Friday, April 17, 2020
- RHC & FQHC Flexibilities During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
- CMS Increases Medicare Payment for High-Production Coronavirus Lab Tests
- CMS Implements CARES Act Hospital Payment and Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Waivers
- COVID-19 Call: Audio Recording and Transcript
To support Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and their patients, Congress and CMS made changes to requirements and payments during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. See MLN Matters Special Edition Article 20016 (PDF) to learn about:
- New payment for telehealth services, including how to bill Medicare
- Expansion of virtual communication services
- Revision of home health agency shortage requirement for visiting nursing services
- Consent for care management and virtual communication services
- Accelerated/advance payments
CMS announced that Medicare will nearly double payment for certain lab tests that use high-throughput technologies to rapidly diagnose large numbers of COVID-19 cases. This is another action the Trump Administration is taking to rapidly expand COVID-19 testing. Along with the March 30 announcement that Medicare will pay new specimen collection fees for COVID-19 testing, CMS’s actions will expand capability to test more vulnerable populations, like nursing home patients, quickly and provide results faster. Medicare will pay laboratories for the tests at $100 effective April 14, 2020, through the duration of the COVID-19 national emergency.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act increases payment for Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and long-term care hospital (LTCH) inpatient hospital care attributable to COVID-19. CMS provided guidance for IPPS hospitals and LTCHs on how to code claims to receive the higher payment.
The CARES Act also waives the requirement that Medicare Part A fee-for-service patients treated in inpatient rehabilitation facilities receive at least 15 hours of therapy per week.
MLN Matters Article (PDF)
Emergency Declaration Waivers Summary (PDF)
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