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HEALTH CARE WEEK IN REVIEW: Officials Bewilder Experts By Changing Virus Testing Advice, CMS To Require Hospitals To Report Critical COVID-19 Data, COVID-19 Highlights Need For More Efficient And Safer Hospital Communications, CMS Diverges From CPT Guidance On Time Rules For New Prolonged Code

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Here's The Latest in Health Care:


U.S. health officials have sparked a wave of confusion after posting guidelines that coronavirus testing is not necessary for people who have been in close contact with infected people. The new guidance was posted earlier this week on the CDC website. Across the country, public health experts called the change bizarre, noting that testing contacts of infected people are a core element of public health efforts considering as many as 40 percent of cases exhibit no symptoms.  Read More

Hospitals will now be required to submit daily critical information on COVID-19, including bed capacity and the availability of essential supplies. CMS released an emergency regulation this week calling for mandatory reporting. The agency also posted new requirements for lab reporting and revised policy for physician and pharmacist orders of COVID-19 tests.  Read More

COVID-19 has put a focus on the need for a more expedient and safer way for hospital staff to talk to one another. More effective communication is needed to move information quicker about a patient who is in the emergency room to the EHR and proper caregivers, in order to know what level of care is required and if an isolation room is necessary.  Read More

Providers may need to keep track of two different times when reporting the new CPT add-on code for prolonged services in 2021. CMS will not follow the time ranges that the AMA released in its guidelines for office E/M visits and prolonged services. The proposed add-on code, currently held by placeholder code 99XXX, will be used to report prolonged office or other E/M services that require at least 15 minutes of total time either with or without direct patient contact on the date of the primary E/M service.  Read More

Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news. Brought to you by pMD, innovators in charge capture, secure messaging, clinical communication, and care navigation software.
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