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CPT® Category I Pathology and Laboratory Code for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19])

CPT 87635

Effective Mar 13, 2020

A child code beneath the parent code for microbiology procedures 87471



Long:  Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]), amplified probe technique

AMA CPT COVID-19 coding and guidance

Quick reference flow chart for CPT reporting for COVID-19 testing (PDF)

Coding scenarios and how to apply best coding practices (PDF)

CPT® releases new coronavirus (COVID-19) code & description for testing

AMA Fact Sheet: Reporting Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) Laboratory Testing

  • Manual upload of code descriptor into EHR.
  • CPT code 87635 will be part of the complete CPT code set in the data file for 2021.
  • Microbiology subsection of the Pathology and Laboratory section.
  • Long code descriptor note: Code 87635 will be a child code under parent code 87471.
  • It is represented here as the full long descriptor including the language from parent code 87471.
  • If the claim is submitted to a payer that requires CPT codes, then code 87635 should be reported.
  • Conversely, if the payer requires use of the HCPCS Level II code, the HCPCS Level II code should be reported. CPT and HCPCS codes should not both be reported on the same claim.
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