In uncertain times with many unable to leave their homes, revenue is likely a top concern. Many patients are pushing back or outright canceling appointments in the office. Luckily, there are revenue options in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic for your practice to work with to keep revenue flowing through the worst of the current times. From telehealth to how you bill, these options can make a big difference for your practice during this difficult time.
Telehealth as a Revenue Option During COVID-19
With the temporary changes in telehealth regulations, this is the number one way to keep your practice running. It is important to check local guidelines to learn how exactly payers are reimbursing, but telehealth can keep appointments on the books. Many practices are currently using it from anything from triaging to well patient visits. Platforms for these types of visits are ready to install. In fact, many only take a few hours and your practice could be seeing patients on the same day.
It is important to document any encounter with a patient. Encounters are what drive revenue for practices now more than ever. Keep track of the amount of time you spend on each patient encounter. The time spent will directly relate to your revenue stream. If you code your telemedicine encounters properly, you should see 100% reimbursement for your hard work keeping patients healthy. Coding improperly will only lead to a lesser reimbursement rate.
Chronic Patient Care & Remote Patient Monitoring
One distanced way to continue to care for patients, and keep a revenue stream, is chronic patient care. Thanks for those telehealth regulations, this is simpler than ever. Depending on what community you serve (which is why it’s important to check local guidelines), you can do this over a regular phone, but most regulations require a video option. Keeping track of your time will make it easier.
Remote patient monitoring is part of chronic patient care. This especially can be accomplished without a patient coming into the office for a visit. Any device that collects data, such as a blood pressure machine or glucose monitor, can be used for remote patient monitoring. These devices keep track of data that directly relates to a patient’s health. By monitoring remotely, you can check to see if your patients require any extra care, medication changes, or even open a dialogue you wouldn’t otherwise have because the patient isn’t coming into the office.
For example, spending 20 minutes on remote patient monitoring can be broken up into 5 minute a week timespans. By keeping track of that time, you can properly code the visit for the month. 20 minutes a month spent on what many doctors are already doing can translate to an average $51.63 per patient in reimbursement. To receive reimbursement, use CPT code 99457. An additional 20 minutes a month leads to an additional $42.23 on average. CPT code 99458 should be used for the additional time.
During this uncertain time, patient care is more important than ever. However, it is also important to assess how you are treating patients within your practice. You may already be completing patient encounters that can directly bring revenue in during this time. It is also important to double check what you are keeping track of so that you can code properly.