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

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.
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