Healthcare, Medical Billing Companies, Medical billing outsourcing companies, Medical Billing Services, Surprise medical billing

HHS Says: No Surprise Bills for COVID Patients

HHS – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reserved excessive budget as emergency funds for COVID-19 response efforts. Now, the healthcare professionals affected by the pandemic in any sort (lack of services, resources availability, etc.) can apply for assistance and compensate for their loss.

However, once they apply for these COVID-19 relief funds, the government bars them from sending out-of-pocket care expenses to corona patients. In simpler terms, as claimed by the HHS officials, this program exempts patients from surprise medical bills and supports the financial concerns of all stakeholders (physicians and patients).

Medical billing services of this day and age, in alignment with the program, have to work accordingly. Since they represent practices and their awareness matters, the peace of physicians and patients have to be their top priority.

Just a Reminder, What Are Surprise Medical Bills?

Surprise medical bills are where a patient has to pay the difference between what the insurance pays for them and what the actual charges are for services taken. For instance, if you went to see your doctor, and the care costs reach up to $100 while your insurance only covers $70, the difference, $30, is what you have to pay out of your pocket.

COVID-19 Funds – Terms of Use

In terms and conditions of the emergency relief fund of COVID-19, HHS established that they consider every patient a COVID affectee, whether it is a probable or an actual case. Hospitals and medical billing services have to sign a deal that would not charge out-of-pocket expenses from patients if their insurance plan does not include those services (a practice referred to as surprise billing).

The debate continues if the HHS has banned surprise bills, which was a primary cause of distress for patients and physicians. Because medical billing outsourcing companies often find it hard to collect additional charges from patients.

HHS states that they are trying to clarify terms, which will ultimately help in comprehending the implications of getting the COVID aid. For now, the surprise billing banning extends to only COVID-positive cases.

Healthcare leaders are also in confusion about the legal complications and challenges of the payment balancing. There is still a lot of clarity required to satisfy all queries.

Surprise Bills during Pandemic – The Role of Medical Billing Services

Apart from the HHS efforts, many states are coming forward with policies that prevent patients from surprise billing. It means it is time to consider patients with out-of-network healthcare plans as in-network patients.

It is a critical step toward balancing the shaky healthcare economy and stop the high consumption of resources. Besides, the instability in the healthcare ecosystem is making it nearly impossible to meet ends from patient and physician perspectives.

Medical billing services assist practices with payments in this regard. They also furnish weekly or monthly reports, as suited, to relieve physicians of any revenue stresses.

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Physicians for fair coverage, the non-profit, have proposed a ban on surprise medical bills already. The government’s appropriate measures against surprise billing for COVID patients are incredible and in line with the aspirations of COVID affectees. We must continue this collective effort against balance billing, the goal of which is to attain peace of mind for our doctors and patients.

Via reducing or eliminating surprise bills, provided with a balanced financial solution for medical practices and medical billing services, can make up for lost revenues and maximize revenue opportunities.

What are your thoughts on this?

Medicare Payment Increased for 3 Healthcare Providers Says CMS

CMS (The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) decides to upgrade the Medicare payment adjustments for three types of physicians namely:

  • Hospices
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Inpatient psychiatric facilities

This step is great in order to reward the healthcare professionals in the respective facilities for their up-scaled services, especially during the pandemic.

How it will impact the Hospices?

Right from the year 2021, hospice payment rates will be raised by the market basket percentage of 2.4%. In numbers, this percentage is around $540 million.

Where CMS has shown support in the payment rate, they also demand quality reporting services. Hospices failed to meet the performance threshold will have to face a 2% decline in the annual payment market basket.

The system also has a statutory aggregate cap that puts a limit to payments made to the hospices.

The final cap amount for FY 2021 is $30,683.93 updated by 2.4% as per 2020.

How it will impact the Skilled Nursing Facilities?

The aggregate payments to skilled nursing facilities are going to increase by 2.2%, in 2021, which is $750 million.

These facilities are upgraded by the routine technical rate-setting updates in payments. The final rule also applies a 5% cap on the wage index, which is lower than in 2020. Hearing the concerns of the stakeholders, CMS also tweaked the ICD 10 code maps, which will be in effect from 2021.

