On March 10, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took further action to ensure patients have access to the critical healthcare services they need in the wake of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Following a meeting with President Trump and Vice President Pence, many leading insurance companies and their industry associations announced they will be treating COVID-19 diagnostic tests as covered benefits and will be waiving cost sharing that would otherwise apply to the test. The President also directed CMS to provide more flexibility to Medicare Advantage and Part D plans to ensure they have the tools they need to provide seniors with the best coverage. As a result, CMS published a memorandum to Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D health and prescription drug plans informing them of the flexibilities they have to provide healthcare coverage to Medicare beneficiaries for COVID-19 testing, treatments, and prevention.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is supporting clinicians on the front lines by getting red tape out of the way so the healthcare delivery system can focus on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) response
CMS is delaying the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 v1.18.1 release, which had been scheduled for October 1, 2020, in response to stakeholder concerns. The MDS item sets are used by Nursing Home and Swing Bed providers to collect and submit patient data to CMS. This MDS data informs payment, quality, and the survey process.
The Trump Administration released new tools to strip away regulatory red tape and unleash new resources to support state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Because of the President’s bold action in declaring COVID-19 a national emergency, CMS now has a full suite of tools available to maximize responsiveness to state needs. The agency has created four checklists that together will make up a comprehensive Medicaid COVID-19 federal authority checklist to make it easier for states to receive federal waivers and implement flexibilities in their program.
Just as employers were taking a look at a bill in Congress aimed at providing paid leave for employees affected by the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, the House-passed legislation took on changes in the Senate. As of early March 17, no Senate vote had been scheduled.
There is no requirement that a coder in SNFs be certified. It would be ideal to have certified coders in the SNF, but this is not a realistic expectation. Those responsible for coding need medical terminology, anatomy, and pathophysiology knowledge. This can be a medical records professional (associate degree), bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree educational preparation. A degree does not ensure that the person has a coding certification. Many health unit coordinator programs include diagnosis in the course curriculum. Frequently, nurses have chosen to work in the health information management field. Nurses make good coders due to their educational background but need to be careful not to read into a provider’s documentation or assume relationships between documentation entries.
In order to address provider’s concerns regarding COVID-19, we have created a coronavirus forum where providers can connect with one another. The forum can include topics such as supplies, visitation, concerns, regulations, mandates, infection control, payment, staffing, etc. You’re not alone in this, we have you covered. Visit the forum to post questions, concerns, and tips and receive input from other providers across the nation. Join here.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued frequently asked questions and answers (FAQs) for healthcare providers regarding Medicare payment for laboratory tests and other services related to the 2019-Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
As COVID-19 spreads throughout the U.S., LTC providers face unique challenges to keep their high-risk residents safe. In an effort to fully understand the challenges SNFs are currently facing as a result of the virus, we’d like readers to complete a survey to tell us about their challenges.