The American Medical Association (AMA) recently revealed updates to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT), helping the U.S. healthcare industry lay the administrative groundwork for an eventual COVID-19 vaccine.1

There are codes unique to two possible vaccines and other unique codes concerning administration of those vaccines. All the updates have been released now so healthcare leaders can update electronic systems; prepare to allocate vaccines properly; and track, report, and analyze related data. The codes will become effective if/when the FDA either approves a vaccine or issues an emergency use authorization (EUA) for one.

“An effective national immunization program is key to bringing the coronavirus pandemic to an end,” AMA President Susan R. Bailey, MD, said in a statement.2 “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 in the United States.”

Although the FDA has not approved an EUA for a COVID-19 vaccine yet, there is a feeling that momentum is building toward a breakthrough. For its part, the federal government has created Operation Warp Speed to provide funding for vaccine research and speed the process.3 Although the political pressure from the Trump White House is intense, large manufacturers are trying not to rush the process. Executives from nine companies have publicly committed to thorough testing to ensure proper safety.4

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REFERENCES

  1. American Medical Association. COVID-19 CPT coding and guidance. Updated Nov. 10, 2020.
  2. American Medical Association. AMA announces vaccine-specific CPT codes for coronavirus immunizations. Nov. 10, 2020. https://bit.ly/36GqtLx
  3. HHS.gov. Fact sheet. Explaining Operation Warp Speed. Content last reviewed Nov. 20, 2020.
  4. Pfizer. Biopharma leaders unite to stand with science. Sept. 8, 2020.