The updated mapping address the care based patient characteristics under  Medicare Patient-Driven Payment Model.

However, the payments for skilled nursing facilities depend on the performance of a single claims-based, all-cause, all-condition hospital readmission measure.

How it will impact the Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities?

Inpatient psychiatric facilities will observe an increase in their payment rate by 2.2%, estimated to be $95 million in 2021.

Office of Management and Budget statistical area delineations will be revised to better estimate the cost born by the healthcare professional.

With this update, the following physicians will be able to practice within the scope determined by the state law.

Advanced practice providers including:

  • Physician assistants
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Psychologists
  • Clinical nurse specialists

They also have to record the progress of their patient along with the medical record.

Further efforts would be required to dissolve the inconsistencies that don’t align with the latest final rules changes and to loosen the regulatory conditions.

We hope CMS brings more innovations to reduce administrative burden and improve payment rates for all physicians.

For more updates, visit our page –

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CMS Prioritizes Surveys Post Pandemic for the safety of patients

Every business came to a halt with the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, everything is settling back to normalcy, and CMS is getting back to business with its full strength.

They have officially asked state survey agencies to get on with the normal operations.

According to the CMS (The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) memo, they will be inspecting and regulating quality and safety measures for patients of their authorized healthcare professionals, medical billing services, and other care suppliers. They are to resume their enforcement activities and other surveys in order to get an idea of their performance having patients being the priority.

How Is It Going to Work?

The last few months were hectic for the CMS. They were conducting surveys about the virus control and response in particular, virtually from all nursing homes in America.

However, now non-emergency onsite revisit surveys will be conducted. Compliant surveys and annual certification surveys will now be more focused upon, as soon the right resources are accessible to the team. The on-hold enforcement cases will also see the light of day and be resolved.

CMS also says that they will continue with the desk review policy to ensure that survey parties comply with the federal rules for an onsite survey.

Even during the catastrophic pandemic situation, CMS only focused on patients’ satisfaction.

“They have imposed more than $15 million in civil money penalties (CMPs) to more than 3,400 nursing homes during the public health emergency for non-compliance with infection control requirements and the failure to report coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) data.” (Source: CMS)

Protect the Residents of Nursing Homes

The penalties were an extension to Trump’s vision of safeguarding the residents of nursing homes during the pandemic. However, CMS ensures some comfort as via relaxing the strict quality measures requirements based on the critical situation in any particular state.

Provider Surveys in Progress for a Stable Healthcare System

Given below is the list of types of surveys that would be in the top priority.

The idea is to give healthcare professionals and medical practices the ease to estimate their survey turn and plan accordingly.

The FY 2020 Mission & Priority Document highlighted how survey agencies should resume back to normal work.

  1. Initial surveys of new providers
  2. Special Purpose Renal Dialysis Facilities (SPRDFs)
  3. Past-due recertification surveys without a statutorily required survey interval
  4. Unfinished complaint surveys triaged as non-immediate Jeopardy level or higher
  5. Revisit surveys for past non-compliance that do not otherwise qualify for a desk review
  6. Past-due recertification surveys with a statutorily required survey interval (home health agencies and hospices must be surveyed every 36 months)

(Source: AAPC)

As medical billing companies and healthcare practitioners, we should be ready for audits and surveys, which will also help us to see where we stand in a progressive healthcare system.

Provider billing services, COVID-19 Cases, Healthcare, Healthcare Solutions

New York is All Set to Safely Reopen Schools This Fall

The world at large holds its breath as life is about to normalize. It is going to take more than just the will to reopen amidst COVID-19, especially the schools. What we need to do is act upon a persistent, consistent, and watchful approach. Because one small mistake can cost us precious lives.

We have all missed so much of life during the past few months, especially for the kids it was debilitating enough. The news to reopen schools seems like the right thing to do.

If COVID-19 has taught us one thing, it is gratitude. Quarantine taught us to appreciate the good times before they become extinct. That is for sure!

