Some coders were already working from home either full time or a few days a week. Many practices and health care facilities implemented remote coding prior to the public health emergency.
Now, more of you are. I call it: Telecoding for Telemedicine
When we look back on this period, on our personal and professional lives, that’s how I’m going to remember. Telecoding for Telemedicine.
I continue to be amazed at all of you who keep working in the day-to-day of medical practices, hospitals, and billing companies. Thank you for keeping the work going, the claims batching and hopefully, the cash flowing. Thanks to the IT staff who got telemedicine working in record time.
And heartfelt thanks to the clinicians and staff who are working on the front lines, seeing patients.
Keeping up-to-date with coding and billing requirements is a challenge in normal times, and these are not normal times. If CMS wouldn’t update their FAQ every week, it would certainly help. And, if commercial payers would all follow the same rules, it would help. But, since neither of those things are going to happen, this is what we can do:
- Share resources and knowledge
- Keep as many claims going out the door as possible
- Be the person in your office (virtual office) who provides calm and certainty, and reassures those around you
- Know that you will need to appeal denials, re-submit claim and chase down payment, but let’s not borrow tomorrow’s problems
I’m keeping an eye on the comments, and responding to those, as well. And, I’ve been thinking about the future and wondering if we are going back to business as usual when this is over. A journalist, Nina Youngstrom, was on a CMS press call. Seema Verma, the CMS administrator, was asked what changes might be permanent after the pandemic ends, and asked about the expansion of telehealth. Ms. Verma replied,
“We are continuing as part of this effort to think about what should be maintained and what should not be.”
Perhaps we’ll be Telecoding for Telemedicine for a long time.