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.
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.
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?