Every state had its share of COVID-19 cases. However, New York State was hit the worst. Going back a few months, we saw a steep rise, plateau, and then gradually a fall in the curve COVID-positive patients. It took a ton of patience, reassurance, and action from healthcare officials and essential workers to get us out of that desperate condition.
We bounced back big time with our determination and complacency as a nation; now, health experts say, New York is one of the safest places to reopen schools. Governor Andrew Cuomo asks the state officials to make it happen.

Governor Cuomo Says Schools Can Hold In-person Classes This Fall

Provider billing services, COVID-19 Cases, Healthcare, Healthcare Solutions

Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, is confident to reopen schools this fall. He reassured on Friday, August 7, that it is possible to hold in-person classes even if other districts continue to see a surge in COVID-19 cases. Authorities in other states have to decide whether or not to reopen according to the percentage of active COVID-19 cases per day.

CDC & WHO Report A Favorable Time to Bring Kids Back to School

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New York is the capital of the world, once it used to be London; health experts such as doctors, epidemiologists, and others confirm conditions are favorable for reopening of schools throughout the state with safety measures in place.
Not one, but many mental and physical health practitioners consider staying home to do more harm to kids than the virus itself could possibly do.

Since Wednesday, there were fewer than 1 percent active coronavirus cases across the state; that is considerably below the 5 percent positivity limit that both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) agree on as the safety benchmark to reopen schools.

What Does the Mayor think?

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Mayor Bill de Blasio says if more than 3 percent of tests come back positive, schools will remain closed. The daily infection rate if crosses 3 percent per day, it is not a good idea to reopen, says Harvard’s Global Health Institute.
P3 Healthcare Solutions encourages the act of reopening educational facilities this fall. It is for the best because schools will give students something to look forward to every day. We can’t go on like this forever.

P3 caters to provider billing services involving infectious disease experts and pediatricians. For kids to ideally thrive, clinicians reimbursed in full for their services could be the difference.

What do the Experts Say?

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Dr. Uche Blackstock, an urgent care physician in Brooklyn and founder of Advancing Health Equity, says and I paraphrase:

If there’s any city worthy of reopening, it should be New York City.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, is confident about the reopening of schools, according to the New York Times. Besides, initially, it may appear to be a trial run or a social experiment.
Additionally, he believes that New York’s chances of success, regardless of its dense population, are higher than many rural areas where there is a lack of seriousness to control the spread of the virus.

New York Falls within the Yellow Zone

The number of cases per capita criterion is also in favor of this reopening. The Harvard report categorizes regions into zones; 1 to 10 cases per 100,000 people form the yellow zone. The yellow zone regions are safe for in-person classes if the safety precautions such as social distancing and proper infection control measures are in place.
Currently, New York records 3.5 cases per 100,000 daily that puts it in the yellow zone. Yellow zone recommendations are first about reopening for kids from early kindergarten through fifth grade and last about high schoolers.

What Safety Measures to Follow?

Provider billing services, COVID-19 Cases, Healthcare, Healthcare Solutions

The COVID-19 experts are in favor of precautionary measures for schoolers that include mask-wearing, physical distancing, and improved ventilation in buildings.

Other districts have to come up with their own reopening plans. For the protection of both students and teachers, each region must come up with a plan to test them. It is subject to approval from the state’s health and education departments.

In general, experts believe the chorus, band, and sports with physical contact should not be part of the daily routine. Children, instead of eating in cafeterias, are to restrict eating in their classrooms. Schools should also ensure crowds stay away from gathering in hallways at different times of the day.

Earlier, we saw the Trump Administration encouraging practices to reopen as America strives to bring things back to the way they were. What are your thoughts on this?

Provider medical billing service, medical billing, Telehealth Services, CMS updates, Public Health Emergency

COVID-19: Public Health Emergency Telehealth Services to SNF Residents

CMS keeps on providing useful information as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on. In fact, the rebuilding efforts shall continue until a significant vaccine emerges to the scene and puts an end to this virus. When America, on one side, faces the challenge of COVID-19 testing kits shortages, on the other, it is the people who must work on their emotional resilience to continue to survive the 2020 pandemic.

