By: Charlie Harp
COVID-19 Terminology Updates 3/18/2020
As the healthcare industry works diligently to stay ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, we at Clinical Architecture want to do our part. To that end, we wanted to share updates on what is happening with terminology relative to this situation and let our clients know what they can expect in terms of content updates. Please understand that the situation is fluid, and we will do whatever we can to ensure you have the information you need as soon as possible. If there are additional terminologies or content you would like us to add to this list; please let us know.
The standard terminologies we are monitoring for COVID-19 related updates are LOINC®, SNOMED®, CPT®, HCPCS, and ICD-10-CM.
First, some semantics that are emerging:
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the name of the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Some of the standards have released interim updates or advice on how to use their terminologies to help document and track COVID-19-related patient activity.
The Regenstrief Institute has added 29 codes related to SARS-CoV-2 lab testing with the latest ‘LOINC Prerelease Terms.’ (*This information has been amended from a previous version of this blog post.) These terms have been provided for informational purposes only.
The list of terms can be found here: LOINC Prerelease Terms
Excellent FAQ on usage can be found here: LOINC SARS Coronavirus 2 FAQ
Symedical Clients: We will be adding the 29 SARS-CoV-2 lab testing terms to the LOINC Current (2.67) catalog and publishing it on the evening of March 18, 2020. If you subscribe to this catalog or an associated content model, these codes will be automatically available once you apply the package. These codes may be deprecated by Regenstrief in the future, and if they do, we will have a seamless way to manage that. If you have concerns or questions about this, please contact your Customer Success Manager.
The January 2020 release of SNOMED International contained relevant COVID-19 concepts, identifiers and models to support the documentation of COVID-19-related activity. An additional interim release includes 24 new records and updates to concepts and descriptions.
Information on the March 2020 Interim Release can be found here: SNOMED COVID-19 March 2020 Interim Release
Symedical Clients: We will be adding the interim release terms to the SNOMED CT 2020131 catalog as well as the SNOMED CT US Edition 20200301 catalog and publishing them on the evening of March 18, 2020. If you subscribe to either of these catalogs or an associated content model, this new information will be automatically available once you apply the package. If you have concerns or questions about this, please contact your Customer Success Manager.
CPT has added a new procedure code to support the documentation of SARS-CoV-2 testing.
The press release from AMA can be found here: CPT Coronavirus Press release
Symedical Clients: We will be adding the new CPT code to the CPT Current (2020) catalog and publishing it on the evening of March 18, 2020. If you are a CPT licensee and subscribe to the CPT catalog, this code will be automatically available once you apply the package. If you have concerns or questions about this, please contact your Customer Success Manager.
CMS is adding two new codes that can be used by laboratories to bill for certain COVID-19-related diagnostic tests to help increase and track new cases. These new codes will be accepted after April 1st 2020.
The press release describing these codes can be found here: HCPCS Coronavirus Lab Tests Press Release
Symedical Clients: We will be adding these new HCPCS codes to the HCPCS Codes Current (2020Q1) catalog and publishing it on the evening of March 19, 2020. If you subscribe to this catalog, this code will be automatically available once you apply the package. If you have concerns or questions about this, please contact your Customer Success Manager.
There were already several codes in ICD-10 that can be used to document COVID-19 related findings.
In addition, a new ICD-10-CM emergency code (U07.1, 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease) has been established by the World Health Organization (WHO). This code is not currently effective until October 1st in the US and will likely become available in the preview release in June.
ICD-10 coding guidelines from the CDC for COVID-19 can be found here: CDC ICD-10-CM COVID-19 Guidance
To our knowledge, no changes to ICD-10-PCS procedure hierarchy have been announced. If this changes we will keep you updated.
Symedical Clients: We are not planning to add the new emergency ICD code to the ICD-10-CM Current (2020) catalog at this time, so there will be no COVID-19 related updates for ICD-10-CM. The CDC will likely incorporate this and other codes into the preview release in June. We plan to make that release available as a static preview, as we normally would, prior to incorporating it into the ICD-10-CM 2021 and ICD-10-CM Current in October. If you have concerns, questions, or feel we should add the emergency code before October, please contact your Customer Success Manager.
On behalf of the entire Clinical Architecture team, I want to express our deep respect and gratitude to all those on the front lines of healthcare during this challenging time. We will continue to monitor the situation and communicate with you if additional updates are made.