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DOH Urges Training for In-Home COVID-19 Specimen Collection

The Department of Health (DOH) has issued guidance for home health agencies regarding Medicaid billing and reimbursement for COVID-19 in-home specimen collection.

The guidance provides billing codes and rates that agencies may use for COVID-19 specimen collection and explains the types of visits that qualify for reimbursement. The guidance appears to limit reimbursement for this service to patient cases that are homebound and instances when specimen collection is the only service being delivered. This applies to active Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA) cases, non-CHHA patients who require an in-home visit for collection of a specimen, and Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) cases. Nursing services delivered by Licensed Home Care Services Agencies (LHCSAs) subcontracting with CHHAs would be eligible for reimbursement of this service. All testing and specimen collection must be medically ordered. Medicaid reimbursement to CHHAs is effective Nov. 1, 2020.

DOH is now in the process of sending rates and codes regarding delivery of this service to each CHHA.

In a communication sent to multiple providers on Nov. 24th, DOH urged home health agencies, MLTC plans, hospice agencies, and other health care providers to enroll in training for the in-home COVID-19 specimen collection sponsored by the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) and the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. The training will be free through December. Eligible clinicians may enroll here.

Contact: Meg Everett, meverett@leadingageny.org, 518-929-9342