Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) unveiled a new website with information about how physicians and others can submit claims requesting payment for treating uninsured COVID-19 patients.
The website includes a link to the Uninsured Program Portal, which will soon accept claims for payment for uninsured COVID-19 patients who received testing or treatment on or after Feb. 4. Payment will generally be at Medicare rates and, according to the site, will be "subject to available funding."
The sign-up period for the program began Apr. 27. To request payment, you must verify that patients are uninsured, agree to not balance bill patients, and agree to the program’s terms and conditions. HHS may also subject you to post-payment audit review. You may begin submitting claims electronically on May 6, and payments should begin May 18.
Payment will be made for qualifying COVID-19 testing and treatment services with a primary COVID-19 diagnosis, including (but not limited to) the following:
Note that it appears a patient must have a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 to qualify. Thus, if a patient has COVID-related symptoms and receives a variety of tests before the COVID-19 test and the COVID-19 test ultimately is negative, you may not be able to receive any payment from this fund.
Additional guidance can be found in this frequently asked questions document.
— Kent Moore, Senior Strategist for Physician Payment at the American Academy of Family Physicians
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