Monkeypox is a rare virus that has been increasing in frequency over the past 3-4 months here in the United States. Vaccinating against Monkeypox is a recommended medical practice. Having the associated laboratory test code and vaccine product code(s) to capture this service and data is important to have in place for use across healthcare settings.
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms (see details below), but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. It should be noted that the first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970. Prior to this 2022 outbreak, monkeypox had been reported in people in several central and western African countries.
With the increasing number of cases of Monkeypox and more individuals receiving vaccinations, the American Medical Association released on July 26th, 2022, three new CPT codes for the Monkeypox lab test and codes for the vaccine product update to Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®). Be sure to update your charge description master and educate your staff on these new codes. Note CPT is a registered trademark of the AMA.
Laboratory test code
87593 Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); orthopoxvirus (eg, monkeypox virus, cowpox virus, vaccinia virus), amplified probe technique, each
Note that this "new laboratory test CPT code (87593) describes molecular diagnostic testing that detects the nucleic signature of an orthopoxvirus, including the monkeypox virus."
90622 Vaccinia (smallpox) virus vaccine, live, lyophilized, 0.3 mL dosage, for percutaneous use
90611 Smallpox and monkeypox vaccine, attenuated vaccinia virus, live, non-replicating, preservative free, 0.5 mL dosage, suspension, for subcutaneous use
Per the AMA: "The first code (90622) describes the existing FDA-approved ACAM2000 vaccine manufactured by Sanofi Pastuer Biologics Co. 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 manufactured by Bavarian Nordic for prevention of smallpox and monkeypox disease in adults 18 years of age and older at high risk for smallpox or monkeypox infection."
Go to the following AMA site to read more about the new CPT codes: AMA announces CPT update for monkeypox testing and vaccination | American Medical Association (ama-assn.org)
In addition, the AMA has other information on Monkeypox at: https://www.ama-assn.org/topics/monkeypox
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published information about this outbreak. "The monkeypox has spread across several countries that don’t normally report monkeypox, including the United States. The monkeypox virus is spreading mostly through close, intimate contact with someone who has monkeypox. Individuals can take steps to prevent getting monkeypox and lower your risk during sex."
"The CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and people who are at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox. If someone has any symptoms of monkeypox, they should talk to their healthcare provider, even if they don’t think they had contact with someone who has monkeypox. The CDC is urging healthcare providers in the United States to be alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox."
The CDC describes the signs and symptoms of Monkeypox as the following:
"Monkeypox results in a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing. The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy."
Other symptoms of monkeypox can include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle aches and backache
- Respiratory symptoms (e.g., sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
You may experience all or only a few symptoms:
- Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash.
- Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms.
- Others only experience a rash.
Visit the CDC site with more information regarding Monkeypox: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html
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