Emotional resilience, the art of managing one’s emotions through the crisis has become even more crucial.

Coming back to today’s topic, the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) does not relax the overall requirements for Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Consolidated Billing (CB); however, CMS releases a set of CPT telehealth codes for coverable time segments as long as the crisis lasts.

New Telehealth Reimbursement-ready Codes

Telemedicine codes like:

  • 99441,
  • 99442, and
  • 99443

assign three different time evaluations of telephonic Evaluation and Management (E&M) services by the provider. Physicians must bill for these services under Part B when providing care to an SNF’s Part A resident.

After such an announcement by CMS, Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) will reevaluate claims – for codes 9941, 99442 and 99443 – with service dates on or after March 1, 2020, that were denied because of SNF CB changes. You just have to sit tight and wait for the collections column to fill up. In case there is a provider medical billing service working on your behalf, they will update you once payments come through.

For those of you who have received payments from an SNF for telehealth services, it is obligatory to return them to the facility once the MAC repurposes your claim.

With COVID-19 still around, these changes had to be released eventually. On the whole, CMS finalized three payment rules for Medicare on July 31, 2020; they concur with payments for Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities (IPF), Skilled Nursing Facilities, and hospices.

We only wrote details for one of them – for SNFs.

CMS depicts an increase in total payments to SNFs by $750 million for FY 2021 or a 2.2 percent increase compared to FY 2020.

To know more about telemedicine’s remedial effects during the pandemic, we crafted a piece on our blog section: Telemedicine Emerges as Cure Outlet Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak. It gives you an outline of where we are headed to with remote visits.

MedBikini Becomes A Symbol of Unity Among Young Doctors

July 30, 2020 – The August 2020 edition of the Journal of Vascular Surgery published an article, “Prevalence of Unprofessional Social Media Content Among Young Vascular Surgeons,” that incited an uproar among young doctors. It compelled us to stand in support of these young professionals, the lifeline of American medicine.

What did we feel on the social pulse?

We saw women in medicine posting pictures of themselves in bikinis using the hashtag – #medbikini – in support of their peer female doctors, especially vascular surgeons who were the focus of this study. Some of the men doctors also stood up to this cause on Instagram which is quite commendable.

The abstract of this research focused on unprofessional social media posts by young vascular surgery fellows and residents. If we go straight to the results of this report, the decision was based on a two-pronged criterion of clearly unprofessional and potentially unprofessional content on their social media accounts.

Gender Equity of the Panelists Matters

Clearly, it makes less sense when we notice the genders of those in the judgment box. All the panelists were males. Instead of addressing this issue keeping the genders in balance, the report passed a judgment against female doctors based on their pictures in a bikini, photos with uncensored profanity, their discussions on controversial topics, and offensive comments about peers/patients/employers. Such behavior was categorized under potentially unprofessional behavior.

The report highlights that the inappropriate behavior by people of medicine may affect a patient’s choice of physician, hospital, and medical facility. We think that’s a bit too much. People are online for a reason, one of them being a distraction from the monotonous cycle of their lives. Even if their patients do check them on social media, pictures of them having a good time should not be an issue. I mean, we all have our “me time” moments, and none of us should be held accountable for them.

Quality Payment Program Stresses on Clinical Outcomes

Moreover, the Quality Payment Program or MIPS 2020 has Quality as one of its performance categories. For this purpose, they may have brought up this issue; however, it has taken an awkward turn because we cannot compare care delivery or care coordination with any levels of social media exposure.

Before they are vascular surgeons or doctors of another specialty, they are humans; we mustn’t forget that. One of the doctors wrote that if she had uploaded a picture of herself on vacation, would it be deemed potentially unprofessional too? It is not right to put them in that place.

I think it is time for us to rethink our societal norms if we want to go there, probe into the personal lives of medical professionals. The same goes for professions such as teachers, professors, and sportspersons. We cannot relate respect to beach outfits or alcoholic hangouts. It is much more than that, and we all know that. Quality of care does not depend on personal endeavors, happy hours, and special moments.

