With the country on edge because of COVID-19 (better known to the masses as the coronavirus), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have revealed new billing codes for testing the virus in labs. With these new billing codes, providers and clinical laboratories can be reimbursed for assisting patients with the virus while keeping a close eye on new cases and conducting tests. The codes have already been adopted by the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) which is utilized by insurers as well as Medicare for claims processing.
U0001 is the first billing code, released last month and aimed squarely at SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests done at CDC research laboratories. The second billing code (U0002) published earlier this week will allow laboratories to bill for non-CDC laboratory tests for SARS-CoV-2/2019-nCoV, or simply, COVID-19.
Per the most recent World Health Organization figures, there are more than 95,000 cases of coronavirus around the world. Of those cases, close to 100 of them are in the United States.
In light of the coronavirus, CMS has also given a call for action to health care providers. The agency recently urged providers to make sure that they are enforcing proper infection control protocols.
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