Date: August 2, 2022
To: Enrolled Physicians, Physician Assistants, Advance Practice Nurses, Local Health Departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Centers, Encounter Rate Clinics, Hospitals, and Independent Laboratories
Re: HFS COVID Portal for the Uninsured Down for Maintenance
This notice announces that Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) has taken down the COVID portal for maintenance. The portal is an online portal for reimbursement of COVID-19 testing services for uninsured individuals who have been tested for COVID-19, regardless of income, citizenship, or immigration status.
This notice also reminds providers that they are required to first check MEDI for active coverage before requesting a new RIN. This requirement maintains program integrity. Previous provider notices from February 8, 2021 and October 14, 2021 instruct providers to first check MEDI for active Medicaid coverage before uploading patient information to the portal for a RIN. Active Medicaid coverage includes a RIN generated from a previous submission to the HFS COVID portal. The COVID portal has been flooded with repeat requests for RINs for persons already assigned RINs, as providers have not been compliant in checking for existing RINs.
Providers must use the RIN already assigned to an individual for billing subsequent COVID testing and testing related services. Claims may be billed through the provider's normal claim submission method.
The use of the COVID portal is only for individuals who are uninsured. For patients that have commercial insurance, Medicare, regular Medicaid, or other insurance, the provider must seek payment from those other sources. Failure to do so may result in fines, penalties, or referral for a fraud investigation, which could result in administrative or criminal prosecution.
For those patients who do not already have a RIN assigned, providers should submit comprehensive data, including a Social Security Number (SSN) for patients who have one, for all patients uploaded to the HFS COVID Portal. This allows HFS to verify data and ensures integrity in the program. When the COVID portal resumes function, providers likely will be required to submit comprehensive data, including the following:
- Birth Date
- Social Security Number (if patient has one)
HFS will update providers when they may resume requesting RINs through the COVID portal. Questions regarding this notice may be directed to the Bureau of Professional and Ancillary Services at 877-782-5565.
Kelly Cunningham, Administrator
Division of Medical Programs