CMS COVID-19 Payments are Helping Labs Offset Revenue Loss
The Dark Report hit the nail on the head in a recent article (The Dark Report: April 20, 2020: Lab, Path Finances Crash; Next Test Wave; Serology) where it correctly pointed out that laboratories across the U.S. impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are facing uncertain financial futures even as the ability for them to serve the public has never been needed more.
Specimen volumes have been down across the board for well over a month as routine visits to the physician and elective procedures have been put on hold thanks to COVID-19. Labs that were already facing shrinking margins and high denial rates are now faced with a new challenge: overcoming the disruption to normal business operations while also answering a call to action from public health officials to ramp up testing capacity.
Fortunately, there is some good news that will help offset the loss of normal revenue for those labs able to quickly adapt and meet the new demand.
Effective April 14, 2020, through the duration of the COVID-19 national emergency, CMS has doubled the Medicare payment to $100 for certain tests that use high-throughput technologies to rapidly diagnose large numbers of COVID-19 cases.
The announcement comes as welcome news for our client labs that have been using the LigoLab LIS & RCM Operating Platform to interface with analyzers and provide automated support, quality control, and reporting functionality for COVID-19 testing since mid-March. These laboratories are now at a testing capacity of 35,000 samples per day, with the number likely to climb considerably over the next several weeks.
We salute the dedication and commitment shown by our partner labs to get online as fast as they did. We also firmly believe that more robust testing of a larger percentage of the population is still needed before we can begin to return to normal as a country.
So what does the future hold?
We agree with The Dark Report’s prediction of two waves of testing, with molecular testing followed by a wave of testing for antibodies (serology tests). We’re preparing our labs for this important shift because we believe testing for antibodies will take on increased importance in the coming months as researchers work to develop a vaccine.
At LigoLab, we continue to encourage more labs across the country to join our team and begin testing for COVID-19. If your laboratory has interest in adding either the PCR (molecular) or the Serology (antibody) testing to its operations, you should definitely participate in LigoLab’s Fireside Chat with laboratory professionals on the front line in the fight against COVID-19.
Fireside Chat: Register Today and Reserve Your Spot
What topics will be covered?
- Bringing up COVID-19 testing to increase testing capacity, offset the loss of normal lab revenue, and gain customers
- How pathology labs are bringing up molecular testing
- PCR (molecular) and Serology (antibody) testing
- The selection of the right platform and automation
- Sourcing and developing supplies in-house and how to connect with verified vendors who can help with instruments, equipment, PPE, testing kits, and testing supplies
- The methodology behind the pooling of samples to increase capacity, speed up turnaround times, and lower the cost of reagents
- Utilizing a network of labs and load balancing for high-volume capacity and streamlined distribution of specimens
- Billing/RCM questions, advice, and best practices
In addition, we will unveil a powerful tool that has the potential to generate added testing volumes for laboratories. TestDirectly is a cutting edge direct-to-consumer platform that connects patients, companies, and collection centers for fast, easy, and safe COVID-19 testing and reporting. The platform facilitates the entire lifecycle for drive-through processing of COVID-19 testing, plus it supports the testing and reporting needs of government agencies and business-to-business accounts
To learn more about LigoLab’s mission to unite laboratories nationwide to help set up a scalable workflow for COVID-19 testing, while also providing capacity management, volume, and expertise, contact Suren Avunjian at suren@LigoLab.com, call (818) 395-4659, or visit LigoLab.com.