More Help to Boost Testing On its Way

April 15, 2020 — Coronavirus Bulletin   

Key points: 

-The Trump Administration announced today that Medicare will start doubling payments for certain lab tests.

-This will increase the number of tests able to be processed, speed results to patients and be “an absolute game-changer for nursing homes, where risk of Coronavirus infection is high among our most vulnerable.”

The details:  

Effective April 14, Medicare will pay $100 for COVID-19 clinical diagnostic lab tests that use “high-throughput” technologies, which utilize complex equipment and highly trained technicians to process more than two hundred specimens a day.

This payment change will especially help “testing capacity and monitoring for COVID-19 in nursing homes and other settings with high volume testing needs,” helping these at-risk populations get answers more quickly.

This is another move by CMS to expand testing capacities for COVID-19 and builds on recent announcements to increase payment for providers collecting testing specimen from homebound individuals and those unable to travel.

More information on CMS flexibilities for labs can be found here.

Want to read more on the fight against Coronavirus? Read our Coronavirus Bulletin here which contains our extensive FAQ about recent federal actions.