The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that payment is available for health care providers that offer self-isolation counseling to patients at the point of testing. CMS states providers will be able to bill existing evaluation and management (E/M) payment codes to receive reimbursement for these counseling services. Providers will be able to furnish such services regardless of where the COVID-19 test is administered (including, for example, doctor’s offices, urgent care clinics, hospitals, community drive-thru pharmacy sites, etc.).
Counseling services will consist of the following:
- Discussion of immediate need for isolation, even before results are available;
- Importance for patients to inform immediate household members that they should receive testing too;
- Reviewing signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and the services available to support at-home isolation; and
- Reminders to wear a mask at all times and that patients will be contacted by the local health authorities, if the tests are positive.
Additional information and resources are available in the Counseling Check List, here.
In a separate announcement today, CMS also noted it is developing new Hospital Procedure Codes for therapeutics used to treat COVID-19. The codes will go into effect August 1, 2020. CMS states this will allow the agency and other insurers to identify when the therapeutics remdesivir and convalescent plasma are used to treat hospital in-patients with COVID-19. CMS also states these new codes are being implemented into the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-PCS).