Medical Practice/Business Relief Questions & Updates
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve rapidly in Ohio and across the country. First, let me say thank you to all the physicians and staff that are either on the front line or trying to see patients to provide needed care and working to keep practices open. We are here to help you in whatever way we can. Below is a quick overview of the latest information for Ohio physicians and upcoming issues.
As promised last week, the OSMA, in partnership with CliniSync, developed a recorded webinar—Ohio: How to Conduct a Patient Visit Electronically. We will publish information on accessing the webinar tomorrow and you will be able to ask questions electronically directly to our experts after viewing the recording. The webinar explains telehealth options, consent and security issues and documentation and coding considerations. Make sure to also visit our webpage where we are trying to provide the latest information at OSMA.org/telehealth.
Liability/Malpractice Questions and Guidance
As physicians are postponing procedures following recommended state guidelines for treating those with COVID-19 symptoms and beginning to see patients via telemedicine, a number of questions are being asked about malpractice coverage and liability. The OSMA’s preferred partner, The Doctor’s Company, has provided some excellent guidance in a recently developed FAQ. In addition, OSMA is reviewing state statutes and working with other impacted organizations to assess any legislative or regulatory changes that can be made during this time of crisis to ensure the proper protections for physicians are in place.
Extension of Pre-certification/Prior Authorization
As physicians are being asked to postpone previously scheduled procedures and surgeries, we are working with both public and private insurers to extend the timeframes for which you have received patient pre-certifications so you won’t have to go through the additional administrative burden of the process when you reschedule the surgery. Several commercial insurance companies have extended deadlines already (for example Aetna has extended pre-certifications out for 9 months) and we are working with Medicaid and Medicare on similar extensions. We will provide a comprehensive list of what is available when we release our medical practice business relief tool kit later this week.
CMS Delays Quality Reporting Deadlines
On Sunday, CMS announced a delay to upcoming quality reporting deadlines. For 2019 data, reporting deadlines have been delayed by one month until April 30, 2020 and considerations are being made for those that won’t be able to file by that time. Likewise, CMS is reviewing all 2020 data reporting requirements and will be considering changes in the near future.
Bureau of Workers' Compensation Premium Delays
Ohio BWC announced this weekend that insurance premium installment payments due for March, April, and May for the current policy year may be deferred until June 1, 2020. At that time the matter will be reconsidered. BWC will not cancel coverage or assess penalties for amounts not paid because of the coronavirus pandemic. BWC has released an FAQ with more details on the deferment and other coronavirus related activities.
Medical Practice Business Relief Toolkit Coming
As we have done for telehealth, we are currently gathering all available resources from the federal, state and private sector that we believe can assist you as a small business to help keep your practice viable during these really challenging and uncertain times. We plan to aggregate that information for you and make it available Wednesday night with what we know and what we are still advocating for at the state and federal level. We are also planning some complimentary educational webinars to walk you through various opportunities as they become available.
Thank you again for your commitment to the profession during these very challenging times. We are attempting to bring you information in a timely and relevant way as it becomes available. Right now, we are here to serve all physicians and their patients. If you have any questions or concerns, we want to hear from you. Please email me directly or give me a call at 614-527-6762.
Be well and be safe.