Medicare Suppliers May Temporarily Enroll as Labs to Help Address COVID-19 Testing

Medicare Suppliers May Temporarily Enroll as Labs to Help Address COVID-19 Testing

Published: May 13, 2020

Updated: October 1, 2020

Update: We understand that ASCs are being told by their Medicare Administrative Contractors (MAC) that they are ineligible to enroll as labs temporarily to help address COVID-19 testing, although no formal guidance has been released from CMS to this effect. The MACs indicate they are under the impression that the program was meant to extend testing capacity to pharmacies only. Although ASCA’s original announcement remains accurate as released and CMS has not formally withdrawn this proposal, it appears that ASCs are not able to pursue this option.

Late last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Medicare Learning Network (MLN) Transmittal announcing that pharmacies and other suppliers currently enrolled in Medicare may also enroll temporarily as independent clinical diagnostic laboratories during the COVID-19 public health emergency via the provider enrollment hotline. ASCs bill Medicare as suppliers, and ASCA received confirmation from CMS that ASCs are eligible to enroll.

According to CMS, this will provide additional laboratory resources to meet the urgent need to increase COVID-19 testing capability. ASCs seeking to initiate temporary Medicare independent clinical diagnostic laboratory billing privileges should contact their Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC). To locate your designated MAC, see CMS’ list of MACs by jurisdiction.

Please contact your MAC to enroll or ask questions about enrollment, as they will be best-equipped to help. If you have further questions or are having a difficult time with your MAC, feel free to contact Kara Newbury.