On April 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an unprecedented emergency policy waiver to increase capacity in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Hospital outpatient departments can now relocate health care services to off-campus sites or even into Medicare beneficiaries’ homes. For the duration of the public health emergency, these relocated services will be reimbursed at the higher outpatient prospective payment system rates rather than the typical physician fee schedule rates for new off-campus sites, an increase of approximately 40% for similar outpatient services.1 Both the relocation and payment waivers will terminate when the Department of Health and Human Services withdraws the emergency declaration at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, although how that will be decided is unclear.
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Bekelman JE, Emanuel EJ, Navathe AS. Outpatient Treatment at Home for Medicare Beneficiaries During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAMA. 2020;324(1):21–22. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.9017
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