coding & Documentation tips in the latest issue of FPM.
Sign up to receive FPM's free, weekly e-newsletter, "Quick Tips & Insights," featuring practical, peer-reviewed advice for improving practice, enhancing the patient experience, and developing a rewarding career.