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HEALTH CARE WEEK IN REVIEW: What Providers Need to Know About COVID-19 Coding and Billing, CMS Lifts Freestanding ER Billing Restrictions During Pandemic, Hospitals To Get $75B In Latest Round Of COVID-19 Funding, Half Of Physicians Now Using Telehealth As COVID-19 Changes Practice Operations

Here's The Latest in Health Care:

The health care system is facing an unprecedented crisis, but accurate COVID-19 coding and billing can help providers weather the storm and prepare for future outbreaks. Everyone is quickly adapting to a world in which COVID-19 exists and that includes creating new codes for the novel coronavirus. Using these codes and new documentation guidelines that come with them will be critical to tackling COVID-19 and the challenges associated with it.  Read More

CMS issued guidance this week allowing independent freestanding emergency departments to provide care to Medicare patients and bill for those services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under current law, independent freestanding EDs are not recognized as certified Medicare providers, meaning they cannot bill Medicare and Medicaid for services rendered. However, CMS is making an exception during the pandemic as a way to increase hospital capacity.  Read More

Hospitals are set to get $75 billion in the next round of emergency funding for the country's COVID-19 response as the Senate approved legislation this week. According to CMS, the second round will be targeted to reach providers in hot spots, and those not included previously. The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act also allocate another $25 billion for expanding and administering COVID-19 testing for active infection and prior exposure as well as conducting surveillance and contact tracing.  Read More

Close to half of doctors are now using telehealth to treat patients as the COVID-19 pandemic changes practice patterns and how physicians deliver care. That's up from 18 percent of physicians using telemedicine two years ago. The impact on physicians from COVID-19 will be transformative, fundamentally changing how and where physicians practice. If there's a silver lining to the pandemic, it could be that barriers to accessing physician services through telemedicine will be removed, which will be critical as the nation deals with a growing physician shortage.  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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