We understand that this time is difficult and hospitals, healthcare professionals, medical billing services, insurance companies, clearinghouses are working on top of their abilities. Of course, no one is undermining the efforts of the healthcare industry. However, the pandemic is not an excuse to not keep clean records of healthcare attributes.
What HHS Has to Say About It?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has cleared the sense of the notion that the disparity in data transmission or data incompleteness is not negotiable.
Inconsistencies in Data Requirements can Effect Physicians’ Revenue Cycle
To follow through with the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund money, physicians must abide by all the terms and conditions.
Important clauses for this relief fund are:
- The fund is only to be used to avoid or respond to coronavirus effects.
- The fund is only to be used as compensation for the lost revenue or the endured healthcare cost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Physicians were quite unsure about how to act to these facts. Of course, medical billing outsourcing companies can’t proceed without their clients’ consent. Therefore, HHS took it upon itself to explain all the complications that restrict healthcare professionals to benefit from this program.
HHS Explains the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Requirements
A few weeks back, HHS issued a draft as in FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) that answered all the physicians’ concerns. Moreover, medical billing services get a chance to look into attributes that were most wanted, especially the documentation of items that home care providers need to record in their records. For Instance,
- Medical supplies to offer healthcare service for possible or actual COVID-19 positive patients
- Medical equipment to offer healthcare service for possible or actual COVID-19 positive patients
- The training/education of workforce offering services for COVID-19
- Getting access to training, resources, equipment, recruitment, etc. to streamline the workflow
Although the expenses should be with respect to the COVID-19 treatment or response, HHS stated that it is highly unlikely that the COVID-19 expense goes back to the date before January 1, 2020.
What are the Lost Revenues that are Attributable to COVID-19?
HHS also explains this phrase. Lost revenue will be subject to any financial loss that is incurred due to the coronavirus. It also includes cases where medical billing companies couldn’t generate revenue for healthcare professionals due to fewer patient visits, canceled or delayed elective medical treatments and procedures, or surging uncompensated loss.
According to HHS, the dedicated fund can also be used to recover costs as long as they are subjected to coronavirus prevention, response, or planning. It implies that the expenses don’t have to be specific to coronavirus-positive or possible patients, but it just has to be lost due to the pandemic.
These funds can also be used to maintain the quality of healthcare billing services and their timely delivery to the patients. For instance, to pay for the payrolls, insurance plans, or EHR (Electronic Healthcare Records) fee.
Fund Allocation for Different Sectors
As per the HHS report:
- $11 billion is for rural hospitals, including Rural Acute Care General Hospitals, Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), and Community Health Centers
- $4.9 billion to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs); an additional $2.5 billion to skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes
- $500 Million is for Tribal Hospitals, Clinics, and Urban Health Centers
This fund can be a ray of hope during the financial crisis period. HHS tried their best to give relief to patients. Now, it is up to medical billing services to strategize and compensate for the losses.