AASM staff, advisors, and volunteers worked in collaboration with the American Medical Association (AMA), which has finalized a new Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code for reporting additional supplies and clinical staff time required to provide safe and effective care during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The AMA has submitted recommendations to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to inform payment of the new code.

The AMA reached out to Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) participants, including the AASM, to request information regarding additional staff time, purchases of personal protective equipment, and changes that have been made to clinical workflows and office equipment in order to determine a potential value for the new code. Along with more than 50 other medical specialty societies, AASM gathered information from a member survey to assist the RUC with assigning a value to the code, based on direct and indirect expenses. The AMA CPT Editorial Panel met to review the code descriptor, and on Sept. 8 the AMA published an update to the CPT code set that includes the following code addition:

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 AMA sent a communication to CMS requesting that the code be immediately implemented at the proposed value, without the code being subject to budget neutrality, along with a request that N95 masks be added to the CMS Direct Practice Expense Inputs Medical Supplies Listing. The AASM continues to advocate for fair reimbursement for members by participating in the AMA RUC and CPT Editorial Panels and will share an update on payment for the new code when a decision is announced by CMS.

For more information about coding and reimbursement, please contact coding@aasm.org.