Higher Medicare Payments for In-home COVID-19 Vaccinations | Vaccination | JAMA | JAMA Network
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Health Agencies Update
July 27, 2021

Higher Medicare Payments for In-home COVID-19 Vaccinations

JAMA. 2021;326(4):298. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.11734

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently increased payments for at-home COVID-19 vaccinations for Medicare beneficiaries.

Approximately 1.6 million adults aged 65 years or older might have trouble obtaining vaccinations because they have great difficulty leaving their homes or traveling to retail pharmacies, physicians’ offices, or mass vaccination sites to obtain the shots, according to an issue brief by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Homebound older adults are disproportionately members of racial and ethnic minorities, the brief noted. Nearly 15% of Hispanic older adults are homebound, compared with 7% of Black older adults, 5% of older adults who are American Indian, Asian, or Pacific Islander, and 3% of those who are White.

Medicare is now paying an additional $35 per COVID-19 vaccine dose administered in a beneficiary’s home, increasing the total payment for at-home vaccination from about $40 to about $75 per dose. No matter the setting, those administering COVID-19 vaccines can’t charge patients a fee for doing so.