It’s been a difficult year, to say the least. The pandemic has had a lasting effect on every aspect of our lives. How we work and live has changed—perhaps indefinitely. ACOFP has been a source of constant support during these months, and I am extremely grateful for my ACOFP family for helping me through these difficult times.
Patients are adapting to the new care delivery paradigm, and studies show very high telehealth satisfaction rates. Telehealth quickly has become a key feature in our health care delivery system, but current health care requirements are struggling to keep pace, particularly as they relate to state licensure.
This is the last installment in our three-part series covering physician-focused proposals in recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed regulations. In this edition, we will discuss two proposals in the Calendar Year (CY) 2021 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) proposed rule. These proposals are relevant for physicians practicing in outpatient hospital settings who receive Medicare payments.
Throughout the PFS Proposed Rule series, ACOFP will highlight major proposals relevant for members and encourage individual physicians to submit comments to CMS. In this first blog post, we discuss the recent telehealth proposals in the PFS proposed rule.
I am proud to say that the initiatives I had hoped to share with the 2,000+ registered attendees in NOLA have not been delayed. I am grateful for the support, dedication and collective energy of the ACOFP Board and staff in adapting to our new circumstances. I am looking forward to continuing these efforts and hoping that one day soon we get the chance to share an osteopathic hug. I am hopeful that our country can forge a path that includes empathy, peace and good health.
Recently, several physicians have created patient education handouts on COVID-related topics. Simply download the PDFs below and print them out for easy distribution to your patients.
Congress is currently negotiating a new COVID-19 package to stimulate the economy and provide financial relief for individuals and families. For many members of Congress, continuing to provide student loan relief is a major priority although it currently is unclear how this important issue will be addressed in this legislation.
So, you got a payment from the Provider Relief Fund—now what? Most ACOFP members will have received a General Distribution payment, which generally consisted of two payments. Providers have to take several steps to accept and retain the money received.
These past three months have been challenging for people all over the world. As health care providers, we have not had the privilege to stay at home to avoid exposure. As family physicians we have made ourselves available by phone, online and, at times, in person. Our first duty has been to our communities and our patients.
Over the past two months, many family medicine physicians have seen their practices develop or expand telemedicine capabilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This shift towards telehealth virtual care delivery has created equally great opportunities and challenges. Rapid modification of traditional outpatient workflow processes to support the provision of care in a virtual environment has been critical during the pandemic to maintain patient health care access and ensure medical practice viability. Although the changes in workday procedures has been profound for physicians and patients, we must consider that the impact of these changes has also been seismic in scale for support staff.
We have a racist among us and it is not a person. It has no particular involvement with any political party. This racist has crept in an insinuated itself into our homes, our schools, our workplaces and where our most vulnerable live, like nursing homes. Health disparities can be caused by economic status, race, close living conditions, limited access to continuous health care, geography, lack of green space and a paucity of healthy food access.
People were howling, setting fireworks off and celebrating at 8:00 pm to honor and support health care workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. This filled me with a sense of pride and hope that I and fellow health care workers are not in this alone but are supported by our neighbors and community that we serve.
COVID-19 has emerged and infected every aspect of our lives and well-being. With changes in billing and HIPPA regulations, utilizing telemedicine has allowed us to adapt in a short period of time, to protect our most vulnerable patients. It also offers protection for our safety on the frontlines as primary care physicians. Of course, as a wife and mother, I was relieved to protect my family. However, I can’t help but wonder, why did it have to take a global pandemic to protect our most vulnerable populations?
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged physicians around the country in so many unique ways. Family medicine physicians have faced the challenges of diagnosis and treating patients with COVID-19, protecting their work teams and now increasing financial strains—all of which threaten the practices.
Patients with EDS could have comorbid conditions that make them especially vulnerable to viral infections during this outbreak. The incorporation of telemedicine limits in-person visits and minimizes exposure to patients, staff and providers.
Discharged: Alive. That is the best thing I have read all week. My entire office celebrated. Our first COVID-19 patient fell ill quickly, became hospitalized, was transferred to intensive care and then intubated. I suppose in the bigger picture this may not seem like the biggest victory against the pandemic, but it was for our clinic.