On Friday, April 30, 2020, in light of initiatives to re-open America, CMS released a second round  of regulatory waivers to expand access to care as well as additional flexibilities for the healthcare system. These new changes make it easier for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to get tested for COVID-19 as well as expand access to Telehealth services.

The new guidance to support and expand COVID-19 testing for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries includes:

  • Medicare will no longer require an order from the treating physician or other practitioner for beneficiaries to get COVID-19 tests and certain laboratory tests required as part of a COVID-19 diagnosis
  • Pharmacists can work with a physician or other practitioner to provide assessment and specimen collection services, and the physician or other practitioner can bill Medicare for the services. Pharmacists also can perform certain COVID-19 tests if they are enrolled in Medicare as a laboratory, in accordance with a pharmacist’s scope of practice and state law.
  • CMS will pay hospitals and practitioners to assess beneficiaries and collect laboratory samples for COVID-19 testing, and make separate payment when that is the only service the patient receives.

Additional highlights include:

  • Increase Hospital Capacity – CMS Hospitals Without Walls
  • Healthcare Workforce Augmentation
  • Put Patients Over Paperwork/Decrease Administrative Burden
  • Further Expand Telehealth in Medicare

To view the full press release follow the link below:

CMS Press Release

Additional Resources:

CMS Press Release – 04/30/2020CMS EMTALA Update / COVID-19 ImplicationsMLN Matters – Revised 04/30/2020

For more information on how the Coronavirus is impacting businesses across multiple industries, visit our COVID-19 resource page:

COVID-19 Resources