We’re used to new International Classification of Disease (ICD) codes coming out at the beginning of each year, but just like everything else in 2020, things have changed a bit. As COVID-19 has rapidly changed the needs for clinics and providers, one thing that became abundantly clear at the beginning of the year was the need for new codes. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and payers are using new ICD-10 codes, along with Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes to help with coronavirus testing and treatment as a result of a completely new disease.
What to Know About New ICD-10 and HCPCS Codes
The new codes were released in late July and are effective starting August 1, 2020. They are labeled as “V37.2” and it includes 12 total procedure codes for COVID-19:
- Six of the procedure codes are related to three substances used to treat COVID-19: Remdesivir Anti-Infective, Sarilumab (Kevzara), and Tocilizumab
- Two codes are for the use of convalescent plasma, which has been shown to help patients with severe infection by injecting plasma from donors who have antibodies for COVID-19 after surviving the disease
- Additional codes are available for “Other New Technology Therapeutic Substance” which can help with coding for therapies and treatments that don’t fall into other categories.
All of the new codes require the Qualifier New Technology Group 5, indicating they are valid for the 2020 fiscal year.
CMS also introduced several new CPT and HCPCS codes earlier in the year for clinics and providers to use when seeing patients for testing, specifically laboratory tests for COVID-19. These new codes were in addition to announcements about medical billing and coding for telemedicine visits, which expanded reimbursement rates for telemedicine visits performed while clinics were shut down and unable to see patients in person.
Preparing Medical Billing Staff
It’s important to have medical billing staff who might be using these codes trained and properly informed about the new codes. Without them, you may not be able to bill for specific treatments or services.
Consider Engaging Medical Billing Services
There is a lot of change right now, and many smaller clinics are finding it difficult to keep up with medical billing and coding with only limited staff. If your internal staff members are struggling to keep up with the changes, consider hiring a medical billing service temporarily. These services offer expertise in medical billing and can ensure that any new codes are available and properly used to avoid billing errors, delayed reimbursements, and other concerns that might come up. At a time when many clinics are struggling with revenues, the increase in billing collections could help significantly.
Contact AdvancedMD today to learn about our available medical billing services and how they can benefit your clinic.