For more on it, and to read the original manuscript, please visit:

To talk to us here at P3 Healthcare Solutions and receive up-to-date HIT solutions, call us at this number: 1-844-557-3227

MIPS Value Pathways, MIPS program, QPP MIPS, QPP 2020, MIPS 2020 CMS administrator, healthcare industry, healthcare sector

An Insight into QPP MIPS Payment Adjustments in 2020

CMS states that up to ninety-eight percent of the eligible clinicians are expected to receive positive payments in 2020 for the year MIPS 2018. The rate is five percent higher than the previous year.

In the upcoming year, the trend of incentives and reimbursements is going to increase as the quality reporting is supposed to improve via MIPS Value Pathways (MVPs). MVPs will be operational from next year.

MVPs – A Chance to Succeed for Everyone

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In order to translate practice’s expertise in the true sense, we must adopt MVPs. Small medical practices and medical facilities in rural areas irrespective of their operational size can earn rewards for their rendered services. Seeing the numerous benefits of the MIPS program, rural medical facilities are participating more and more each year.  Statistics show that there was a rise of four percent in QPP MIPS participation from 2017 to 2018.

The Report Card for MIPS 2018

MIPS Value Pathways, MIPS program, QPP MIPS, QPP 2020, MIPS 2020 CMS administrator, healthcare industry, healthcare sector

CMS has published the results for MIPS 2018 participation. 889,995 eligible clinicians have reportedly received positive payment adjustment, and 872,148 of them have received neutral payment adjustment.

Seema Verma, CMS administrator is quite happy with the results as it depicts the higher number of physicians opting for quality healthcare delivery systems. The quality outcomes also credit the vision of empowered and cost-effective healthcare industry.

Despite the administrative burden, more and more participants succeed in the QPP MIPS. It is due to the lower performance thresholds, which ultimately reflect on payment adjustment. Moreover, CMS doesn’t want to jump up the positive payment adjustment, as it has to be balanced with the negative payment adjustments.

MIPS Future Holds Higher-Performance Thresholds

CMS has planned to make higher thresholds for exceptional performance to reduce the reward distribution. They are working on a strategy to reward physicians who continuously invest in the quality of healthcare and interoperability, and help patients in many manners. This can be seen in the gradual increase in the performance bar for penalties and bonuses.

Seema Verma also hints on supporting clinicians via reducing the burden and providing opportunities for meaningful services. The No-cost Small, Underserved and Rural Support initiative tends to lend a hand with technical assistance for smooth and optimized performance in the healthcare sector.

This program also creates awareness about the quality care and payment model along with helping eligible clinicians with participation in MIPS.

With the research and taking into account what physicians bring to the table, the future reporting criteria is estimated to only include a framework that flows without stressing physicians unnecessarily.

CMS also wants participants’ feedback on the MVPs’ developments. They are looking forward to advancements that help them drive value to the healthcare industry in terms of payment models, lower administrative burden, and cost-effective patient outcomes.

QPP MIPS 2020, MIPS 2020, MIPS Qualified Registries, MIPS and Macra, CMS announces, Medicare Quality Reporting, coronavirus pandemic, healthcare industry

CMS announces QPP MIPS reporting Relaxations for 2020

The last few months have been tough for the healthcare industry. All stakeholders were trying desperately to assist each other and save resources for COVID-19 response.  Of course, meanwhile, CMS also took necessary measures to unburden some of the clinicians’ load.

Where physicians have already burned out with COVID -19 cases, the administrative burden of QPP MIPS 2020 was additional pressure. The dynamics have changed. The contact points that were easily accessible before are now operational via online mediums.

Thus, eligible clinicians and MIPS Qualified Registries can take benefit from it and serve effortlessly to the patients.

At first, CMS requested clinicians to impede elective medical procedures. In simple terms, it means to delay diagnostic procedures or treatments that don’t qualify for emergency conditions.

However, the process of offering flexibilities continues for the QPP MIPS. At first, CMS asked healthcare professionals to delay elective medical procedures and treatments, but with things starting to get back to normal, the Trump administration reopens all medical practices.

