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August 2020

As August comes to a close, practices continue to navigate their way through the new normal of COVID-19. There’s still so much uncertainty. Will patient volumes flex up and down as we head into the fall? Will payers continue to cover telehealth? How will practices continue to secure much-needed personal protective equipment? Will critical access hospitals and providers in rural areas be able to survive financially when they face so many challenges that are only exacerbated by COVID-19?


We don’t have a crystal ball, which means we don’t have the answers. However, what we can do is provide you with the latest updates. Following are four news stories from this month that should be on your radar. Take a look, and let us know what you think. What is your number one challenge at this point, and how can Physician Practice Resources help? Email us at info@ppr-corp.com. Most importantly, stay safe out there.


CMS publishes its CY2021 physician fee schedule proposed rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposes a whole host of changes your practice should understand: Additional telehealth-approved services; remote patient monitoring payment clarifications; increased payment for the Initial Preventive Physical Exam, annual wellness visit, transitional care management, and much more. Be sure to comment on the rule before it’s too late. The deadline is October 5.


Rural areas will see expanded access to telehealth services

A recent executive order expands access to telehealth services for 57 million Americans in under-served rural areas and elsewhere, ensuring that telehealth services expanded during the pandemic remain in place even after the public health emergency ends. Will this help address social determinants of health that cause access challenges? Let’s hope so. Still, challenges remain. This article in the New York Times cites several: Cost, potential for fraud, and lack of patient access to technology. Has your practice embraced telehealth? If so, what are the continued challenges and barriers?


COVID-19 code changes persist

The American Medical Association continues to publish new CPT codes and guidance for COVID-19-related services. Also note that providers can now get paid for coronavirus counseling services performed at the time of testing. This CMS resource provides information on how to bill these services. It also includes a provider counseling Q&A, provider counseling talking points, provider counseling checklist, patient handout, and more. Does your practice have a process in place to stay abreast of these changes?


New payment model for rural healthcare organizations coming soon

The Community Health Access and Rural Transformation payment model provides up-front funding and predictable payments for rural healthcare organizations. There are two tracks for participation, one of which is specifically for rural Accountable Care Organizations. Critical access hospitals can partner with Community Lead Organizations to participate in the Community Transformation Track that includes up-front funding, financial flexibilities, and operational and regulatory flexibilities. Contact us to learn more about implications for your facility.


About us

Physician Practice Resources, Inc., founded in 2002, headquartered in Matteson, IL is a full service company that partners with small and large organizations to build solutions that enhance operational effectiveness, improve clinical documentation and decrease overall compliance related risks. Our core competencies include: Consulting Services, Medical Coding, Temporary Help Services, Professional Management and Development Training, Continuing Education Webinars/Workshops and Coding Exam Preparation and Tutoring. Contact us at https://www.ppr-corp.com/about-ppr-corp/ for more information.


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