Healthcare providers are already working in battle mode, preparing new plans to respond to the growing amount of coronavirus patients, from sourcing rapid diagnostic kits to securing sufficient personal protection equipment for workers and figuring out where to place an overflow of patients. For healthcare organizations on the front lines of this pandemic, another source of worry is the effect coronavirus will have on their revenue cycle and financial operations.

BILLING AND CODING

Keeping the billing office running during an outbreak is key to keeping hospitals and practices open for infected individuals requiring care. But this can be a challenge, especially for smaller organizations with limited cash on hand to respond to COVID-19 demands.

CMS has been at the forefront of helping providers handle the medical billing and coding aspect of COVID-10 testing and treatment. The agency recently released two Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes that laboratories can use to bill for certain COVID-19 diagnostic tests, including those developed in-house according to new FDA guidelines.

The American Medical Association (AMA) also announced  is fast-tracking the development of a unique Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code for reporting novel coronavirus testing.

CMS also recently released guidance on billing and reimbursement for treating COVID-19. The agency reminded providers that Medicare will pay for evaluation and management (E/M) and other services furnished in a beneficiary’s home by a physician or non-physician practitioner. Medicare will also reimburse providers for many non-face-to-face services used to assess and manage a beneficiary’s condition, the agency stressed.

PATIENT FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

The COVID-19 outbreak is already highlighting issues surrounding patient financial responsibility. Several reports have surfaced of patients being left with thousands of dollars in medical bills after seeking care for potential coronavirus symptoms.

Healthcare providers are already struggling to develop collection strategies in the era of high-deductible health plans and other cost-sharing arrangements. But putting these new strategies in use during an emergency can be nearly impossible.

Payers are acknowledging the difficulties arising from patient financial responsibility and many are making it easier for patients to seek care and for providers to streamline the financial encounter.

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) announced last week that it is implementing solutions to lowering out-of-pocket costs for people seeking testing for and treatment of COVID-19. One of those solutions is covering diagnostic testing when ordered by a physician.

ALLOCATING RESOURCES

COVID-19 is putting a lot of demand on an overburdened healthcare system, overwhelming the capacity of hospitals, emergency departments, outpatient centers. This results in critical shortages of staff, space, and supplies, which can have a negative impact on patient outcomes, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) states.

Allocating resources for revenue cycle management operations is also very critical as the medical groups and integrated health systems are reeling under huge losses.

The healthcare firms opt for companies like Viaante Business Solutions to identify opportunities to use technology, flexibility, and other strengths of vendor partners to better assist patients at this time. Viaante provides a wide range of Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) services to large-mid-sized medical billing companies, Physician groups, Radiology groups, and Medical center by leveragig people, processes, and technology to provide operational and financial solutions to the clients. The services include Medical Coding, Charge Capture, Payment Posting, and Accounts Receivable Follow-Up. These are provided on a standalone basis or under complete RCM offering whichever suitable for the need. Viaante is one such medical billing outsourcing services company who can be the one-stop-shop for all the medical billing needs.

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