Treating the coronavirus through telehealth

Community health centers are worried about the surge of patients that are expected to increase and the limited access of PPE caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19). In order to reduce the amount of infection in waiting rooms and the potential spread, the Trump administration declared COVID-19 a national emergency; allowing the government agencies the freedom required to quickly offer assistance and guidance. Telehealth is the recommended course of treatment and several government agencies and private insurance companies are making it easier to treat COVID-19 through telehealth. The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations, that passed March 6, 2020, allows providers to bill “Medicare fee-for-service for patient care delivered by telehealth for the duration of COVID-19.”

Effective March 17, 2020, “the Trump administration announced further expansion of telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries.” CMS hopes this effort of including telehealth in its billable services will help contain the spread of COVID-19. Additionally “many insurance issuers announced they are also expanding efforts by waiving copays and prior authorizations, covering the cost of COVID-19 test[ing] and allowing reimbursement for telehealth.”

Do you know the new ICD-10-CM codes the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released that will go into effect on April 1, 2020? Click here for the new codes.

While this information may change as the national emergency progresses, we will continue to keep you updated as this develops. In the meantime, what changes do you need to implement in your facility to treat your COVID-19 patient population with telehealth?

Let's talk about how you can assist with preventing the spread of COVID-19 by treating patients through telehealth.

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