CMS boosts reimbursement for COVID-19 vaccine administration

CMS has increased the amount Medicare will pay to providers for administering the COVID-19 vaccine.

Effective March 15, the national average payment rate for administering the vaccine will be $40 for each dose. Medicare used to reimburse providers about $28 for a single-dose shot. For vaccines requiring two shots, Medicare will now pay $80, which is nearly double the $45 Medicare had been paying. 

CMS said the exact payment rate will depend on the type of entity providing the vaccine and will be geographically adjusted.

"This new and higher payment rate will support important actions taken by providers that are designed to increase the number of vaccines they can furnish each day, including establishing new or growing existing vaccination sites, conducting patient outreach and education, and hiring additional staff," CMS stated in a news release.  

Vaccine providers are prohibited from charging patients for giving the vaccine. 

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