CMS Gives Reprieve To Radiology Payments Due To COVID-19

The world today is facing one of the deadliest challenges ever. Throughout the journey of civilizations, humans have faced the threat of epidemic several times. Earlier, when the healthcare system was not much developed, and the medicines and other resources were limited, any disease with the potential to spread fast used to become of epidemic proportion.

However, as scientific researches in the field of medical science and pharmacology progressed, the world witnessed fewer incidences of epidemics. Many of the names that once shook the earth no longer exist these days.

However, as the world of medicine and science developed, the microbes also adapted to newer genes. The latest virus that has locked the world within houses is COVID-19. The Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has evolved to become more complicated than its ancestors morphing its RNA into a much different and unknown variety that the medical care castor is finding hard to combat.

With symptoms matching that of the common flu, COVID-19 is capable of damaging the pulmonary functions followed by multi-organ failure. If the body of a person fails to develop an antibody to fight the internal spread of the virus, life brinks on risk.

What makes the Coronavirus lethal is its ability to contaminate human bodies in geometric progression. It spreads quickly from one person to another, even when they do not come in close physical contact. Even a contaminated common medium can be the source of infection. Hence, social distancing and hygienic practices are the only ways out to stop the virus from spreading and generating more fatality.

With no vaccines or medicines in hand or knowledge, the healthcare sector is the one domain that is fighting this virus single-handed. Inevitably, the healthcare sector is going through a rough time, and many of its regular courses of activities are getting jeopardized while managing the influx of COVID-19 patients

Considering the gravity of the situation, CMS, also known as The Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Services, has granted a reprieve from the scheduled quality payment reporting programs to the radiologist, which allowed the industry to take a sigh of relief.

The Announcement Of Relief

Under the COVID-19 pandemic that has already made the lives of the healthcare service providers challenging, CMS gave news of relief when it announced its decision to extend the last dates of submission of the quality reporting programs of radiologists. From the prescheduled date of 31st March, CMS has extended the duration till 30th April.

The performance-based incentives get calculated through these reports accumulated from across the length of the healthcare industry. But, with COVID-19 spreading faster every other day, the people engaged in reporting are not getting enough time to work on it.

This relief of CMS would benefit around 1.2 million clinicians involved in the task. The pandemic has kept everyone engaged these days, and accordingly, CMS had rescheduled the submission dates to offer some relief to the people involved in report making.

CMS made the announcement on 22 March 2020 after going through the Coronavirus fatality reports thoroughly. CMS has never given a relief of this sort ever. This is a kind of new effort from CMS. CMS further explained that by relieving the clinicians involved in the report making process, they are encouraging and making way for the clinicians to join the battle against Coronavirus pandemic to fight on the frontline.

To augment this process, the Trump government in the USA is also cutting on the bureaucratic red tape to allow the healthcare sector to offer its resources and time entirely for the caring of patients.

The Additional Advantages’ under normal circumstances, CMS charges a sum of 7% on the fee schedule if the report submission gets delayed. But, keeping the current emergency in mind, CMS has also altered its regular norms and has declared that no such reductions would be adjusted from the payments even if the clinicians fail to submit the reports on time.

And, any delay in submission would be considered generously keeping the pandemic situation in mind. Admittedly, this is an unprecedented and exemplary move of CMS. Declaring the same, CMS posted in its Radiology Billing and Coding Blog on 24 March.

It further clarified that who has already submitted the reports for the year 2019 will be capable of making changes through the given links and portals till 30 April. CMS has undoubtedly taken a step to make the available healthcare service better and more efficient considering the emergency, and it is undoubtedly a praiseworthy effort.

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