Medicare raised the reimbursement rates for in-home vaccination for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to incentivize provider organizations to reach out to home-bound beneficiaries. Medicare will pay an additional $35 per dose for COVID-19 vaccine administration in a beneficiary’s home, increasing the total payment amount for at-home vaccination from approximately $40 to approximately $75 per vaccine dose. For a two-dose vaccine, this results in a total payment of approximately $150 for the administration of both doses, or approximately $70 more than the current rate.
The additional payment amount also accounts for the clinical time needed to monitor a beneficiary after the vaccine is administered, as well as the upfront costs associated with administering the vaccine safely and appropriately in a beneficiary’s home. The payment rate for administering each dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as well as the additional in-home payment amount, will be geographically adjusted based on where the service is furnished.
According to estimates from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, approximately 1.6 million adults 65 or older may have trouble accessing COVID-19 vaccinations because they have difficulty leaving their homes. Delivering COVID-19 vaccination to access-challenged and hard-to-reach individuals poses some unique challenges, such as ensuring appropriate vaccine storage temperatures, handling, and administration. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has outlined guidance to assist vaccinators in overcoming these challenges.
The CDC guidance is posted at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/homebound-persons.html (accessed June 15, 2021).
This was reported by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on June 9, 2021.
Contact information: Office of Communications, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244; 202-690-6145; Fax: 202-260-1462; Website: https://www.cms.gov/