Two new HCPCS Level II codes became effective March 1, 2020 for specimen collection COVID-19 testing for clinical diagnostic laboratories.

G2023  Specimen collection for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]), any specimen source

G2024  Specimen collection for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]), from an individual in a skilled nursing facility or by a laboratory on behalf of a home health agency, any specimen source

Both of these codes apply to collection of any specimen source. Coders should not assume these codes only apply to nasal swabs. The only variation between these codes is G2024 describes a collection completed by an individual in a skilled nursing facility or by a laboratory on behalf of a home health agency.

The interim final rule states the code G2024 is necessary because the Social Security Act and CMS regulations “require a higher fee for collecting a specimen from an individual in a SNF [skilled nursing facility] or by a laboratory on behalf of an HHA [home health agency].”

According to the interim final rule, the nominal specimen collection fee for COVID-19 testing for homebound and non-hospital inpatients will generally be $23.46. For individuals in a SNF or whose samples will be collected on behalf of an HHA, the fee is $25.46. These fees reflect the higher costs required to minimize exposure risks.

It is important for all coders and anyone else who will be reporting G2023 and G2024 to review the interim final rule, including the definition of homebound. Independent labs must use these codes to bill Medicare for specimen collection for COVID-19 testing during the pandemic based on the interim final rule.

G2023 and G2024 are not the only code additions for COVID-19, there are also new HCPCS Level II COVID-19 testing codes and a new CPT® COVID-19 testing code. A new ICD-10-CM code also came into effect April 1, 2020, U07.1 COVID-19.

Join MMI’s next webinar, Expanding your Telehealth Options in Today’s Practice Environment Webinar on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 1 pm EST. During this 90-minute webinar, instructor Emmy Clancy, MHA, CMPE, CPC, CDEO, CPMA, CCS will explain telehealth requirements and updates in response to COVID-19. Register here.