COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Specimen collection by medical professionals

June 1, 2020

This article was revised on June 1, 2020, to include updates on specimen collection and coding information and an updated timeline.

AmeriHealth is committed to ensuring that our members have access to the care they need, at the right time, and in the right setting. As COVID-19 has escalated into a pandemic, we are working to make sure that our members can receive appropriate testing and treatment for the virus causing COVID-19 if needed.

We encourage all AmeriHealth members to visit our dedicated AmeriHealth New Jersey and AmeriHealth Pennsylvania COVID-19 webpages regularly for the latest news and updates. We will continue to evaluate member needs as the situation changes.

Home visit for specimen collection for COVID-19 testing

From March 6, 2020, through June 30, 2020, AmeriHealth is waiving the requirement that a member must be homebound to receive COVID-19 specimen collection at home.

Members are no longer required to be homebound (as defined in the medical policy) to receive a nurse visit from a home health agency or trained laboratory technician for the purpose of laboratory specimen collection for COVID-19 testing in their home, when the visit for specimen collection:

  • is medically necessary/appropriate for the individual’s condition; and,
  • has been ordered by a licensed or otherwise qualified health care professional provider.

The specimen must be delivered to an authorized laboratory to perform the test and the results sent to the prescribing/ordering professional provider.

Note: AmeriHealth participating providers, in accordance with their provider agreement, are required to refer specimens to participating laboratories.

Please note that precertification for home care services is required.

Coding

Home care agencies should use Revenue Code 0551 Skilled Nursing – Visit Charge and specimen collection by trained laboratory technicians should be reported with HCPCS code G2023 or G2024 when submitting the claim.

You can view the complete announcement, Home Specimen Collection for COVID-19 Testing (Updated April 14, 2020), on our Medical Policy Portal in the News & Announcements section.For more information about the AmeriHealth position on COVID-19, please review the following resources:

Learn more