Making sure our heroes get what they deserve!
On April 30, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued more waivers and rule changes to make your life easier. Here are some main principles of this boost:
1) Removing barriers for healthcare providers to be readily hired from the local community or other states;
2) Say “No!” to overwhelming paperwork- temporary relief from many reporting and audit requirements by CMS.
3) Hospital Without Walls – Increase Hospital Capacity through expansion sites
4) Telehealth for everyone! Secure, comfortable, safe and healthy;
To help America reopen as quickly as possible, the below changes are applied immediately upon the issue.
Nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and physician assistants can now order home health services. These healthcare providers can now order home health services; establish and periodically review a plan of care for home health patients; certify and re-certify that the patient is eligible for home health services.
Ambulatory surgery centers no longer need o periodically reappraise medical staff privileges during the COVID-19 emergency declaration.
Medicare no longer requires an order from the treating provider to conduct COVID-19 tests and certain related laboratory tests on Medicare patients. These tests are always covered when ordered by any healthcare professional authorized to do so under state law.
Every clinician who collected laboratory samples will receive funds for the service when it’s the only procedure performed.
Medicare and Medicaid are covering certain serology (antibody) tests, which may aid in determining whether a person may have developed an immune response and may not be at immediate risk for COVID-19.
Hospital Without Walls.CMS will now pay for certain services rendered in temporary expansion locations (parking lot tents, patient’s homes and etc.). Certain provider-based hospital outpatient departments that have relocated off-campus may be paid under the Outpatient Prospective Payment System fee schedule. Long-term acute-care hospitals can now accept any acute-care hospital patients and be paid at a higher Medicare payment rate. In addition, teaching hospitals can lend available medical staff support to other hospitals in need.
CMS will now pay you for certain partial hospitalization services like individual psychotherapy, patient education, and group psychotherapy – that are delivered in temporary expansion locations, including patients’ homes. In addition, Community Mental Health Centers can furnish certain therapy and counseling services in a client’s home.
Also, CMS has waived some clinical criteria in LCD that used to limit access to therapeutic continuous glucose monitors for patients with diabetes. Now clinicians may monitor their patients’ glucose and adjust insulin doses at patients’ homes.
No more limitations on Telehealth. Effective immediately, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists can perform Telehealth services to Medicare beneficiaries.
Physical and occupational therapists can now delegate maintenance therapy services to physical and occupational therapy assistants in outpatient settings.
CMS is now significantly increasing payments for telephone visits. Now they are paid almost the same as office and outpatient visits.
If you or your patients do not have a device with a camera, CMS is now waiving the video requirement for certain services, so that the procedures can be rendered only via phone call.
Also, Hospitals may bill for services furnished remotely by hospital-based practitioners to Medicare patients registered as hospital outpatients, even when the patient is at home when the home is serving as a temporary provider-based department of the hospital, as well as hospitals may be billed as the originating site for telehealth services.