As Florida faces the COVID-19 pandemic, the Florida Society of Neurology would like to offer our support and encouragement to Florida neurologists trying to deal with sick patients, making hospital rounds, and trying to secure childcare as well.
As I am sure you are aware, no medical conferences will be taking place this spring, including the AAN meeting in Toronto. The FSN annual meeting is scheduled for October 2-4, 2020, and we have every reason to believe that this will go forward as planned. This will be an excellent opportunity to get your CME and to make face to face contact with colleagues you are missing during this time of social distancing.
Many practitioners are choosing telehealth as a substitute for patient encounters. The FSN wants to make sure you are aware of updated Medicare rules regarding telehealth. According to CMS.gov Medicare Telemedicine Healthcare Provider Fact Sheet:
Effective for services starting March 6, 2020 and for the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, Medicare will make payment for Medicare telehealth services furnished to patients in broader circumstances.
These visits are considered the same as in-person visits and are paid at the same rate as regular, in-person visits.
Starting March 6, 2020 and for the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, Medicare will make payment for professional services furnished to beneficiaries in all areas of the country in all settings.
While they must generally travel to or be located in certain types of originating sites such as a physician’s office, skilled nursing facility or hospital for the visit, effective for services starting March 6, 2020 and for the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, Medicare will make payment for Medicare telehealth services furnished to beneficiaries in any healthcare facility and in their home.
The Medicare coinsurance and deductible would generally apply to these services. However, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) is providing flexibility for healthcare providers to reduce or waive cost-sharing for telehealth visits paid by federal healthcare programs.
To the extent the 1135 waiver requires an established relationship, HHS will not conduct audits to ensure that such a prior relationship existed for claims submitted during this public health emergency.
In addition, FSN would like you to be aware that Governor DeSantis announced a 0% interest one year loan for all small businesses in Florida, with 50 million dollars allocated to provide economic relief during this crisis. Those of you in private practice should take advantage of this opportunity to help bridge the gap during this difficult time. Apply starting March 17, 2020 at Floridadisasterloan.org.
We at the Florida Society of Neurology wish you and your patients health and security during these difficult times.
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