CMS creates new code for coronavirus tests

CMS made a second code to bill for tests diagnosing COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, the agency said March 5. 

The second Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System code is U0002, which will allow laboratories to bill for COVID-19 tests that aren't from the CDC. The FDA is allowing some labs to develop their own COVID-19 tests. CMS said it expects this additional code will "encourage testing and improve tracking." 

In February, CMS created the HCPCS code U0001 to bill for use of the CDC's RT-PCR Diagnostic Test Panel that tests for COVID-19.

Medicare's claims processing system will begin accepting both codes April 1 for dates of services Feb. 4 onward.

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