Providers will now be reimbursed for counseling people on self-isolation after they get tested for COVID-19, CMS and the CDC said July 30.
The incentive aims to slow the spread of COVID-19 from presymptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. The CDC said prediction models show when people self-isolate after receiving a COVID-19 test, there can be up to an 86 percent reduction in transmission of the virus, compared to a 40 percent decrease in transmission if a person isolates after symptoms show.
CMS will use existing evaluation and management payment codes to reimburse providers for counseling services at any testing site, including a physician’s office, urgent care clinic, hospital, community drive-thru or pharmacy testing site. Counseling includes talking about immediately isolating before results are available, notifying members of their household that they should be tested too, wearing a mask at all times and reviewing the signs and symptoms.