With the emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the new treatments that have followed, it is critical to be able to track the use of these treatments and their effectiveness in real-time. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) responded to this need, and in record time is implementing new procedure codes to allow Medicare and other insurers to identify the use of the therapeutics remdesivir and convalescent plasma for treating hospital in-patients with COVID-19.
These new codes, which go into effect August 1, will enable CMS to conduct real-time surveillance and obtain real-world evidence in how these drugs are working and provide critical information on their effectiveness and how they can protect patients. These codes can be reported to Medicare and other insurers may also use the codes to identify the use of COVID-19 therapies and help facilitate monitoring and data collection on their use.
These new codes are being implemented into the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-PCS). ICD-10-PCS is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) designated code set for reporting hospital inpatient procedures, which is developed and maintained by CMS and can be used by other health insurers.
The implementation of these new procedure codes is part of the Trump Administration’s ongoing efforts to protect the health and safety of COVID-19 patients across the country during the public health emergency.