Coronavirus cases have been spreading like wildfire, and the death toll has crossed 70,000 in the US alone. An unprecedented pressure has been put on the healthcare machinery, which has been aggravated by the lack of masks, ventilators, and personal protective equipment (PPE) kits. The lockdown has impacted the country drastically, and healthcare workers are working round the clock to fight this virus. This period has also seen the invoking of the Defense Production Act by President Trump to expedite the production of ventilators, masks, gowns, gloves, swabs, and kits.
Additional measures have been taken to alleviate the pain caused due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
- Payors have moved swiftly to eliminate the patient’s responsibility related to COVID-19 testing and treatment. This means charging no copays or coinsurance amounts.
- Requirements of prior authorization have been waived for patients seeking testing and treatment related to this deadly virus.
- Telehealth is rapidly expanding and turning out to be a very safe and effective option to obtain physician consultation. This is by far the best way of assessing high-risk patients. During the lockdown, many patients prefer this method. The other benefit is that this is helping in stopping the transmission of the disease. Many doctors are being paid at par with in-person rates to help encourage widespread use of telemedicine.
- Incentives are being provided to the medical professionals who are on the front line fighting against this pandemic.
According to the letter sent to Congress, America’s Health Insurance Plans (https://www.ahip.org/) and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (https://www.bcbs.com/) have outlined measures to minimize the administrative burden, grant early refills on prescriptions, as well as offering financial flexibility to members and employers. (https://www.ahip.org/ahip-and-bcbsa-legislative-reccommendations-concerning-covid-19/).
Their three-prong strategy recommendations involve:
- Temporary relaxation in the form of financial assistance or subsidies to employers to maintain coverage. Temporary assistance to furloughed employees and reduced premiums for individuals who rely on the insurance market exchange to purchase plans.
- Another opportunity in the form of a special enrollment window for individuals who do not have any coverage.
- Support be provided to ensure the financial stability of the plan so that they can continue to service its members.
These measures are aimed at reducing the cost barrier to medical care and make healthcare as affordable and accessible as far as possible during this difficult time. This is a time where one can see the synergy between the public and private healthcare entities, presenting themselves as a unified front to fight the national healthcare emergency.
Zawna Health LLC is 100% committed to being the trusted revenue cycle partner for all our clients, big and small. We understand that we have to stay united and synergize during this difficult time. As one of the best RCM companies in the Florida region, we take great pride in supporting our physicians during this crisis. Together we will eliminate this virus for good.