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American College of Physician Advisors

COVID-19 Updates & Resources


Post-acute Waivers Urgently Needed

November 6, 2020

A gap has arisen between the waivers that traditional Medicare has in place for post-acute destinations and those granted by health insurance plans. ACPA BOD member Dr. Edward Hu and ACPA President Dr. Charles Locke discuss how post-acute waivers are urgently needed during this latest COVID-19 wave.

New COVID-19 Codes Coming

September 15, 2020

ACPA BOD member and CDI Committee Co-Chair, Dr. Erica Remer discusses the new COVID-19-associated codes coming from the latest CMS ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee meeting in this article.

CMS: Hospitals Need Proof of Positive COVID-19 Test to Get 20% Medicare MS-DRG Bonus

August 24, 2020

CMS announced hospitals will lose the 20% Medicare bonus for treating inpatients with COVID-19 unless there's proof of a positive test as of September 1st. Learn more about this rule and other associated documentation and billing challenges from ACPA Advisory Board member, Dr. Ronald Hirsch in this Report on Medicare Compliance article from Nina Youngstrom.

More COVID-19 Questions Answered

August 11, 2020

People are getting more sophisticated and knowledgeable about COVID-19, but our BOD member and CDI Committee Co-Chair, Dr. Erica Remer, is still getting a lot of questions, including what to do with patients who are being tested for COVID-19, had it previously, or currently test positive for antibodies for COVID-19, suggesting a previous infection. Read more in her latest ICD10monitor article.

CMS Opens Door to G0463 Billing for Remote Physician Visits

August 6, 2020

The confusion over what code to use when hospital-employed physicians perform virtual visits with patients has reared its head again in the latest FAQ from Medicare released on July 28th. Learn more from ACPA Advisory Board member Dr. Ronald Hirsch in this article.

The Third Surge: Are We Prepared for the Non-COVID Crisis?

May 13, 2020

While a second surge of COVID-19 cases may be coming, health systems should also prepare for a "third surge" consisting of patients presenting with chronic medical conditions for which they have been, so far, avoiding follow-up and managing at home. Learn more from ACPA members Dr. Rupesh Prasad (@rupeshp011) and Dr. Venkataraman Palabindala (@RamanMDMBA) in this article from the May edition of the Society of Hospital Medicine's, The Hospitalist.

COVID-19, the SDoH, and Payers

July 15, 2020

How are payers addressing the impact of COVID-19 on their beneficiaries? Learn how they're stepping up (or not) in this article from NPAC2020 slated speaker and ACPA member, Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP.

CMS Releases COVID-19 Data, with SDoH Front and Center

July 1, 2020

Due to COVID-19's rising numbers, especially amid communities and populations most vulnerable to racial and socioeconomic disparities, CMS is again emphasizing the power of value-based reimbursement. Read more in ACPA member and #NPAC2020-slated speaker, Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW ACSW LCSW CCM CRP, DBH's article in

Racial and Ethnic Inequalities During COVID-19 Can’t Be Ignored

June 29, 2020

We don't know the true percentage of the population that has or has had COVID-19. But, one of the facts not being contested is that racial and ethnic minority groups are being disproportionately affected. Read more in this ICD10monitor article from ACPA BOD member and CDI Committee Co-Chair, Erica Remer, MD, FACEP, CCDS.

No Codes for COVID Manifestations

June 15, 2020

There are multiple manifestations of COVID-19 that make for clever acronyms, but won’t yield an ICD-10-CM code. Learn about all of them and how to address in this article from ACPA BOD member and CDI Committee Co-Chair, Dr. Erica Remer.

Querying when a Pending COVID-19 Test Returns Results

June 11, 2020

ACPA BOD member and CDI Committee Co-Chair, Erica Remer, MD, FACEP, CCDS offers her suggestions for querying providers after COVID-19 testing results return in this article.

SDoH and COVID-19

June 3, 2020

ACPA member and slated NPAC 2020 speaker Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW ACSW LCSW CCM CRP describes in this RACMonitor article how the Navajo Nation has been significantly impacted by #SDoH issues compounded by challenges posed by #COVID19.

ASC Partnership as a Hospital without Walls

May 27, 2020

Everyone is anxious for life to return to normal, but none more than those patients who had their surgery cancelled due to #COVID19. Under the 1135 waiver, any hospital may contract with an ASC to provide services “under arrangement.” Learn more from ACPA Advisory Board member Ronald Hirsch, MD, FACP, CHCQM, CHRI in his latest RACMonitor article.

COVID-19 and Long-Term Care: A Troubling Combination

May 13, 2020

ACPA member Benjamin Kartchner MD, CHCQM-PHYADV explains how providers nationwide are seeking to identify ways to mitigate the uncontrolled spread of #COVID19 amid vulnerable populations within nursing homes in this RACmonitor article.

COVID-19 Coding Dilemma: Z20.828 and Z03.818

May 5, 2020

ICD-10-CM codes under the current guidelines are not robust enough to tell the story correctly. The American Hospital Association (AHA) guidance tried to eliminate some of the confusion about Z03.818, Encounter for observation for suspected exposure to other biological agents ruled out, and Z20.828, Contact with and (suspected) exposure to viral communicable diseases. Learn more from ACPA BOD member and CDI Committee co-chair Dr. Erica Remer in this ICD10Monitor article.

