As with the majority of healthcare updates in the industry this year, the AMA released a new CPT code that aims to relieve some of effects of COVID-19 on providers. As a result of the pandemic, PPE and staff have been in high demand across all types of medical care, so this code was created to offset the long-term needs for extra precautions such as the increased cleaning and equipment. Effective September 8, 2020, the 99072 code can be applied to non-facility settings for expenses related to supplies, equipment, and staff time performed during the COVID-19 pandemic, officially categorized as a public health emergency as defined by law.
Essentially, specialty clinics can help offset the costs of supplies, equipment, and cleaning time necessary for their offices to safely treat patients during this PHE.
The new CPT code, 99072, also encompasses:
- The additional time necessary to screen patients, whether on the phone or in-person, for COVID-19 related symptoms.
- The time it takes staff to safely put on and take off PPE.
- Additional cleaning staff or the sanitation measures now required for the staff and patients’ safety.
While the code was designed in response to the pandemic’s increase in time and cost to non-facility’s in order to work in a safe environment, it does not require the patient to be there for respiratory reasons or positive for COVID-19. Additionally, they confirmed that the CPT defines non-facility services to include home or domiciliary care services. However, it cannot be used for ED visits, outpatient department visits, or nursing facility visits as they are defined as facility services. As an example, the 99072 code can be used in reporting an in-person patient office visit such as an encounter for a blood pressure concern at a cardiology office.
All clinic medical billers should be aware of this new code and use it when appropriate to help alleviate some of the extra costs they might be facing due to the PHE. If there are still concerns on how this code can be used to benefit your clinic, it might be time to call in the billing experts at Outsource Receivables Inc. Our staff are informed of important changes like this to ensure we are achieving an improved revenue for all of our clients.