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March 19, 2021

CMS Announces Increase in Medicare Payment to Providers for COVID-19 Vaccine

On March 15, CMS announced that effective immediately it is now paying higher reimbursement rates for hospitals, physicians, pharmacies and others to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.  Medicare payments will increase to $40 per dose administered of the COVID-19 vaccine.  Prior to this announcement, Medicare paid approximately $28 per dose. The exact payment amount per dose administered will depend on the type of entity that furnishes the service and will be adjusted depending on the geographic location where the services are provided. 

According to CMS, the new payment rates recognize the increased costs associated with administering the vaccine for different types or providers and the additional resources needed to ensure the vaccine is administered safely and appropriately. Increased payment rates are intended to support providers in establishing larger vaccination sites, conducting patient outreach and education, and hiring additional staff. In addition,

CMS reiterated that providers are prohibited from charging patients for the vaccine as a condition of receiving free COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government.