April 18, 2021

Volume XI, Number 108

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April 15, 2021

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New Policy to Remove Barriers to COVID-19 Testing

On February 26, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Labor and Department of Treasury issued guidance removing barriers to COVID-19 diagnostic testing and vaccinations and strengthening requirements that plans and issuers cover diagnostic testing without cost sharing. This guidance makes clear that private group health plans and issuers generally cannot use medical screening criteria to deny coverage for COVID-19 diagnostic tests for individuals with health coverage who are asymptomatic, and who have no known or suspected exposure to COVID-19. Such testing must be covered without cost sharing, prior authorization, or other medical management requirements imposed by the plan or issuer. For example, covered individuals wanting to ensure they are COVID-19 negative prior to visiting a family member would be able to be tested without paying cost sharing.  The guidance also includes information for providers on how to get reimbursed for COVID-19 diagnostic testing or for administering the COVID-19 vaccine to those who are uninsured.  Click here for the newly issued guidance.  See press release here.

The new guidance should encourage providers to offer COVID-19 testing at their offices and outpatient locations since private group health plans and issuers must cover and reimburse for COVID-19 testing of asymptomatic individuals and defers to the provider’s individual clinical assessment of the patient to determine whether the patient should be tested for COVID-19.  This new guidance should also increase patient access to testing and remove barriers to encourage patients to be tested prior to travel without fears of large out of pocket payment for testing.  The provider should check with health plans to confirm that they have implemented this policy prior to starting to administer the test to the newly covered group.  Likewise, patients should check their coverage under their health plans.

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© 2021 Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, P.C. All Rights Reserved National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 62
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About this Author

Anjali Baxi, Giordano Halleran Law Firm, Healthcare Attorney, New Jersey health Law,Cannabis Law,Government Affairs,Business Transactions, Health Care Law Regulation, Medicare and NJ Medicaid Enrollment
Counsel

Anjali has been practicing law for 15 years, mainly focused on health care transactional and regulatory matters. She prepares and reviews LOIs, purchase agreements and other transaction documents for health care providers needed for the business transfer and necessary for the transfer of NJDOH and NJDHS licenses and provider numbers. She also reviews agreements required for the day to day operations of health care facilities.

She has counseled skilled nursing, assisted living, adult medical day care, outpatient facility clients and hospitals regarding NJDOH regulatory requirements,...

732-741-3900
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