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Dilemma of income during limited office hours

  • 03/18/2020 10:33 AM
    Message # 8839953

    Fellow Crisis workers,

    What are your docs considering as staff are voicing concerns about income protection as we start limiting hours? There is a lot of talk about unemployment, sick leave, etc so if anyone knows anything passed by Congress that will mitigate the physician's financial burden during any lock down or restricted hours, please share. 

    I have heard everything from no pay from doctors to doctors subsidizing some percentage of pay for a short time or the use to PTO/Sick time first. 

    Staff have access to unemployment if they are unable to come to work for an elderly loved one or providing childcare due to school shut down. There is also sick time monies available for staff that contract COVID-19. What I'm wondering about are those staff wanting to work but unable because the clinic hours are restricted to ER patients only or if the city/county/state forces a shut down. 


  • 03/23/2020 7:56 PM
    Reply # 8851695 on 8839953

    We have instituted Telemedicine visits. Congress is allowing FaceTime, Google duo, Google Hang out and several others during the crisis. The platform does not have to be HIPAA compliant during the crisis which lasts until Congress declares that it is over. The visit just has to be real-time audio/visual interaction between the physician or mid-level practitioner and the patient. We are getting very positive responses from our patients.

    There is also Doxy.me which has a free, HIPAA compliant version for audio/visual Telemedicine visits. These visits are billed with the regular E&M codes 99213, 99214, etc... along with a place of service 02, and a modifier. (Modifier 95 for commercial and modifier GT for Medicare.) 

    Obviously, not all visits (such as physicals) cannot be done via FaceTime. However, a lot of sick visits and a lot of the follow up visits are able to occur. 

    I did reach out to HR professionals and was told that we can limit hours, place people on furlough, etc... All of which we really hate to do since everyone really needs their paycheck.

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