Home care employers are confronting difficult questions regarding how to handle labor and management relations, leave and accommodation, safety and health, and other employment issues.
Littler, a law firm that focuses on labor and employment law, has produced an extensive home care industry FAQ document (41 pages) called “Home Care Industry Coronavirus (COVID-19) Employer Frequently Asked Questions.“ It provides general advice to help address some of the more common questions that home care employers currently face due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Client/Patient Privacy/HIPAA
• CARES Act (Including PPP)
• ADA Considerations
• Leaves of Absence
• Wage & Hour
• WARN Act
• Workers’ Compensation
• Health and Safety
• Labor/Management Relations
• Employee Relations
Litter also has a specific page on their website that provides a useful resource for employers to learn how COVID-19 is affecting various aspects of employment law, and how different jurisdictions are addressing the outbreak. Because the COVID-19 situation is dynamic, with new governmental measures each day, Litter suggests that employers consult with counsel for the latest developments and updated guidance on this topic. Click here to view their resource page.
This information was sent to us by one of EZClaim’s premier partners, AxisCare, who provides a home care system designed with the workflow of a private duty agency in mind. AxisCare provides a scheduling software solution that features a GPS mobile app, automatic invoicing, billing and payroll integrations, custom forms, custom reporting, and more. For more details about their all-in-one home care software solution, view their website.
Since developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic are evolving on a daily basis, EZClaim is continuing to discover resources that will assist its clients in understanding these developments. As always, we are here to support your medical billing needs and hope you are safe and well in this challenging time.
For general information about EZClaim, or details about the features of our medical billing software, visit our website.
Compliance Plan Breakout – Written by Stephanie Cremeans of EZClaim
Any provider that is treating Medicare or Medicaid patients is required to have a compliance plan for their practice. This is mandated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has established an outline of seven components to help the small or individual provider offices get started. They also understand that small practices don’t typically have extensive resources creating and establishing a plan, and encourage practices to start with one item, making the compliance plan a working document that is updated and added to as necessary. The seven components are as follows:
Conduct internal monitoring and auditing
Implement compliance and practice standards
Designate a compliance officer or contact
Conduct appropriate training and education
Respond appropriately to detected offenses and develop corrective action
Develop open lines of communication with employees
Enforce disciplinary standards through well-publicized guidelines
Let’s dig in a bit to the first component, conducting internal monitoring and auditing. Starting with this step will help a practice lay the groundwork of its compliance plan and shed light on areas that need additional work. There is no set number of records that are required to be audited, rather a suggestion of 5 (or more) per provider annually for a small or solo practice. You can start your compliance plan by simply documenting that no less than 5 charts per provider will be audited annually. Keep track of the results and use them to start implementing other components. For instance, you have the audit results, but what is considered passing? What are you going to do if a provider isn’t compliant? Document the answers and you are building your plan. Did the audit show specific areas for improvement? Find applicable training or host training for those that need it, document it in your plan. Did you find overpayments? Document how these are to be handled, resolve them quickly, and put policies in place to prevent a bigger problem.
By taking steps to create a compliance plan and show a good-faith effort to improve on risk areas your practice will reap the benefits of clean claims with a reduction in denials, fewer billing errors, and the assurance that your records are ready for an audit. This will also reduce your risk exposure to fines.
For help getting started with that first audit, setting benchmarks and improvement plans or for education on problem areas contact RCM Insight. For additional assistance with building your HIPAA compliance plans contact Live Compliance.
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