Codes and assignments are changing so quickly during this public health emergency, and in the beginning there was not a specific ICD-10-CM code for our current strain of COVID. Under the circumstances, the CDC provided a document the ICD-10-CM Official Coding Guidelines – Supplement Coding encounters related to COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak 2/20/2020-3/31/2020 and that document did, in fact, advise us to use B97.29, Other Coronavirus as the cause of diseases classified elsewhere.

Then on 4/1/2020 the CDC released ICD-10-CM Coding and Reporting Guidelines 4/1/2020 through 9/30/2020  where they assigned U07.1 Covid-19 (Infections due to SARS-CoV-2) as the more specific code to report. U07.1 should be used to report confirmed and presumptively confirmed COVID-19 test positives patients.  This code is a primary diagnosis code and should be sequenced first followed by the most specific codes for presenting signs and symptoms or a definitive diagnosis.

The quick answer to the question is: For COVID-19 positive claims dated 02/20/2020-03/31/2020 report B97.29, and claims after 4/1/2020 assign code U07.1.

The new reporting guidelines also identify when to assign other COVID-19 related codes like:

Z03.818 Encounter for observation for suspected exposure to other biological agents ruled out, this code should be used when a patient has been exposed to COVID-19 but after examination it has been ruled out.  The guidelines state that this Z code can be reported as a primary diagnosis code and may also be used for patients who are being screened due to a possible or actual exposure to COVID-19.

Z11.59 is not a primary codes, however it should be used to report a symptomatic patient who are being screened for COVID-19 but have had no known exposure to the virus and are waiting for the results.  This code should be sequenced after the appropriate codes for presenting signs and symptoms or a definitive diagnosis.

Z20.828 is also not a primary code, but it should be used to report a symptomatic patient who has had actual or suspected exposure to someone who has COVID-19. This code should be sequenced after the appropriate codes for presenting signs and symptoms or a definitive diagnosis.

Remember there is no specific time frame for when a personal history code is assigned.  If the provider documents that the patient no longer has COVID-19, assign Z86.19 Personal history of other infectious and parasitic diseases.