Medicare will nearly double its payment rate for certain lab tests that use high-throughput technologies to rapidly diagnose large numbers of covid-19 cases, according to an announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The change is intended to rapidly expand covid-19 testing, especially for nursing home residents, who are among the most vulnerable to the novel coronavirus and the most affected by covid-19 outbreaks across the country.
“CMS has made a critical move to ensure adequate reimbursement for advanced technology that can process a large volume of covid-19 tests rapidly and accurately,” says CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “This is an absolute game-changer for nursing homes, where risk of coronavirus infection is high among our most vulnerable.”

Medicare will pay the higher payment of $100 for covid-19 clinical diagnostic lab tests making use of high-throughput technologies developed by the private sector that allow for increased testing capacity, faster results, and more effective means of combating the spread of the virus.

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