Coronavirus / Medicare / Safety & Health

CMS Makes Sweeping Regulatory Changes to Help Medicare Beneficiaries During Pandemic

medicareAt the request of President Trump, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced historic measures to ensure the US healthcare system has the flexibility it needs to treat the COVID-19 outbreak. As a result of these changes, Medicare beneficiaries will see expanded services, including:

  • At-home testing for COVID-19 by laboratory technicians making “house calls”
  • Community-based COVID-19 testing outside of a hospital setting
  • Broader access to respiratory devices and equipment such as non-invasive ventilators, multi-function ventilators, respiratory assist devices, and continuous positive airway pressure devices
  • Medicare will now cover respiratory-related devices and equipment for any medical reason determined by clinicians so that patients can get the care they need (previously, Medicare covered them under certain circumstances)
  • Expanded access to telehealth services — Medicare will now pay for more than 80 additional services when furnished via telehealth, including emergency department visits, initial nursing facility and discharge visits and home visits
  • This expanded access to telehealth services is for both infected and non-infected beneficiaries
  • Beneficiaries may also be evaluated at home even if they only have audio phones
  • Expanded home services — if a physician determines that a Medicare beneficiary should not leave home and the beneficiary needs skilled services, he or she will be considered homebound and qualify for the Medicare Home Health Benefit

Please click here to see more details of the regulatory changes.

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