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COVID-19: Medicare Payment for Testing; Recovery Resources

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated Medicare payment details with two new Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes for SARS-CoV-2 tests.

For dates of service on or after April 14, Medicare will pay $100 for laboratory tests using HCPCS codes:

  • U0003: Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (Coronavirus disease [COVID-19]), amplified probe technique, making use of high throughput technologies as described by CMS-2020-01-R; and
  • U0004: 2019-nCoV Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2/2019-nCoV (COVID-19), any technique, multiple types or subtypes (includes all targets), non-CDC, making use of high throughput technologies as described by CMS-2020-01-R.

Local Medicare administrative contractors will develop jurisdiction-specific payment amounts for claims for these newly created HCPCS codes until Medicare establishes national payment rates.

FDA Updates COVID-19 Testing FAQs

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued updated FAQs on COVID-19 testing. The FAQs clarify:

  • which commercial manufacturers are distributing diagnostic and serology test kits;
  • which laboratories are processing diagnostic and serology tests;
  • which COVID-19 tests no longer to distribute; and
  • how to offer tests for self-collection.

CDC Shares Recovery Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on May 20 issued two new resources to aid pandemic recovery in states, tribes, and localities.

A new report shares strategies for implementing the gating criteria proposed in the president’s Opening Up America Again guidelines and tools for establishments to use after reopening. The agency also released targeted health considerations for summer camps, schools, youth sports organizations, higher education institutions, and restaurants and bars.

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

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Emily Schweich is a communications manager at America's Essential Hospitals.

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