CMS Boosts Pay for COVID Treatments
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has increased the Medicare payment rate for administering monoclonal antibodies to treat beneficiaries with COVID-19 continuing coverage under Medicare Part B’s COVID-19 vaccine benefit.
The agency will pay even more when the treatment is done in a patient’s home, or in other “lodging” such as hotels, homeless shelters or aboard cruise ships — a move that could encourage greater use of antibody therapies to combat the virus. Beneficiaries pay nothing out of pocket, regardless of where the service is furnished – including in a physician’s office, healthcare facility or at home.
Effective Thursday, the national average payment rate will increase from $310 to $450 for most health care settings. In support of providers’ efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, CMS will also establish a higher national payment rate of $750 when monoclonal antibodies are administered in the beneficiary’s home, including the beneficiary’s permanent residence or temporary lodging (e.g., hotel/motel, cruise ship, hostel, or homeless shelter).
The new national payment rate for at-home administration of monoclonal antibodies accounts for increased costs associated with the one-on-one nature of this care model. These higher national average payment rates reflect additional information provided to CMS about the costs of providing these services in a safe and timely manner, such as clinical staff and personal protective equipment. This action also means Medicare payments to providers and suppliers will be more aligned to their costs to administer these products.
CMS’s goal during the COVID-19 PHE has been to ensure that the agency is supporting beneficiary access to care. This new policy is based on timely, valuable input from stakeholders including the home health and ambulatory infusion industries on the costs associated with administering monoclonal antibodies.
CMS is updating the set of toolkits for providers, states and insurers to help the health care system swiftly administer monoclonal antibody treatment with these new Medicare payment rates, at https://www.cms.gov/medicare/covid-19/monoclonal-antibody-covid-19-infusion.
In addition, CMS is updating coding resources for providers, at https://www.cms.gov/medicare/medicare-part-b-drug-average-sales-price/covid-19-vaccines-and-monoclonal-antibodies.
For additional clinical information about COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies, please visit: