CMS Increases Payment Amount for High-Throughput COVID-19 Testing

April 15, 2020

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that effective April 14, Medicare will increase the payment amount from the existing $51 amount to $100 for COVID-19 clinical diagnostic lab tests that can process more than 200 tests per day using sophisticated equipment. WSHA and other groups had voiced concerns to Congressional leaders that the initial payment amount was significantly less than the cost of providing and obtaining the tests. Low payment amounts limit access to testing and increase the cost absorbed by hospitals and other providers that must procure the testing for their patients. Medicare will pay laboratories for the tests at $100 effective April 14, 2020, through the duration of the COVID-19 national emergency. A copy of the CMS ruling, including the relevant billing codes is here. (Andrew Busz, andrewb@wsha.org)

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