Medical providers brace for end of COVID-19 reimbursements – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
The White House has warned that starting Tuesday it will phase out a COVID-19 program that reimburses doctors and medical providers for the cost of testing, treating and vaccinating uninsured people.
According to NBC News, the arrangement is set to end in early April – the result of a lack of federal funding after Democrats and Republicans in Congress were unable to agree on an additional budget allocation of $22.5 billion the White House had requested for COVID -19 relief.
Local suppliers are very concerned about the consequences.
Free COVID-19 vaccinations are given daily at Campbell’s Pharmacy in Dallas.
On Friday alone, at least 50 people came to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We have people coming in for their first shot, so what do we say to them? ‘Sorry about your second? Sorry about your third? Sorry for protecting you now just because you waited a long time?’ That’s not true,” said chief clinical pharmacist Dawn Moshier.
She and other medical providers are concerned the move will reduce the likelihood that someone will receive a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment if that person has to pay out of pocket.
“If we don’t do these vaccines, what’s going to happen? Can we go back to where we were before, where it gets worse again?”
Their other issue with the warning is timing.
Suppliers are now scrambling to file claims following the onslaught of COVID-19 testing they conducted during omicron’s push by next Tuesday’s deadline.
“It would have made a lot more sense for them to give us months to prepare or even a month, but six days was apparently absurd,” said Frisco emergency physician Dr. Carrie de Moor.
“We all knew we were going to get to a point where this funding couldn’t be in perpetuity, but giving providers and health facilities just a week’s notice that it was running out was not enough to prevent that it affects the provider and the hospitals. There wasn’t enough time to get that information out to patients so they know what to do and have an alternate plan when it happens,” de Moor said.
The Uninsured Program will stop accepting requests for testing and treatment for COVID-19 on March 22, 2022 due to a lack of sufficient funds.
The Health Resources and Services Administration will stop accepting claims for COVID-19 vaccinations on April 5, 2022.