Practice operations depend on a risk assessment of community spread of cases and your state’s current rate of vaccination. It is important to realize that this is a fluid and changing environment, that risk may change with time and decisions may need to change.
Managing Your Practice
Does mandatory vaccination of all staff apply to your practice? In short, we don’t know yet. The Biden Administration announced that it "will require COVID-19 vaccination of staff within all Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities.” Whether the typical allergy office is a “facility” as defined by CMS is not clear, and will be further defined in the development of the regulatory process. If you practice in a Federally Qualified Health Center or Rural Health Clinic or provide services under an arrangement with such a facility, then it will likely apply.
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI): Considerations for Safe Clinical Practice During the Pandemic: written by the COVID-19 Response Task Force (12/20/20)
COVID-19 relief provisions and appropriations for FY 2021 of interest to allergy practices are summarized here.
Frequent updates of regulatory issues related to the COVID 19 pandemic from the AAAAI's professional advocacy partner can be found at https://www.aaaai.org/about-aaaai/advocacy/covid.
Many practices are continuing to utilize telemedicine to see patients. A summary of current regulations and coding and billing guidance can be found here.
Helpful Resources for Telemedicine
Updated CMS Medicare fee-for-service FAQs. Telehealth guidance begins on page 35 and includes additional guidance related to telephone-only codes (Q24), billing of disconnected telehealth visits (Q25) and consent requirements for certain telehealth and other virtual visits (Q32).
The Joint Taskforce on Technology and Telemedicine developed several short videos on practicing telemedicine during the pandemic:
- How do I conduct a physical exam via Telemedicine?
- How do I conduct a professional Telemedicine visit?
- How can I use Telemedicine with my patients who have asthma?
- Telemedicine Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- How to Bill and Code for a Telemedicine Visit During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The AMA, in cooperation with CMS, has released new codes for specific vaccine products. A spreadsheet of all the COVID-19 testing, vaccine and vaccine administration codes can be downloaded here.