Health Care Providers may now register for the COVID-19 Uninsured Program, allowing them to be reimbursed for the COVID-19 tests and treatment they have provided to uninsured individuals. The Health Resources & Services Administration (“HRSA”) anticipates that providers may begin submitting claims on May 6, and will begin receiving reimbursements by the middle of May. The program was authorized by Congress in the recently enacted in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which set aside $1 billion for the program. Additional funds for the program will come from the $100 billion Provider Relief Fund established by the CARES Act. The program is subject to the availability of that funding.
The program is available to providers who have or will provide COVID-19 testing or treatment to uninsured individuals, on or after February 4, 2020. Providers may seek reimbursement generally at Medicare Rates, subject to available funding, for the following services,
- “Specimen collection, diagnostic and antibody testing.
- Testing-related visits including in the following settings: office, urgent care or emergency room or via telehealth.
- Treatment, including office visit (including via telehealth), emergency room, inpatient, outpatient/observation, skilled nursing facility, long-term acute care (LTAC), acute inpatient rehab, home health, DME (e.g., oxygen, ventilator), emergency ground ambulance transportation, non-emergent patient transfers via ground ambulance, and FDA-approved drugs as they become available for COVID-19 treatment and administered as part of an inpatient stay.
- FDA-approved vaccine, when available.
- For inpatient claims, date of admittance must be on or after February 4, 2020.”
Treatments without a COVID-19 primary diagnosis will not be eligible for reimbursement along with hospice services and outpatient prescription drugs.
To participate in the program providers will have to enroll in the program which may be done here, and attest that they have confirmed and verified that no other payer will reimburse them for the COVID-19 testing or treatment, that they accept the defined program reimbursement as payment in full, and that they will not balance bill the patient. Both the submission of claims and reimbursement will only occur electronically.
HRSA is providing webinars for interested providers on April 29, 2020 and April 30, 2020 at 2-3 p.m. ET, that will explain the registration process and more details about the program. Interested providers may also reach out to Squire Patton Boggs for further details about the program and how it may apply to a provider’s individual circumstance.