COVID-19: To Query or Not to Query; To Report or Not to Report?

May 5, 2020

According to the official coding guidelines, ICD-10 code U07.1 for COVID-19 may be reported under the following circumstances: As documented by the provider; documentation of a positive COVID-19 test result; or a presumptive positive COVID-19 test result. Learn more from ACPA member Robert Kopec, MD, CPE, CCDS, CHCQM-PHYS ADV in this ICD10monitor article.

Diagnosing COVID-19

May 4, 2020

ACPA BOD member and CDI Committee Co-Chair, Erica Remer, MD, FACEP, CCDS explains how providers can diagnose COVID-19 based on clinical and epidemiological judgment and without a positive test. Learn more in this ICD10monitor article.

Keeping Cool, Calm, and Conservative Amid the COVID Chaos: Perspective from a Frontline UM Physician Advisor

May 1, 2020

ACPA member and #NPAC2020-slated speaker Dr. Stephanie Van Zandt discusses how she worked to guide providers in her health system to make the right status decision for #COVID19 patients in this RACmonitor article.

COVID-19 and America’s Racial Divide

April 17, 2020

A great deal of attention has been devoted to the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on communities and populations with the largest minority segments, especially persons of color. COVID-19 has further widened the gap between the haves and have-nots, leaving a formidable chasm. Learn more from ACPA member and slated #NPAC2020 speaker, Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW ACSW LCSW CCM CRP in this RACmonitor article.

News Alert: COVID-19 Prompts NUBC to Add New Code

April 17, 2020

National Uniform Billing Committee (NUBC) guidance was updated with the missing ICD-10-AHA code for COVID-19 screening: Z11.59. Learn more from ACPA BOD member and CDI Committee Co-Chair, Erica Remer, MD, FACEP, CCDS in this ICD10monitor article.

UPDATED: SNF-Eligible Patients with Nowhere to Go: A Review of the Options

April 17, 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic, new issues seem to appear daily, including an increasing difficulty with skilled nursing facility (SNF) placement. Read more in this RACmonitor article from ACPA Advisory Board member, Ronald Hirsch, MD, FACP, CHCQM, CHRI.

COVID-19: Digital Chasm Impacts Needed Telehealth Expansion

April 15, 2020

NPAC2020-slated speaker, Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW ACSW LCSW CCM CRP, explains how COVID-19 is exposing a digital divide between the haves and have-nots in this RACmonitor article.

The COVID-19 Impact on Custodial Admissions

April 15, 2020

Patients presenting to hospitals via the emergency department due to an inability to care for themselves is not new. But the COVID-19 pandemic has added a slew of new concerns and obstacles for hospitals across the country. Read more in this RACmonitor article from ACPA Interim President, Juliet B. Ugarte Hopkins, MD, CHCQM.

The COVID-19 Victims We Aren’t Discussing

April 15, 2020

The exact number of deaths from COVID-19 is an area of uncertainty. It also remains unclear how to count the death of a patient who dies with evidence of infection by coronavirus, but was never diagnosed with COVID-19. Read more from ACPA Advisory Board member Ronald Hirsch, MD, FACP, CHCQM, CHRI in this article from RACmonitor.

We now Have a Code for COVID-19; Here’s How to use it Correctly

April 15, 2020

Sort out how to use the World Health Organization ICD-10 code of U07.1 for #COVID19, sensibly. It became valid as of April 1, 2020.  Read more in ACPA BOD member and #CDI Committee Co-Chair Erica Remer, MD, FACEP, CCDS's piece in ICD10monitor.

You Have COVID-19 Questions, We Have Answers

April 15, 2020

ACPA BOD member and CDI Committee Co-Chair, Erica Remer, MD, FACEP, CCDS answers questions posed during ICD10monitor TalkTenTuesdays about COVID-19 which they were unable to address during the broadcast.

CMS Clarifies Patient Financial Responsibility for COVID-19 Testing

April 8, 2020

Read the latest from ACPA Advisory Board member Ronald Hirsch, MD, FACP, CHCQM, CHRI on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services plans so far for covering costs for COVID-19 care in this RACmonitor article.

Communities Work to Manage COVID-19 and Homelessness

April 1, 2020

COVID-19 has populations at risk for all determinants, especially the “housing compromised.” Homeless individuals are three times more likely than the average person to have underlying or chronic health conditions, and they are at increased risk of acquiring and carrying, if not dying, from COVID-19.  Learn more from slated #NPAC2020 speaker, Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW ACSW LCSW CCM CRP in this RACmonitor article.

COVID-19 Resources: The SDoH and Population-Based Care

March 27, 2020

Everyone is coping with the new norm imposed by COVID-19, with those at risk for the social determinants of health (SDoH) facing even tougher challenges. This RACMonitor article from slated #NPAC2020 speaker, Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW ACSW LCSW CCM CRP offers a broad look at emerging resources.