COVID-19 Updates & Alerts
Volume 1 - March 17, 2020
"Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response." - Victor Frankl
Interesting Times Ahead:
As we continue to monitor the rapidly changing impacts of the COVID-19 situation, V2V recognizes the incredible challenges and pressure being placed on each medical practice and organization during this population health crisis. We understand that clinical care takes precedence over the business of care. We have compiled some items you will want to be mindful of operationally as you navigate this unchartered territory. Our goal is to help you manage your business while you are managing the crisis. We will continue to monitor the changing landscape.
As you navigate the steps you must take to serve your patient population. Do not lose focus on operational imperatives. Keep the following things in mind.
- Ensure your organization has access to adequate cash reserves to cover any unforeseen cash flow interruptions.
- Create a supply plan with your vendors to ensure access during anticipated shortages while considering alternative sourcing (neighboring clinics and hospitals, non-traditional and local retailers, and watch local government announcements).
- If embarking on new care delivery models such as telemedicine be sure to evaluate all aspects of requirements with state agencies, liability carriers, and all payers. Government announcements regarding new reimbursement strategies are not guaranteed to impact patients outside of Medicare/Medicaid. Contact your regional carrier for clarifying policies. Be sure to maintain focused efforts on privacy although some HIPAA exposures have been waived at this point.
- Consider adjusting your patient schedules to reschedule elective procedures and wellness visits to address the patients most in need. Create triage plan for patients seeking acute care appointments. Review payer policies regarding phone triage and e-visits to manage excess volumes in reimbursable formats.
- Monitor federal and state guidelines regarding emergency relief relating to payroll tax changes, sick leave, FMLA, and labor policies related to business interruptions to better understand your obligations as an employer. If you are creating virtual/remote workplace options be sure to follow security and privacy regulations.
- Emergency declarations have discussed the potential of temporary medical licensing, reciprocal licensing across state lines, and accelerated payer enrollment. This is a state or payer level policy adoption. Check with your local Medical Board and liability carrier before making commitments to utilize new physicians. Additionally, check your local commercial payer policies to ensure reimbursement policies are addressed.
- It is prudent to review with your staff your emergency planning protocols. Clarify their respective responsibilities and review communication plans.
Stay tuned as more in-depth discussions on these topics are heading your way.
The links provided relate to the content above.
- CMS Fact Sheet: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid19-emergency-declaration-health-care-providers-fact-sheet.pdf
- CMS Emergency Preparedness Response site: https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/Emergency/EPRO/Current-Emergencies/Current-Emergencies-page
- CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 for Healthcare Professionals: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/index.html
- CMS Coverage Info: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-publishes-faqs-ensure-individuals-issuers-and-states-have-clear-information-coverage-benefits
- Telemedicine https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/telehealth-benefits-medicare-are-lifeline-patients-during-coronavirus-outbreak
- Telehealth Policy CCHP Fact Sheet: https://cchpca.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c9fa99b7520aedfca5c453103&id=5ddc2ff68d&e=064cadd555
- Telemedicine and HIPAA: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/emergency-preparedness/index.html. (3/17/2020)
- Providers should contact their CMS Regional Office as soon as possible to discuss anticipated changes to waiver operations or needed authorities.
- CPT Coding for Coronavirus Test: https://www.ama-assn.org/press-center/press-releases/cpt-fast-tracking-code-development-novel-coronavirus-test (03/16/2020)
- Fact sheet: Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) COVID-19 Test Pricing (PDF) (3/13/20)
- FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions to Assist Medicare Providers (PDF) (3/6/20)
- Fact sheet: Medicare Coverage and Payment Related to COVID-19 (PDF) (3/5/20)
- Fact sheet: Medicaid and CHIP Coverage and Payment Related to COVID-19 (PDF) (3/5/20)
Our V2V team stands by ready to assist you in navigating these turbulent times. We can quickly deploy resources to assist in the following areas:
- Researching payer concerns and policies,
- Contacting payers to expedite credentialing or licensing of temporary providers,
- Developing action plans for rapid deployment of new solutions,
- Backup support to Administration,
- Project support.