March 30, 2020

CMS Announces Financial Relief Package for Medicare Providers

On Friday, March 27, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an expansion of its accelerated and advance payment program for Medicare participating health care providers and suppliers. The intent of the program is to ensure that providers have the resources needed to combat the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). This program expansion, which includes changes from the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, is an attempt by CMS to lessen the financial hardships of providers facing extraordinary challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that providers can focus on patient care. There has been significant disruption to the healthcare industry, with providers being asked to delay non-essential surgeries and procedures, other healthcare staff […]
March 27, 2020

CMS, Other Payers Change Telehealth Coverage Policies in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the Centers for Medicare and Medicare (CMS) have updated their policy on provision and payments for patient visits conducted via telehealth. Prior to the crisis, most payers only paid for certain telehealth patient encounters and often required modifiers and lowered reimbursement rates. However, in March 2020, CMS fully allowed all patient encounters conducted via telehealth to be coded with modifiers and at 100% reimbursement levels. These policies are meant to encourage all encounters that can be done in non-face-to-face manner to reduce direct interaction between physicians, patients, patient families, and staff. Several national private payers have also similarly allowed telehealth visits without restrictions. Click here to see CMS update on telehealth policies. Click here […]
March 27, 2020

Medicare Recommends Cancellation of Elective Surgeries in Response to COVID-19

On March 18, at the White House Task Force Press Briefing, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that all elective surgeries, non-essential medical, surgical, and dental procedures be delayed during the COVID-19 outbreak. These recommendations, and earlier CMS guidance and actions in response to the COVID-19 virus, are part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. Read the CMS press release here. Read the guidance here.
March 27, 2020

CMS Announces Waivers and Changes to Medicare QPP in Response to COVID-19

On March 22, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced it is granting exceptions from reporting requirements and extensions for clinicians and providers participating in Medicare quality reporting programs with respect to upcoming measure reporting and data submission for those programs. The action comes as part of the Trump Administration’s response to COVID-19. CMS is implementing policy exceptions and extensions for upcoming measure reporting and data submission deadlines for several CMS programs due to “the additional extreme and uncontrollable circumstances.” For those programs with data submission deadlines in April and May 2020, submission of those data will be optional, based on the facility’s choice to report. CMS recognizes that quality measure data collection and reporting for services furnished during […]