Updated April 10, 2020

New Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes have been created that streamline the novel coronavirus testing currently available on the United States market.

A revision to code 86318 and addition of two codes are effective April 10, 2020 for use as the industry standard for reporting of novel coronavirus antibody tests across the nation’s health care system.

The previously established code 87635 was effective March 13, 2020 for novel coronavirus tests through infectious agent detection by nucleic acid.

Please note that, per the standard early release delivery process for CPT codes, you will need to manually upload these code descriptors into your EHR system. These CPT codes will arrive as part of the complete CPT code set in the data file for 2021 later this year.

Review and download the full CPT code descriptor release.

Category I/Pathology and Laboratory

The CPT Editorial Panel approved the codes at special, expedited meetings held, via telephone, on March 13, 2020 and April 10, 2020.

CPT® Assistant provides guidance for new codes

CPT Assistant is providing fact sheets for coding guidance for all new SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)-related testing codes.

The fact sheets include:

  • Codes, descriptors and purpose
  • Clinical examples
  • Description of the procedures
  • FAQs

Download the March 13, 2020 CPT Assistant guide (PDF)

Download the April 10, 2020 CPT Assistant guide (PDF)

Coding advice and testing guides


CPT © Copyright 2020 American Medical Association. All rights reserved. AMA and CPT are registered trademarks of the American Medical Association.

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