CMS ups payments for at-home COVID-19 vaccines again

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CMS on Aug. 24 increased the amount Medicare will pay providers administering the COVID-19 vaccine to multiple patients in their homes. 

Under the new policy, providers are eligible to receive up to five times the typical payment when they administer COVID-19 doses to multiple Medicare beneficiaries on the same day at one location. This could mean an increase of up to $35 per vaccination. 

For example, CMS said if you administer a COVID-19 vaccine on the same date to two Medicare beneficiaries in the same home, Medicare would pay $150. This includes two $40 payments for the vaccine dose and two add-on payments of $35. Previously, providers would have been reimbursed about $115 for the two beneficiaries in the same residence.

CMS said the policy will only include the add-on payment for a maximum of five vaccine administration services and only applies when fewer than 10 Medicare patients receive the vaccine. 

This policy aims to increase vaccinations for at-risk patients in smaller group settings. 

Earlier this year, CMS increased payments from about $40 to about $75 per vaccine dose for at-home vaccinations in certain circumstances. 

"Today's announcement aims to further boost the administration of COVID-19 vaccination — including second and third doses — in smaller group homes, assisted living facilities, and other group living situations by allowing vaccine providers to receive the increased payment," CMS said in a news release.

 

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