Practitioners will notice a significant addition to the CPT codes for 1999. New this year are two codes for the administration of a vaccine. These codes should be reported in conjunction with the specific code for the vaccine product and cover the work and expense of the administration only. The codes do not cover the cost of the vaccine itself.

If only one vaccine is provided, 90471 should be reported. This code may be used for administration via percutaneous, subcutaneous, intramuscular, jet, intranasal or oral routes. CPT code 90471 may be reported only once per visit and applies to any single or combination vaccine given as a single dose. The second code, 90472, should be reported when two or more vaccines are given, again by any route. If a child comes to the office exclusively for immunizations, only the administration code and the vaccine product code should be reported. In this case, it no longer is appropriate to code for a low-complexity office visit (99211) in addition to the immunization codes. If the immunizations are provided as part of a broader evaluation and management visit, however, then it is appropriate to report the vaccine product code, the vaccine administration code and the appropriate evaluation and management service code (for example, a preventive medicine visit).

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