Telehealth was another option that was promoted to continue the services along with COVID response. QPP MIPS 2020 is also going to reward physicians who adopted telehealth and practiced it to accommodate patients from every corner. It not only accounts for improvement activities but for promoting interoperability.  It is a great opportunity for scoring high and target incentives.

The following are the relaxation areas that MIPS eligible clinicians can enjoy.

Relaxations for the QPP MIPS 2020

CMS states that the eligible clinicians who are significantly impacted by the public health emergency can apply for Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances to reweight any of the four or all MIPS performance categories.

However, they are required to submit a solid explanation for the impact on their medical practice.

A COVID-19 clinical Improvement Activity under MIPS is also introduced by the CMS.  Eligible clinicians can obtain outcomes via:

  • Participating in a COVID-19 clinical trial Improvement Activity and submit data into a data platform
  • Participating in the healthcare of COVID-19 infectees and submit patients’ data to Clinical Data Registry for research

As physicians are busy battling against coronavirus pandemic, CMS has decided to not use data reflecting from January 1st to June 30th, 2020 for the Medicare Quality Reporting and value-based purchased programs. These measures are taken to give advantage to eligible physicians to some extent as to minimize the administrative burden incurred during data collection and management. A lot of time and investment can be saved, henceforth.

Medical billing services, outsourced billing services, medical billing software, medical billing company, mental health billing5 COVID-19 safety tips, emergency physicians

How to Keep It Together as a Medical Practice as America Reopens?

Are you afraid of the virus?

Well, you are not alone. It has taken so many lives across the world that it is something to be scared of. If someone isn’t, they are either too brave or too naïve to understand it.

You know, who else is brave? The Providers – our health care workforce on the frontlines.

To put themselves out there at a time when most of us are staying at home says a lot about their character. When the risk of COVID-19 is very real, doctors are in obvious danger, and we, as Americans, must understand, support, and appreciate their efforts.

Regardless of the consequences, private practices continue to reopen amidst the virus in addition to the protests on roads. An act this courageous calls for rigorous appreciation for the lot.

When private practices follow Trump Administration’s Guidelines for Opening Up America, medical billing services, as their business associates, support them in a spirited way. From accounts receivable management to payment posting, medical billing services such as P3Care look to expedite the process for increased stability. Let’s look at a few ways’ practices can keep it together as America reopens.

Claims Processing through Medical Billing Services 

Medical billing services, outsourced billing services, medical billing software, medical billing company, mental health billing5 COVID-19 safety tips, emergency physicians

Since patients have to see a doctor, the clinics must align their clinical workflows and entrust claims to be processed as soon as patients check-in. As a medical billing service, it’s better to stay on our toes in times of COVID-19; we owe it to physicians and professional health care services in general.

Despite the hardships we have faced, we don’t want the virus to win. In fact, we want to survive this pandemic and come out of it stronger than ever.

For practices, it is mandatory to keep in touch with medical billing services for smooth claim submissions and MIPS consulting services to stay compliant. When they are on standby, the activity of medical billing and coding remains functional for an uninterrupted workflow. Outsourced billing services are often more feasible than an in-house solution for which there is ample proof available.

Claims include the creation of in-person and telehealth visits. A reliable company can get you reimbursed quickly without unnecessary coding mistakes.

Safety Measures for Waiting Rooms 

We wrote about 5 COVID-19 safety tips for patient waiting areas to minimize the risk of contracting the virus. All of this is for the benefit of providers across America because we, as a MIPS qualified registry and a medical billing service, owe it to them.

Not only that, but it is time for empathy to shine; adopt it as a habit rather than something we are forced to do.

One of the measures by which practices can limit the number of COVID-positive patients is to treat them separately. The sick can visit the clinic from morning to mid-afternoon and those who are not so sick can visit in the next half. It is one of the qualities of medical billing services to consider the safety of providers in the new world order as a segment of their empathetic journey.

Stay Connected to Mental Health Billing 

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In such times when people are under a lot of pressure, stress management is key to surviving the pandemic. Physicians and primary care doctors must be in contact with mental health practitioners at all times for quick recommendations, reviews, and opinions.

