No longer a regional illness concentrated in African countries, the monkeypox outbreak is growing as multiple countries continue to report new cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 13,517 total confirmed monkeypox/orthopoxvirus cases in the United States alone as of August 17.
As of early August, 2022, monkeypox was declared a public health emergency in the United States. The declaration will allow for more funding and resources to healthcare providers needed to respond to the outbreak, including vaccines, testing, and treatments. With this, there have been updates to associated Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes.
The new CPT® codes, announced in an update from the American Medical Association (AMA), includes a new laboratory test code for the orthopoxvirus and two codes for the vaccines currently utilized for testing and immunizations and in the prevention of the monkeypox infection.
The new CPT codes are effective for immediate use. The new laboratory test CPT code (87593) describes molecular diagnostic testing that detects the nucleic signature of an orthopoxvirus, including the monkeypox virus. These codes were developed to support data-driven tracking for diagnostic tests and vaccinations for monkeypox and to report the necessary analysis to determine resource planning and allocation during the public health response to the outbreak.
The two new vaccine codes describe the currently available smallpox and monkeypox virus products. The first code (90622) describes the existing FDA-approved ACAM2000 vaccine for active immunization against smallpox disease for persons determined to be at high risk for smallpox infection. The second code (90611) describes the FDA-approved JYNNEOS vaccine for the prevention of smallpox and monkeypox disease.
Over the coming days and weeks, HHS is expected to continue to accelerate and update strategies on combatting monkeypox, working closely with public health officials to get vaccines, testing, and treatments out to communities across the country.
Below is a snapshot of the new CPT update, with a summary of codes and descriptors:
Laboratory test code
Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); orthopoxvirus (e.g., monkeypox virus, cowpox virus, vaccinia virus), amplified probe technique, each
Vaccinia (smallpox) virus vaccine, live, lyophilized, 0.3 mL dosage, for percutaneous use
Smallpox and monkeypox vaccine, attenuated vaccinia virus, live, non-replicating, preservative free, 0.5 mL dosage, suspension, for subcutaneous use.
Visit the AMA website to access details for the short, medium, and long descriptors for the new CPT codes.