Since early 2020, clinics and providers have experienced a surge of new clinical information to deal with around the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (often called COVID-19). The new information required comes in many different areas, including:
- Risk assessment – helping patients determine what activities can put them at higher or lower risk of contracting the virus
- Diagnosis – determining what symptoms are indicative of the virus, and when a person should isolate, quarantine, or seek medical attention
- Treatment – figuring out the most effective ways to treat patients who are experiencing severe symptoms, and when it’s necessary to send them to a hospital for more intensive care
- Billing and coding – identifying and using new billing codes, diagnostic codes, telemedicine codes, and other important aspects to get paid for the care you provide
- Laws and regulations – learning about changes to existing laws or rules from payers that allow you to provide care in new ways to patients when you can’t see them in person
All of this is enough to keep many providers (and office managers, along with medical billing and coding staff) up at night. If you’re confused about what’s going on, the best thing you can do is know where you can go for more information.
Command Center: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is kind of like the command center for all public health information in the United States. Since this virus is affecting just about every country, they are also working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), which was founded in 1948 in the wake of World War II to help countries coordinate their approach to public health policy and combat disease that can threaten people across international borders.
Where to get more information:
- CDC facts about coronavirus
- CDC toolkit for outreach and education
- CDC COVID-19 information for healthcare professionals
- CDC preparedness tools for healthcare professionals and facilities
- WHO COVID-19 information
You can also find information from your state and local health departments about specific initiatives or tools available in your area to combat the spread, notify the public, identify hotspots, and other important activities.
COVID-19 Regulatory Changes & Billing
Many providers also have questions about how to properly bill for COVID-19 care, including billing for testing, diagnostics, and for telemedicine visits that you would have conducted in person were it not for the pandemic. Many national medical associations and other similar organizations have resources to keep you updated:
- American Medical Association (AMA)
- American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
- Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA)
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Providing Care During the Pandemic
Finally, you may need resources to safely reopen your clinic and learn more about how to provide care to patients either by telemedicine, telehealth, or in person during these difficult and rapidly evolving times. There are many resources available to help:
- AMA COVID-19 resource center for physicians
- AMA resources for keeping your practice open
- AAFP practice management resources
- CDC steps to prepare clinics to reopen and care for patients
We know that this is a difficult time for providers, clinical staff, operations managers, and patients. If you are looking for technology tools that can improve your ability to provide telemedicine visits, create more opportunities for remote care through telehealth, and streamline operations during a difficult time, talk to AdvancedMD today about our suite of software solutions.