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CMS CHANGES MEDICARE PAYMENT TO SUPPORT FASTER COVID-19 DIAGNOSTIC TESTING

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CMS Changes Medicare Payment to Support Faster Covid-19 Diagnostic Testing

Oct 15, 2020 – CMS.GOV

Under President Trump’s leadership, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced new actions to pay for expedited coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) test results. CMS previously took action in April 2020 by increasing the Medicare payment to laboratories for high throughput COVID-19 diagnostic tests from approximately $51 to $100 per test. Today, CMS is announcing that starting January 1, 2021, Medicare will pay $100 only to laboratories that complete high throughput COVID-19 diagnostic tests within two calendar days of the specimen being collected.  Also effective January 1, 2021, for laboratories that take longer than two days to complete these tests, Medicare will pay a rate of $75. CMS is working to ensure that patients who test positive for the virus are alerted quickly so they can self-isolate and receive medical treatment.

“As America continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, prompt testing turnaround times are more important than ever,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Today’s announcement supports faster high throughput testing, which will allow patients and physicians to act quickly and decisively with respect to treatment decisions, physical isolation, and contact tracing. President Trump continues to lead the most robust testing effort anywhere in the world.”

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