CMS and CDC Announce Provider Reimbursement Available for Counseling Patients to Self-isolate at Time of COVID-19 Testing
CMS and CDC announced that payment is available to physicians and health care providers to counsel patients, at the time of COVID-19 testing, about the importance of self-isolation after they are tested and prior to the onset of symptoms. CMS will use existing evaluation and management (E&M) payment codes to reimburse providers who are eligible to bill CMS for counseling services (regardless of where the test is administered). The agencies also issued:-Provider FAQs, which clarify that payment is available for both Medicare- and Medicaid-enrolled patients, and include instructions for billing E&M visits for Original Medicare patients. -A provider checklist and talking points document about providing counseling to patients with a focus on discussing isolation protocols, encouraging their household to get tested for COVID-19, reviewing the signs and symptoms, and conveying services available to them to aid in isolating at home. -Consumer-facing guidance for patients awaiting COVID-19 test results and for patients that test positive.