COVID-19 Practice Management - Liability, CMS Codes/Modifiers, and Upcoming Webinars 

As of April 1, there are 359 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alameda County and 8 deaths (including City of Berkeley information). As of April 1, there are 250 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Contra Costa County and 3 deaths. Please check for the latest updates. 
Reduce Liability Exposure by Sending Out Memo to Employees

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, ACCMA has worked with Debra Phairas of Practice & Liability Consultants to assist medical practices in reducing liability exposure. Amid the COVID-19 outbreaks, experts predict an uptick in claims against employers. Please review this downloadable sample memo , recommended by Debra Phairas, that medical practices may encourage their employees to sign ahead of any potential litigation.
Medicare Telehealth Changes – Codes and Modifiers

CMS added to the list of services that can be provided via telehealth to include additional hospital services, home visits, and domiciliary services . Additional services that are temporary additions to the services that may be performed via telehealth include care planning for patients with cognitive impairment, psychological and neuropsychological testing, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. These services can be provided to new or established patient visits.

In order to bill office visits or any of the services mentioned above you must have interactive, real-time audio visual with the patient. If phone only, look at the phone codes that are now covered.

To view a full list of payment for phone calls and a list of Medicare Telehealth Services, please review the attached article , written by Mary Jean Sage of The Sage Associates.
CMS Sweeping Regulatory Changes

On March 30, 2020, at President Trump’s direction, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an unprecedented array of temporary regulatory waivers and new rules to equip the American healthcare system with maximum flexibility to respond to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These temporary changes will apply immediately across the entire U.S. healthcare system for the duration of the emergency declaration. These changes intend to allow hospitals and health systems to deliver services at other locations to make room for COVID-19 patients needing acute care in their main facility, to expand the healthcare workforce by removing pre-existing barriers, to temporarily postpone paperwork requirements so healthcare facilities can focus on patient care, and to promote telehealth services.

To view some of the actions CMS is taking during the COVID -19 pandemic, please click here .
CMS Provider FAQs

How long will it take the MAC to approve a physician or non-physician practitioner’s temporary Medicare billing privileges?

The MAC will attempt to screen and enroll the physician or non-physician practitioner over the phone and will notify the physician or non-physician practitioner of their approval or rejection of temporary Medicare billing privileges during the phone conversation.

The MAC will follow up with a letter via email to communicate the approval or rejection of the physician or non-physician practitioner’s temporary Medicare billing privileges. Note: Physicians and non-physician practitioners who do not pass the screening requirements will not be granted temporary Medicare billing privileges and cannot be paid for services furnished to Medicare beneficiaries.

Is CMS suspending most Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) medical review during the Public Health Emergency (PHE) period for the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes, CMS has suspended most Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) medical review during the emergency period due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes pre-payment medical reviews conducted by Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) under the Targeted Probe and Educate program, and post-payment reviews conducted by the MACs, Supplemental Medical Review Contractor (SMRC) reviews and Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC). No additional documentation requests will be issued for the duration of the PHE for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Targeted Probe and Educate reviews that are in process will be suspended and claims will be released and paid. Current postpayment MAC, SMRC, and RAC reviews will be suspended and released from review. This suspension of medical review activities is for the duration of the PHE. However, CMS may conduct medical reviews during or after the PHE if there is an indication of potential fraud.

To view the full list of Medicare Provider Enrollment Relief FAQs please click here and to view the full list of Provider Burden Relief FAQs please click here
Upcoming Webinars
Friday, April 3 | 12:15 – 1:15 PM | FREE

Join us for a webinar to learn about the latest federal incentives available to medical groups and physicians in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chris Bell, a partner with Moss Adams, will discuss federal and state tax filing updates, provide an overview of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Families First Coronavirus Response Act, review options made available by Disaster Relief Small Business Administration loans as well as perspectives he's hearing from clients who are responding to the epidemic in real-time. To register for this webinar please click here .
Leading with Compassion: Supporting Healthcare Workers in a Crisis (presented by Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare)
Tuesday, April 7 | 10:00 - 11:00 AM | FREE
Join Richard Westphal, PhD and Patricia Watson, PhD as they discuss specific strategies health care leaders and managers can use to address the five essential human needs that support recovery from adversity and stress. They’ll also explain how to use the Stress First Aid framework for conducting a stress and coping assessment. Following their presentation, Schwartz Center Chief Medical Officer Beth Lown, MD, will moderate a brief Q&A session. To register for this webinar please click here

Please contact ACCMA at 510-654-5383 or with any questions or concerns you have. Although we may not currently have an immediate answer to all questions, we want to know the information and resources that you need to continue to provide care for our community during this difficult time.  
This information will also be posted online at and will be updated frequently. Please check the ACCMA website regularly for updates.