American Medical Association releases CPT codes for coronavirus vaccines

The American Medical Association (AMA) has released unique current procedural terminology (CPT) codes for each of two new coronavirus vaccines, to enable better tracking, reporting and analysis.

AMA’s CPT Editorial Panel has approved two new vaccine administration codes that are distinct to each vaccine and the specific dose in the required schedule. CPT codes will be used to clinically distinguish each vaccine in order to support data-driven planning and allocation.

The codes were made available in November, prior to the public availability of the vaccines to facilitate updating of health care electronic systems.

AMA president, Susan R Bailey, said: “An effective immunization program is key to bringing the coronavirus pandemic to an end. Correlating each coronavirus vaccine with its own unique CPT code provides analytical advantages to help track, allocate and optimize resources as an immunization program ramps up.”

New levels of specificity

This level of specificity is a first for vaccine CPT codes, according to the AMA. It offers the ability to track each vaccine dose, even when the vaccine product is not reported (e.g. when the vaccine may be given to the patient for free).

New CPT codes report the actual work of administering the vaccine, in addition to all necessary counselling provided to patients or caregivers and updating the electronic record.

All the new vaccine-specific CPT codes will be available for use and effective upon each new coronavirus vaccine receiving emergency use authorization or approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The AMA is responsible for compiling the CPT handbook. According to the organization’s website, the CPT code set enables health systems outside of the US to elevate patient outcomes, manage costs and improve productivity to expand access.

The CPT code set is rigorously updated by the CPT editorial panel to align with the dynamics of modern medicine and reflect the latest health care advancements available to patients.

Governments, health care providers, tech vendors and payers utilize the CPT code set within their health management systems, where it is trusted to support payment processes and inform public health planning and research.

Visit the AMA website to discover these new CPT codes or to learn more about the application of CPT content.

For more information visit the booth from American Medical Association at the HIMSS Middle East Digital Conference this week. 

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