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New CPT Code For COVID-19-Related Practice Expenses

The American Medical Association recently released a new CPT® code, which accounts for additional practice expenses incurred during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). The intention of this code is to represent additional supplies and staff time necessary to keep patients, staff and ourselves safe during the public health emergency. 

CPT 99072 - Additional supplies, materials, and clinical staff time over and above those usually included in an office visit or other non-facility service(s), when performed during a Public Health Emergency as defined by law, due to respiratory-transmitted infectious disease.

Supplies include anything we use for COVID-19-specific safety beyond what we normally use in the office. Some examples may include additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for the doctor, staff and patients, different/additional cleaning supplies and plexiglass windows that some have installed at office check-in/check-out areas. 

Clinical staff time accounts for any additional time spent by staff as a result of the public health emergency. Some examples include contacting patients to check for COVID-19 symptoms the day before their appointments, screening patients for COVID-19 signs or symptoms upon arrival, donning and removing PPE, and additional time cleaning.

One can submit this new CPT code for every visit which has these services associated with it. Just like any other service we provide, documentation should support the use of this code. In the case of CPT 99072, the provider should include a narrative explaining the additional supplies and staff time associated with the visit. 

Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) is copyright 1966, 1970, 1973, 1977, 1981, 1983-2019 by the American Medical Association. All rights reserved. CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association (AMA).  

Dr. Lehrman operates Lehrman Consulting, LLC, is a consultant to the APMA Health Policy and Practice Department, serves as an expert panelist on Codingline, and is a Certified Professional Coder. Follow him on Twitter @DrLehrman.

References

1. AMA announces new CPT codes as COVID-19 advancements expand. American Medical Association. Available at: https://www.ama-assn.org/press-center/press-releases/ama-announces-new-cpt-codes-covid-19-advancements-expand . Published September 8, 2020. Accessed October 9, 2020.

2. COVID-19 Coding Update. CPT Assistant Special Edition September Update. 2020;30:1-4. Available at: https://www.ama-assn.org/system/files/2020-09/cpt-assistant-guide-coronavirus-september-2020.pdf .  Accessed October 9, 2020.

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