An Ounce of Prevention
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced it will provide $249.5 million in funding for healthcare providers delivering telehealth services. The funding will go to eligible healthcare providers to cover the costs of connected devices, telecommunications services, and information services that enable the delivery of telehealth services, including remote patient monitoring (RPM), during the pandemic. The FCC indicated that it expects to open the funding application window by April 30, 2021.
Chronic disease has been quietly waging war on American lives throughout the entire 21st century, quickly rising to the top of the most common causes of death in the United States. Some of the major chronic diseases, such as heart disease, chronic lung disease, and type 2 diabetes, are preventable, yet 6 out of 10 American adults still have at least one chronic disease and 4 out of 10 suffer from two or more chronic diseases. Furthermore, the prevalence of chronic diseases crushes our healthcare system with a confounding $3.8 trillion in annual healthcare costs, leading chronic disease to act as a tremendous drain on both staffing and financial resources.
Just saying the word "audit" is a surefire way to make a practitioner's heart skip a beat. So, while we apologize for including the word in our title, we're glad to have grabbed your attention. It was only a matter of time before remote patient monitoring (RPM) received federal scrutiny. That’s why it wasn’t surprising to see RPM included in a January 2021 announcement by the Office of Inspector General that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would be conducting a series of audits of Medicare Part B telehealth services in two phases (with RPM part of the second phase).
Chronic care management (CCM) made its debut in 2015 when it was rolled out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as a separately paid service under the Medicare fee schedule. The rationale behind its inception was to offer an avenue of compensation for practitioners who provided care to their patients outside of the normal confines of the average office visit. The introduction of CCM coincidentally led to a more efficient means of care teams proactively engaging and managing patients with problematic chronic diseases, in turn improving outcomes and reducing treatment costs.
The use of telemedicine and telehealth, fueled by the pandemic, are quickly solidifying its place as a permanent facet of modern healthcare. Within telehealth, some of the most positive — and exciting — developments are occurring with the use of remote patient monitoring (RPM). The expanding usage of RPM, also referred to as remote physiological monitoring, is improving patient health outcomes, reducing the overall cost of healthcare, and improving the quality of life for many patients with chronic diseases. One of the most beneficial uses of RPM is for those suffering from heart failure. Outpatient care techniques that leverage home monitoring for heart failure management are proactively working to reduce the rates of acute exacerbation, keeping heart failure patients out of the hospital and healthier for longer than ever before.
In an unusual development — albeit a welcomed one — the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a correction to the 2021 Medicare physician fee schedule final rule that clarifies several areas of confusion concerning the billing requirements for remote patient monitoring (i.e., remote physiological management).
From its creation in 1984, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has been a significant influence in healthcare, helping to recommend and determine the most beneficial and effective clinical preventive services. With the goal of creating a positive impact on the health of all Americans, the Preventive Services Task Force reviews and updates existing clinical preventive service guidelines and evaluates new preventive service recommendations. Through the diligent work of USPSTF, practitioners are armed with the most reliable and current clinical prevention tactics available, helping them to create a positive and lasting impact on the health and wellness of their patients. Read on to learn about six things you should know about the Preventive Services Task Force.
This quick guide from Prevounce provides brief background information on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and then identifies ACA preventive services and the CPT codes that correspond with each service. Along with the CPT codes, the guide identifies patient eligibility for each service. When listing all associated CPT codes would be impractical for a guide of this nature, we have provided a link to a webpage that provides the CPT codes you should use.
In this blog, we'll discuss what some practitioners consider to be a pesky service: the Medicare wellness visit, also referred to as the Medicare annual wellness visit or AWV. For various reasons, the very phrase "Medicare wellness visit" can instill a sense of loathing and dread. Confusing and unclear language concerning Medicare wellness visit guidelines can leave practitioners confused, potentially resulting in missed income opportunities for practices and missed preventive care opportunities for patients. However, the downsides of skipping the Medicare wellness visit are worse: harm to your bottom line and potentially harm to your patients if they do not receive this essential service elsewhere.
Prevounce Health, creators of the Prevounce Care Coordination Platform, congratulates Alexandra (Ola) Baczynski, the recipient of the first Prevounce Preventive Health Graduate Scholarship.