October 30, 2020
Updates on COVID-19 Regulations
AHPA continues to follow new COVID-19 regulations, guidance and other government actions. The updates below are the latest guidance and other developments since October 19, 2020 to help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. For earlier COVID-19 regulations and guidance, visit the last Policy Brief.
CMS Releases Vaccine Distribution Interim Final Rule and Toolkits
- CMS has released an interim final rule outlining vaccine distribution plans, adding further COVID-19 flexibilities and extending the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model.
- A set of toolkits are also provided for clinicians, states and insurers on vaccine distribution and administration.
- CMS also released new Medicare payment rates for COVID-19 vaccine administration. The Medicare payment rates will be $28.39 to administer single-dose vaccines. For a COVID-19 vaccine requiring a series of two or more doses, the initial dose(s) administration payment rate will be $16.94, and $28.39 for the administration of the final dose in the series. These rates will be geographically adjusted.
CMS Expands List of Covered Telehealth Services in Medicare
- CMS has expanded the list of telehealth services that Medicare fee-for-service will pay for during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. To view the full list of newly-added services, click here.
Definition of “Close Contact” Expanded by CDC
- The CDC has expanded its definition of “close contact” with a person infected with COVID-19. Close contact will now refer to a cumulative total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period, instead of 15 consecutive minutes.
State Medicaid and CHIP Telehealth Toolkit: COVID-19 Version
- CMS has released a new supplement to its State Medicaid and CHIP Telehealth Toolkit that provides new examples and insights from states’ COVID-19-related telehealth changes.
Full Telehealth Toolkit | Updated Supplemental Information
Medicare to Lower Lab Payments for Delayed COVID-19 Test Results
- CMS has amended an Administrative Ruling, lowering the base payment amount for COVID-19 diagnostic tests run on high-throughput technology from $100 to $75. Medicare will then make an additional $25 add-on payment to laboratories that meet timeliness requirements, including completing the test within two calendar days.