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Medicare to Relax More Virus Testing, Telehealth, Hospital Rules

May 1, 2020, 10:55 AM

Medicare patients will have an easier time getting tested for Covid-19 under temporary regulatory changes aimed at giving health-care providers greater flexibility in their response to the pandemic.

Testing Boosts: The Medicare agency will now cover beneficiaries’ Covid-19 tests when any health professional orders them, even if not the treating physician. The agency will pay hospitals when Covid-19 testing is the only service they provide to a patient, and it has opened the door for more pharmacists to perform tests.

More Money: The agency will also boost its payments for telehealth services and stop reducing payments when hospitals add beds. ...