Trending Topics

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services offers guidance on end of COVID-19 emergency

The American Ambulance Association details the changing or ending flexibilities and waivers

By Leila Merrill

WASHINGTON — Since the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services signaled that the COVID-19 public health emergency will end on May 11, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been releasing information about when some flexibilities implemented during the COVID-19 public health emergency will end.

A recent news release from the American Ambulance Association states:

  • “CMS will continue to pay approximately $40 per dose for administering COVID-19 vaccines in most outpatient settings for Medicare beneficiaries through the end of the calendar year in which the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) ends. The end of the EUA is not the same as the end of the PHE. Effective January 1 of the following year, the administration payment per dose will be $30 to align with the reimbursement for other Part B preventive vaccines. When a vaccine is administered in a patient’s home, CMS will pay an additional $36 per dose for certain Medicare beneficiaries for CY 2023. This payment will not be affected by the end of the PHE.
  • The expansion of allowable destinations for ground ambulance transports will end with the conclusion of the PHE.
  • The treatment-in-place waiver will end with the end of the PHE.
  • The provider enrollment hotlines will be closed when the PHE ends.
  • Expedited provider/supplier enrollment will end with the PHE ends, as well as the option to cancel opt-out status early.
  • Practitioners will be required to resume reporting their home addresses on Medicare enrollment for purposes of rendering telehealth services once the PHE ends.
  • Once the PHE ends, requests for appeals must meet the existing regulatory requirements.

CMS already ended the following flexibilities:

  • Enforcement discretion for the Repetitive, Scheduled Non-Emergent Ambulance Transports Prior Authorization Model.
  • Delay in the Medicare Ground Ambulance Data Collection System.
  • Certain screening requirements for enrollment, such as site visits and fingerprint-based criminal background checks, as well as application fees and revalidation.

CMS also indicates that it will not review the signature requirement that was suspended during the PHE.”