Update Vaccine Codes Just in January? 4 Changes Prove That’s a Mistake

July 2017 vaccination coding updates

On Friday, SuperCoder blog covered molecular pathology CPT® code updates effective July 1. Today, let’s look at what’s coming our way in July for vaccines. Because why should January 1 have all the update fun?

Schedule: The codes we’re discussing here were published on the AMA website on Jan. 1, 2017. They’re effective July 1, 2017, and will be in the printed CPT® 2018 manual.

Adopt 90587 for Dengue

July 1 brings one new code: 90587 (Dengue vaccine, quadrivalent, live, 3 dose schedule, for subcutaneous use).

Dengue is a mosquito-borne illness typically associated with tropical and subtropical areas. Patients suffer from high fever, rash, and muscle and joint pain that has earned the disease the descriptive nickname “breakbone fever.” Treatment is often limited to hydration and pain medication.

Tip: You’ll find a lightning bolt symbol next to new code 90587. The CPT® Editorial Panel allows publication of new vaccine product codes before FDA approval. A lightning bolt symbol by the code lets you know FDA approval is pending.

Make Changes to 2 Meningococcal Vax Codes

There will be a minor change to use the term MenB-4C in a revised descriptor for 90620. The revised descriptor looks like this: Meningococcal recombinant protein and outer membrane vesicle vaccine, serogroup B (MenB-4C), 2 dose schedule, for intramuscular use.

MenB-4C is the complete scientific abbreviation assigned by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The CPT® Editorial Panel approved using these abbreviations in vaccine code descriptors in the May 2014 meeting.

You’ll see a similar ACIP abbreviation update in a revised descriptor for 90621: Meningococcal recombinant lipoprotein vaccine, serogroup B (MenB-FHbp), 2 or 3 dose schedule, for intramuscular use. Also note the reference to the “2 or 3 dose schedule,” which differs from the reference to only a three-dose schedule in the 90621 descriptor published in the 2017 printed manual.

Meningococcal diseases can affect the brain and spinal cord, and cause bloodstream infections. Antibiotics can treat infected patients.

Update Dose Schedule for HPV Code 90651

On July 1, a new dose schedule enters the descriptor for 90651. Here is the revised descriptor: Human Papillomavirus vaccine types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58, nonavalent (9vHPV), 2 or 3 dose schedule, for intramuscular use.

Instead of referencing only a three-dose schedule, the descriptor effective July 1 includes the newly approved two-dose schedule.

HPV vaccines protect against certain types of HPV, helping with prevention of genital warts and some cancers, like cervical and anal cancers.

How About You?

Were you aware that to streamline reporting of immunizations, Category I vaccine codes have July 1 and January 1 early release dates? In urgent situations, a code may even be published outside of that schedule.



Deborah works on a wide range of TCI SuperCoder projects, researching and writing about coding, as well as assisting with data updates and tool development for our online coding solutions. Since joining TCI in 2004, she’s covered the ins and outs of coding for radiology, cardiology, oncology and hematology, orthopedics, audiology, and more.

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