September 15, 2020 - Shortly after releasing the 2021 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set, the American Medical Association (AMA) added two more codes related to COVID-19, including one that accounts for the extra safety protocols providers are taking to care for patients during the global pandemic.

CPT code 99072 is a new practice expense code that describes the additional supplies and clinical staff time providers are using to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus while still providing safe in-person visits.

99072     Additional supplies, materials, and clinical staff time over and above those usually included in an office visit or other non-facility service(s), when performed during a Public Health Emergency as defined by law, due to respiratory-transmitted infectious disease

The additional supplies, materials, and clinical staff time the new CPT code covers, according to coding guidance from the AMA, includes patient symptom checks over the phone and upon arrival, donning and removing personal protective equipment (PPE), and increased sanitation measures to prevent the spread of communicable disease.

The code should only be used during a declared public health emergency and is different from code 99070, which is typically reported for supplies and materials that may be used for provided to patients during a normal office visit, the Association also pointed out.

CPT code 99072 should be reported only once per in-person visits per provider identification number (PIN), regardless of the number of services performed during the visit.

The new code, and CPT code 99072, were approved by the AMA for immediate use.

There is currently no established RVU but providers may add this charge to a patient visit for the added costs. While I have not seen any official statements from any of the major carriers it would not be unreasonable to foresee payers making some payments towards these added costs.


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