The whole world is going through a pandemic. The world’s governments and health organizations are begging people to stay home and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of a deadly virus. Healthcare facilities are battling day and night to combat the novel virus with thousands of corona-positive patients getting reported daily throughout the world.
All sectors, whether it be the IT industry, the medical industry, or the manufacturing industry, have been affected by the pandemic. As far as the medical industry is concerned, the impact is huge and significant. COVID-19 has resulted in unpredictable revenue cycles for healthcare organizations, but even then,healthcare professionals are fulfilling their duties on the frontline.
COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the medical coding and medical billing sector. Everyday we are learning more about the medical billing and coding challenges that healthcare professionals face during the pandemic.
Challenges in medical billing and coding
Notable issues have been raised by healthcare professionals regarding medical billing and coding. Due to continuous changes in healthcare regulations and telehealth, it is hard for them to keep updated about every change.
The physicians now must ensure that they know everything about the out-patient services, in-patient services, and patient healthcare plans. With rapidly changing rules and regulations, the staff and healthcare professionals must get adequate training to face the upcoming challenges properly.
This is a major issue, but other small issues add to this challenge as well.
This new trend of telehealth visits has taken the medical industry by storm. Most of the outpatient visits are being transferred to telehealth visits. This means that now every physician must have a clear understanding of various kinds of patient health plans. Telehealth plans require complete knowledge of health histories, pre-auth approvals, fee rates, and documentation required by the insurance companies.
Frequent changes in Medicare Regulations
Numerous changes are being imposed by Medicare regarding rules and regulations for healthcare professionals and providers. Healthcare organizations and medical providers must go through each detail of every modification made by CMS to discover every billable out-patient and in-patient service.
Moreover, hospitals must also comply with the law and treat every corona-positive patient with extensive care, regardless of how they are medically insured. With the help of telehealth plans and visits, healthcare organizations are managing the critical situation.
During the pandemic, it has become very difficult to do claim submission to insurance providers and get back a timely response and reimbursement, but there are many opportunities for the providers to collect advanced payment from Medicare. This will help assuage revenue performance.
To keep the revenue cycle running, it is important to keep the medical billing and coding office working. Since the spread of COVID-19, it has become difficult for in-practice medical billers and coders to continue their best quality work. This has had a direct impact on patient care and satisfaction.
It has been extremely difficult for small organizations (ones with restricted or limited cash inflows) to cater to the demands of patients.
Hence, it is important to shift your medical billing office online and work remotely, otherwise it could result in delayed payments. Moreover, failing to convert to remote billing will hinder medical coding and billing responsibilities, leading to decreased profits and poor cash flow.
To overcome such challenges, it is important for every organization to have an action plan to minimize losses and to keep the revenue cycle performance stable.
How can one overcome these challenges?
To overcome the impact of COVID-19, the federal government and national bodies are looking to help healthcare organizations by uplifting their revenue cycles.
While CMS is helping the providers by deploying cash advance options managed by medical billing and coding offices, the government is hoping to release development plans for the betterment of healthcare professionals and medical facilities. The government is cautiously, with much contention and debate, taking an initiative, albeit painfully slow, to help medical facilities overcome financial issues.
Are you in need of a billing service?
During this pandemic, what you need is a partner in medical billing and coding to increase your system efficiencies and revenue cycle management processes of your medical practice. If you are ready to boost your revenue cycle needs with a long-term partner and simultaneously save you out-of-pocket costs, contact us and learn what we have to offer you.