Comments are being sought now.

With two COVID-19 vaccines now being distributed nationwide and more on the way, in addition to what are sure to be forthcoming enhancements in treatment of the virus, federal officials have issued an interim final rule with comment period establishing add-on payments for such measures.  

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an MLN Connects Special Edition post about the New COVID-19 Treatments Add-on Payment (NCTAP) under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) on Monday, noting that the payments will remain in effect retroactively from Nov. 2, 2020 through the termination of the federally declared COVID public health emergency (PHE).

“To mitigate potential financial disincentives for hospitals to provide new COVID-19 treatments during the COVID-19 PHE, the Medicare program will provide an enhanced payment for eligible inpatient cases that involve use of certain new products with current Food and Drug Administration approval or emergency use authorization to treat COVID-19,” the post read.

According to the CMS document published in the Federal Register memorializing the interim rule, the move specifically centers on the agency’s interpretation of Section 3713 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which established Part B coverage and payments for the COVID vaccine and its administration.

To review the Federal Register post in its entirety, including steps on how to comment and a contact for more information, go online to https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/11/06/2020-24332/additional-policy-and-regulatory-revisions-in-response-to-the-covid-19-public-health-emergency.

For more information about the new add-on payments generally, go to the CMS NCTAP web page at https://www.cms.gov/medicare/covid-19/covid-19-treatments-add-payment-nctap.

The global COVID pandemic has now reportedly sickened more than 77 million worldwide, killing 1.7 million, and daily global cases and deaths are currently hovering at or near all-time highs, both domestically and internationally. The U.S. has recorded more than 18 million cases and nearly 325,000 deaths.

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