OIG Warns On COVID-19 Vaccine Billing

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In an April 15 notice on its COVID-19 portal, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) reminded healthcare providers that COVID-19 vaccines must be administered at no out-of-pocket cost to patients. OIG has received complaints from patients that their providers charged them for COVID-19 vaccines.

Under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program, providers may not refuse to vaccinate anyone based on insurance status; may not charge an office visit or other fee for the vaccine; may not require that the patient obtain other medical services in order to receive a vaccination; and may not “balance bill” the vaccine recipient. Providers can, however, bill third-party payers (including Medicare and Medicaid) for administering the vaccine.

OIG also said that it has investigated a “steady stream of allegations of COVID-19-related fraud and abuse.”

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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