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COVID-19: CDC Vaccine Resources, CMS Testing Payment Changes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a vaccines web resource with helpful COVID-19 information, including sections on:

  • Ensuring the Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States, a page with robust information on the U.S. vaccine safety system, including components such as clinical trials, vaccine safety monitoring, and expanded and existing safety monitoring systems;
  • How CDC is Making COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations, which outlines CDC plans on vaccine recommendations based on input from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a federal advisory committee made of up of medical and public health experts who develop recommendations on the use of vaccines; and
  • FAQs about COVID-19 Vaccination, a page that includes answers to questions regarding Operation Warp Speed, the number of vaccines under development, the cost of vaccines, and other efficacy questions.

Diagnostic Testing Reimbursement

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new actions to pay for expedited COVID-19 test results.

The agency previously increased Medicare payment to laboratories for high-throughput COVID-19 diagnostic tests from approximately $51 to $100. Starting Jan. 1, 2021, Medicare will pay $100 only to laboratories that complete high-throughput tests within two calendar days of specimen collection. Laboratories that take longer than two day to complete tests will be paid $75.

CMS has updated its FAQs on Medicare fee-for-service billing to reflect these changes and provide coding updates.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the outbreak.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Abigail Painchaud is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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