New Massachusetts Bulletin Makes COVID Testing Reimbursement Easier

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In an effort to make it easier for laboratories to be reimbursed by insurers for COVID-19 testing, the Massachusetts Division of Insurance has issued a bulletin stating that it expects “carriers to relax” restrictions on "pass through" billing and otherwise take steps to make it easier for claims to be submitted and paid.  Bulletin 2020-25, “Easing Administrative Billing for PCR and Antigen Testing,” was issued on July 29, 2020 and will remain in effect for the duration of the public health emergency.  For anyone accustomed to the byzantine world of health care billing, this is an interesting document and well worth reading for statements like the following:  “The Division is aware that new laboratories are becoming available to process tests but they have not yet developed the administrative systems to properly bill carriers for tests as they are conducted.  In order to meet the public health need, carriers are expected to take steps that will permit covered tests to be done by such laboratories and for the related bills to be processed for the laboratories.”  Figuring out precisely how those bills are to be processed is apparently being left up to the carriers.

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