Report CPT 87426 if a lab analyst performed an immunoassay to semiquantitative or qualitatively evaluate the patient’s blood for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (e.g., SARS–CoV–2).
What Is CPT Code 87426?
CPT code 87426 is used to report the laboratory testing of a patient’s blood for detecting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (e.g., SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19]).
The CPT code 87426 is used to report the laboratory testing of a patient’s blood for detecting coronavirus antigens using methods such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or rapid antigen tests.
The CPT book describes CPT code 87426 as: “Infectious agent antigen detection by immunoassay technique (e.g., enzyme immunoassay [EIA], enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA], fluorescence immunoassay [FIA], immunochemiluminometric assay [IMCA]), qualitative or semiquantitative; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (eg, SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19]).”
The lab analyst performs the technical steps to test the patient sample, typically whole blood or serum, for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus.
The analyst may use enzyme immunoassay (EIA), enzyme–linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), immunochemiluminometric assay (IMCA), fluorescence immunoassay (FIA), or immunochemiluminometric assay (IMCA).
For instance, the test may include swirling a sample swab in a reagent tube to release the antigen and then moving a portion to a test cassette sample well. The lab analyst may then put the sample cassette and quality control cassettes in an analyzer to get the result.
Although not limited to testing for specific conditions, clinicians may order this test to determine if the patient has a SARS–CoV–2 viral infection, indicating a diagnosis of COVID–19.
How To Use CPT 87426?
The parent code for CPT 87426 is CPT 87301.
CPT code 87426 is a CLIA-waived test.
Use CPT 87635 for SARS–CoV–2 DNA or RNA nucleic acid detection by amplified probe techniques.
Use CPT 86328 for a single–step immunoassay using a reagent strip such as might be used for point–of–care testing for SARS–CoV–2 antibodies.
Use CPT 86769 for a multiple–step immunoassay using a reagent strip such as might be used for point–of–care testing for SARS–CoV–2 antibodies.
For HCPCS Level II codes for laboratory testing for the SARS–COV–2 viruses, see CPT U0001, specifically for the CDC–developed kit, and CPT U0002 for tests created by other labs.
Some payers may pay separately for collecting the specimen using a code such as CPT 36415.