Taking care of COVID-19… and getting paid

Community health centers have been working hard and diligently throughout the pandemic. The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) shared an infographic detailing how community centers are managing in their response and fight of COVID-19. The stats are from May 15, 2020 and show that 91 percent of community centers can test for COVID-19 and 69 percent have walk-up or drive-up testing.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released a press release that stated community “health centers are providing more than 100,000 COVID-19 tests to their communities” a week. An additional struggle and conversation around community health centers was how they were going to be reimbursed and at what rate. On April 27, 2020, “the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through HRSA, launched a new COVID-19 Uninsured Program Portal.” The portal allows providers to be reimbursed, generally at the Medicare rates, for the COVID-19 uninsured patients they either conducted testing for or provided treatment to on or after February 4, 2020. Providers will be able to submit claims electronically beginning on May 6, 2020 and receive reimbursement starting in the middle of May. Click HERE to access the portal to submit claims for reimbursement.

More good news, on May 7, 2020, “HHS, through HRSA, awarded nearly $583 million to 1,385 HRSA-funded health centers.” COVID-19 claims that are to be reimbursed by HRSA can only be submitted once. If the claims are denied, the center is left to write off the bill.

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