April 2020
Colorado health insurance providers respond to the COVID-19 epidemic
The Colorado Association of Health Plans has compiled a list of actions health plans are taking to make access to care easier during the COVID-19 pandemic -- with direct links to each health insurers' website for specific instructions on how to take advantage of these opportunities. Examples include waiving cost sharing for COVID-19 testing or treatment, waiving cost sharing for in-network telehealth, eliminating prior authorization for services related to COVID-19, providing financial and administrative relief to providers, and more. See the full list here.
First distribution from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund on its way to providers
The Colorado Medical Society joined the American Medical Association (AMA) and other medical societies across the country in a successful advocacy push to get financial support for physician practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 10, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the immediate disbursement of the first $30 billion out of the $100 billion that Congress allocated to hospitals, physicians, and other health care providers in the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act Provider Relief Fund distribution policy adopted by HHS reflects the recommendations from organized medicine made to Secretary Azar last week, although it is not exactly what we proposed. In part, the differences stem from the administration's approach of first disbursing $30 billion and later determining how the remainder of the funds will be allocated. Getting these funds flowing to help sustain many physician practices as the COVID-19 response continues is an important step that will pave the way for further disbursements in the near future. Read more here.
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On-demand webinar available: "Limiting the Financial Impact on You and Your Practice"
The Colorado Medical Society hosted a webinar on Friday, April 3, "Limiting the Financial Impact on You and Your Practice," during which panelists answered questions about the $2 trillion federal COVID-19 relief package and actions Colorado physicians and practices can take to stay afloat during these turbulent times. Watch the archived version of the webinar here.
Coding advice during the COVID-19 public health emergency
The American Medical Association has published special coding advice during the COVID-19 public health emergency, updated April 3, presenting 18 best-case coding scenarios. Access the document here.

Additionally, the Colorado Medical Society reached out to partners for a list of codes being associated with confirmed and suspected treatment of COVID patients.
  • University of Colorado (CU) Medicine reported they are using Z03.818, Z20.828, and U07.1.
  • According to the WHO and another of our partners who responded, U07.1 is the diagnosis code for COVID while U07.2 is used for clinical/epidemiological diagnosis of COVID where lab confirmation is inconclusive or not available. U07.2 may serve the same purpose as “COVID-19-like symptoms.”
  • Partners who responded also gave feedback that a COVID-suspected-but-undiagnosed code would be very helpful as it does not currently exist.
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Kaiser Permanente providing COVID-19 testing to some health care workers
CDPHE is currently partnering with Kaiser Permanente to help provide COVID-19 testing to symptomatic health care workers and first responders -- including those who are not Kaiser members -- who do not have access to testing through their employer. Testing is available at eight locations between Loveland and Pueblo. To schedule an appointment, contact CDPHE at 303-692-2700 and ask to speak with a clinical consultant about Kaiser testing. Once approved by CDPHE, you will be able to schedule an appointment at one of Kaiser’s testing tents if appointment slots are available. Tests are run at the CDPHE laboratory and results will be reported out by CDPHE directly to the patient. Thank you to the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians for this news alert.
Join CMS for virtual town hall meetings on COVID-19 each Wednesday, 6 - 7 p.m.
As you know, since March 18, the Colorado Medical Society and our partners in the Colorado House of Medicine have hosted a weekly virtual town hall on COVID-19 featuring expert speakers who present information relevant to practices and answer questions from the audience and moderated by CMS President David Markenson, MD, MBA. The next town hall is Wednesday, April 22, 6 - 7 p.m. Register here.
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Take Credit Cards? Is Your Practice Ready for the Oct. 15 EMV Deadline?

Important! What your practice needs to know about switching to EMV: Click here.
CMS staff is regularly updating our website with COVID-19 resources; visit cms.org/covid-19
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From the AMA: Resources for private practices during the COVID-19 pandemic
The American Medical Association released three new or updated resources for private-practice physicians in response to the unique operational and business challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. A financial checklist that provides physicians and administrators with high-level guidance and 14 practical tips for keeping medical practices in business during this public health crisis.
  2. Eight recommendations for navigating non-essential care to support physicians and practices in developing policies and procedures to triage non-urgent patient requests appropriately.
  3. Updates to the Quick Guide to Telemedicine in Practice, a resource designed to help mobilize remote care with implementation tips, as well as a reference to Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for reporting telemedicine and remote care services.
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