CMS Hikes Pay For Medicare Benes’ At-Home COVID-19 Vaccinations

Inside Health Policy

June 9, 2021 1:58 pm

CMS on Wednesday (June 9) increased pay for at-home COVID-19 vaccination of Medicare beneficiaries from $40 to $75 per dose, meaning providers will receive about $70 more between the two vaccine doses.

The agency said there are 1.6 million Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 or older who might have trouble accessing the vaccine because they have difficulty leaving their homes.

“CMS is committed to meeting the unique needs of Medicare consumers and their communities – particularly those who are home bound or who have trouble getting to a vaccination site. That’s why we’re acting today to expand the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine to people with Medicare at home,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “We’re committed to taking action wherever barriers exist and bringing the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic to the door of older adults and other individuals covered by Medicare who still need protection.”

The agency says there are challenges with delivering vaccinations to the at-home population, including ensuring appropriate vaccine storage temperatures, handling and administration. But the pay bump helps “address the financial burden associated with accommodating these complications.” CMS says the extra pay will help account for the clinical time needed to monitor a beneficiary after the vaccine is administered, as well as the upfront cost tied to administering the vaccine safely and appropriately in beneficiaries’ homes.

The pay rate for each vaccine dose will be geographically adjusted based on where the service is provided.