HHS to stop reimbursing providers for vaccine administration

Providers are bracing for the end of government funds to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

Starting Tuesday, April 5, the Department of Health and Human Services will no longer adjudicate claims submitted for vaccine administration due to a lack of funds, according to the Health Resources & Services Administration.

The government has already stopped accepting claims to the COVID-19 Uninsured Program due to a lack of sufficient funds. On March 22, the program no longer accepted claims for the testing and treatment of COVID-19.

The HRSA said that confirmation from the agency of a receipt of a claim does not mean the claim will be paid.

WHY THIS MATTERS

Hospitals and other providers will no longer get federal reimbursement for COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccination of uninsured individuals. However, the federal government just announced that individuals with Medicare Part B, including those enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, can access over-the-counter COVID-19 tests at no cost.

Up to eight tests per year are available from participating pharmacies and providers during the public health emergency.

Medicare beneficiaries can request free over-the-counter tests for home delivery at covidtests.gov. They can access tests through providers at over 20,000 testing sites, lab-based PCR tests and antigen tests when the test is ordered by a physician or other authorized healthcare professional, and one lab-performed test without an order and cost-sharing during the public health emergency.

THE LARGER TREND

The American Rescue Plan provided $4.8 billion to reimburse providers testing the uninsured. Three other federal funding sources provided another $3 billion for testing.

The Provider Relief Fund appropriated $100 billion for treatment and vaccination. The Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund gave an additional $75 billion in relief funds. The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations provided another $3 billion.

Article Source: https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/hhs-stop-reimbursing-providers-vaccine-administration

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