Some hospitals and practices use medical billing software and automate the process while others hire medical billing services to do the needful. As an outsourcing company, the pros of medical billing service outweigh the cons for sure.

The fact is, P3Care’s medical billing services for emergency physicians deem fit in times such as these when we are at risk regardless of the number of precautionary measures we take.

It is crucial to pay attention to your mental health as well as of those who come to visit. The virus has left us clueless at home with an increase in incidents related to domestic violence.

In the end

P3 Healthcare has kept it together by utilizing coping mechanisms as a team showing empathy for people who struggle at the hands of COVID-19 one way or the other.

We can only deal with this disaster if we stand together as one community. It is time to eliminate differences of color; we are not black or white; we are only Americans.

We will cease to exist if we start discriminating between each other. How long do you think it will take to create a vaccine for COVID-19?

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P3 Investigates: Trump Administration Plans to Reopen Nursing Homes

P3, as a medical billing service and a MIPS Qualified Registry, keeps in touch with CMS news as it happens. CMS, yet again, informs the public of the plans, the government has for nursing homes to reopen safely with the pandemic still around. While state and local officials follow it to ensure safe beginnings for nursing homes across the country, they are a part of President Trump’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again.

Why were the restrictions put in the first place? The government had to take stern action against nursing homes and put them under quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including severe infection prevention, ample testing, and investigation.

This plan that the government has come up with will be a guide through troubling times as life gets back to normal for nursing homes.

When stats suggest that 8 out of 10 COVID-19 deaths are of citizens 65 and above, the more careful we are the better. We owe it to the seniors of this country more than we owe it to anyone else.

By acting upon this guide, nursing homes will be able to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 exposure and prevent its spread within facilities.

In light of these issued recommendations, states should observe if nursing homes are taking the appropriate and necessary steps to ensure resident safety; moreover, they should know the right time when to reopen doors to the public.

In finality, the information you find here should support states and nursing homes bring families together, reunite them with their loved ones in a gradual manner.

Administrator Seema Verma has led from the front during the crisis; this time, she said and I am paraphrasing it; the coronavirus has had a shocking impact on our nursing homes, and as we reopen the country, we want to be sure that we are doing everything in our power to protect our most vulnerable citizens.

She continued by saying that their constant focus is on the protection and quality of life of the nursing home residents. While we reach the stage when we finally reopen, she said, we want to make sure that the communities have a set strategy moving forward.

Further, CMS recommends additional criteria for the safety of the nursing home residents since COVID-19 poses a direct threat to them as the country passes through the reopening phase. It is to complement the Trump Administration’s broader idea of the Reopening of America Again.

A nursing home, as part of the recommendation, must not advance through phases of reopening until all residents and staff have received their baseline test results.

CMS wants state survey agencies to keep an eye on nursing homes if they suffered from a serious COVID-19 outbreak before reopening.

As its final recommendation, CMS states that homes should remain in the highest state of restriction even if they see relaxation in the community around them, to ensure the preservation of lives.

Moving on, nursing homes will start taking in visitors in phase three, which will only occur when health reports show considerably less COVID-19 cases. Visitors must go through screening and wear a face-covering during the visit.

The guidance was released a couple of days back on May 18, 2020, but we thought by revisiting the recommendations, we can make a difference. P3, as QPP MIPS 2020 reporting registry, has considered it an honor to go the distance for the health of US citizens; this, specifically, goes out to seniors to whom we are grateful.

State leaders in collaboration with local health departments and state survey agencies would implement the guidance to limit COVID-19 exposure in nursing homes. Relaxation of the intense measures in a nursing home should only occur after a careful review of the following factors:

  • Number of COVID-19 cases in the local community
  • Number of COVID-19 cases in nursing homes
  • Available staff members
  • Baseline tests of all residents; weekly tests of all staff members; social distancing; face coverings
  • Presence of enough personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Nearby hospital’s capacity

State and local leaders have a responsibility to see to these factors now and then and adjust their strategies accordingly, depending on the intensity of coronavirus spread in their vicinity. CMS is committed to taking measures that ensure the safety and revival of nursing homes.