Monthly Newsletter

OCTOBER 2020

Monthly Newsletter

Earn Free CEUs for Reading this Newsletter

New! Checking Medicare Eligibility Fact Sheet 

A new Checking Medicare Eligibility Medicare Learning Network Fact Sheet is available. This is a perfect part of your Front Desk/Intake and New Medical Billing staff orientation training. Make sure you bill appropriately for Medicare-covered supplies and services. Find out how to check eligibility through online Provider Portal, tools and services – Click Here for the CMS webpage and download the Fact Sheet.



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Sexual Harassment

Effective Practices for Preventing Sexual Harassment

On September 25, 2020 the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published the Effective Practices for Preventing Sexual Harassment 5 page notice.  This is not a guidance but written to help Universities and other entities that receive Federal Financial Assistance from Health & Human Services (HHS).   Federal Financial Recipients are required to provide education and student health programs in environments free of sexual discrimination.  Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination.  OCR is available to offer technical assistance to university Title IX Coordinators and staff on all civil rights obligations.  If you would like assistance, please contact your Regional office or email OCR’s main mailbox at OCRMail@hhs.gov.  


Click Here for the Sex-Based Harassment webpage for more information.



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OIG COVID-19 Workplan: September 2020 Updates

Three September 2020 Updates to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Workplan are related to COVID-19.  Work plan items range from Resources Needed to Address COVID-19, Infection Control at HHAs and COVID-19 Testing Data from Federal Programs

 

Click Here to view Recently Added Work Plan Items.



More COVID-19 Updates 

New Tools to Streamline Certification for Labs Testing for COVID-19

On September 25th CMS, in an attempt to reduce burden on providers, has published a Quick-Start Guide to help laboratories with the application process for CLIA certification. 

 

The Guide includes information on the expedited review process implemented at the beginning of the public health emergency that allows labs to start COVID-19 testing before the official paper certificate arrives by postal mail.  Laboratories also have a new option to pay CLIA certification fees on the CMS CLIA Program website.  Online payments are processed overnight, which is substantially faster than hard-copy checks.  Today’s actions are part of the Trump Administration’s efforts to expand testing in the nation. Click Here to download the Quick-Start Guide. Click Here for more information from CMS. Click Here for short, online Coding & Billing COVID-19 course.


Do you know BARDA?

Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority


BARDA is part of the Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness & Response. BARDA supports the transition of medical countermeasures such as vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics from research through advanced development towards consideration for approval by the FDA and inclusion into the Strategic National Stockpile. HHS is offering FREE COVID-19 Online Training, Webinars and Peer-to-Peer Sessions and other resources for healthcare and public health professionals.  Click Here to learn more.


COVID-19 & Telehealth:  Click here for the Quick Sheet PDF



Changing Age Distribution of the COVID-19 Pandemic 
Sept 23, 2020 Report

As of September 21, 2020 the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had resulted in more than 6,800,000 reported U.S. cases and more than 199,000 associated deaths.


Early in the pandemic, COVID-19 incidence was highest among older adults. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) examined the changing age distribution of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States during May - August by assessing three indicators:

  • COVID-19-like illnesses-related emergency department (ED) visits
  • Positive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results for SARS-CoV-2; and 
  • The virus that causes COVID-19, and confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Nationwide, the median age of COVID-19 cases declined from 46 years in May to 37 years in July and 38 in August.  Click here to read the full report.



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Uncertain Times: COVID-19 and the Opioid Crisis

We recommend health care providers and administrators stay abreast of what is happening with the opioid crisis and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The COVID-19 Pandemic is Fueling the Opioid Crisis!”  is the Fact Sheet published by the National Institute of Health – Environmental Health Sciences. As part of the Opioids & the Workplace: Prevention and Response worker training program.  The Fact Sheet lists major elements of recover that may be disrupted by the pandemic and how social isolation challenges sobriety.


The American Medical Association (AMA) updated their brief in September, 2020 “Reports of Increases in Opioid-Related Overdoes and Other Concerns During COVID Pandemic.”  This publication sites great concern by the AMA regarding increases in opioid-related mortality.  


Also, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has published their report “FDA’s Risk Evaluation & Mitigation Strategies: Uncertain Effectiveness in Addressing the Opioid Crisis.”  




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Improper Billing Results in Practice Director Paying over $1 Million

DOJ Report – Eastern Pennsylvania

The Department of Justice reported on September 21, 2020 that the Practice Director Pnina Kuznits of Dr. Sagi M. Kuznits’ Neurosurgical Care is paying $1,017,375.03 to resolve liability under the False Claims Act for the alleged improper billing of electro-acupuncture devices called Stivax and/or P-Stim and a memory-loss device called eVox.


“Dr. Kuznits, as a surgeon, should have known better.  P-Stim is clearly not surgery and should not be billed using the surgical codes improperly pushed by marketers,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Williams.  “Dr. Kuznits failed to do his own independent due diligence which would have shown that he could not bill federal healthcare programs for P-Stim. Instead, he chose to take the money based on the self-serving representations of those selling the product that Medicare would pay for it.”


Click Here to read the DOJ News Report.


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Coding & Billing

COVID-19

Short Course

Learning objectives for this course:

  • Understanding the pandemic
  • MIPS & COVID-19 Relief
  • Coding for Circumstances Related to COVID-19
  • CPT Reporting for COVID-19 Assessments
  • Telehealth Toolkits
  • Lab Test Coding & AMA New CPT Codes


Register Today!

Corporate Compliance

(OHCC)
Certification Course

Online, On-Demand with no scheduled classes to attend during your 3-month access to course materials. Access your course information 24/7, by logging into the AIHC website. A qualified, certified instructor is available upon request to address questions you may have during your training experience.

  • Approved for 18 continuing education units by the American Institute of Healthcare Compliance for AIHC Certified Professionals.
  • Approved for 18 continuing education units for use in fulfilling the continuing education requirements of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).


Register Today!

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