News: CMS increases Medicare payment rates for COVID-19 vaccine

CDI Strategies - Volume 15, Issue 12

Effective March 15, 2021, CMS has updated the Medicare payment rates for COVID-19 vaccine administration. The new Medicare payment rate for administering a vaccine will be approximately $40 per dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The previous cost for COVID-19 vaccines administered before March 15 was $28.39 for a single dose vaccine or the final dose in a series. For COVID-19 vaccines requiring a series of two or more doses, the payment rate was $16.94 for the initial dose(s) in the series and $28.39 for the final dose.

While the previous costs for COVID-19 vaccines remains for those services furnished before March 15, any vaccinations administered on or after March 15 will cost the updated amount of $40 per dose.

CMS says that the updated rate “reflects updated information about the costs involved in administering the COVID-19 vaccine for different types of providers and suppliers, and the additional resources necessary to ensure the vaccine is administered safely and appropriately.” Note that the rate will be geographically adjusted based on where the service is furnished.

CMS notes that while changes to Medicare payment rates are generally implemented through notice and comment making, the payment rate changes for services of the COVID-19 vaccination are being implemented swiftly to respond quickly to new information during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Editor’s note: CMS notice of the updated payment can be found here. To read all of ACDIS’ coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

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