To support AAOS members in delivering the best care possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have compiled timely information here on preparing your practice, financial considerations, telemedicine, patient education, and more.
Telemedicine, Coding & Reimbursement
CPT Codes for COVID-19 Vaccines
The American Medical Association (AMA) has created new Category I CPT codes related to COVID-19 vaccinations, with vaccine-specific CPT codes and administration CPT codes (September 2021) CPT Codes for COVID-19 Vaccines
AAOS COVID-19 Coding Guide
New CPT® codes and revised policies and regulations can be challenging for practices to navigate. The AAOS provides comprehensive information on how to use telemedicine codes, as well as CMS telemedicine reporting guidelines for the expanded telemedicine benefits for Medicare beneficiaries (updated October 13): AAOS Coding Guide for COVID-19
AAOS Telemedicine Resource Guide
Many clinicians and practices are rapidly transitioning to telemedicine. The AAOS provides valuable guidance for telemedicine via telephone and video conferencing: AAOS Telemedicine Resource Guide
CMS Telehealth Coverage Updates
The AAOS has compiled relevant updates from the CMS regarding telehealth coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic (updated May 7): AAOS Telehealth Medicare Coverage Updates
Telemedicine Coding Quick Guide
The AAOS Coding team has created a quick reference tool for telemedicine visits (updated May 4): AAOS Telemedicine Quick Guide
AMA COVID-19 Coding Guide
Find guidance on how to use the new American Medical Association (AMA) CPT® codes, including patient scenarios and telemedicine codes: AMA COVID-19 Coding and Guidance
AAOS Orthopaedic Code-X®
To help you stay current with new and revised CPT® codes, the AAOS’ redesigned, web-based coding tool, Orthopaedic Code-X®, offers automatic code updates, remote access, and a newly introduced mobile app. In addition to orthopaedic coding, this comprehensive tool includes comorbidities and telehealth, plus relevant articles and information pertaining to coding in this changing environment.
Health Plans and COVID-19 Coverage
To help clinicians evaluate health insurance coverage policies for telemedicine services, the AAOS has created a comprehensive listing of commercial health plan payers and their coverage polices during the COVID-19 pandemic: AAOS Telemedicine Policy Tracker
HHS Waiving Certan HIPAA Telehealth Violations
Learn more about how the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has waived certain HIPAA violations for providers using FaceTime, Skype or other “everyday communication” channels to treat patients remotely: HHS - Notification of Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth Remote Communications
HHS FAQs on Telehealth & HIPAA
The Office for Civil Rights at the HHS provides quick answers to important questions about telemedicine and HIPAA: FAQs on Telehealth and HIPAA During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
Karen Zupko Telehealth Resource
The speed with which clinicians and healthcare facilities have needed to shift to telehealth presents a variety of challenges. AAOS partner, Karen Zupko & Associates, Inc. has developed a comprehensive resource regarding the ever-changing telemedicine guidelines. Telehealth Solutions Center
Presented by AAOS member volunteers and the Coding, Coverage and Reimbursement Committee, the Transition to Telemedicine webinar provides guidance on using virtual platforms, creating effective telemedicine visits, and telehealth coding and reimbursement.
Clinical & Practice Guidance
AAOS COVID-19 Vaccine Resources
After careful consideration of the available evidence, the AAOS gives its full support for the widespread adoption of the COVID-19 vaccination. The AAOS has determined that public health benefits outweigh the risks because vaccination is unlikely to cause shoulder issues.
More information about this decision can be found in the January 6 press release, as well as the recent AAOS Position Statement titled "Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy and Glenohumeral Arthritis Are Unlikely to be Caused by Vaccine Administration."
In addition, the AAOS has developed for members a Frequently Asked Questions document that provides more information on the evidence that supports this decision, including information regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and the AAOS Annual Meeting in August 2021 and how to answer patient questions about the vaccine.
AMA COVID-19 Vaccine Resources
The American Medical Association (AMA) has created a COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Center to curate clinical vaccine guidance to help combat vaccine misinformation, as well as COVID-19 vaccine FAQs. Both the Physician FAQ and the Patient FAQ can be printed and shared.
In addition, the AAOS supports the AMA's #Mask Up campaign and encourages you to use #MaskUp resources in your social media and patient communications.
JAAOS Plus Webinar: Practice Management During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Presented live on August 10, 2020, this one-hour recorded event features surgeons from large musculoskeletal multispecialty groups who share their recommendations for navigating these challenging circumstances. Content is focused on how surgeons and their teams can return to an infrastructure that can effectively and efficiently adjust to the built-up demand following the COVID-19 pandemic.
This JAAOS Plus Webinar is free for AAOS members and offers 1 CME credit. Log in with your AAOS credentials to access.
Financial Impact of COVID-19 on Physician Practices - American Medical Association
According to a survey of physician practices conducted by the American Medical Association, the economic impact of COVID-19 on health care continues to reveal itself through reductions in patient volume and revenue and in higher practice costs: AMA Survey Infographic
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers several online resources with practical tools clinicians can use to care for patients with COVID-19, keep other patients and staff safe, and help their practices adapt as the pandemic unfolds.
- Guidance to help reduce the risk of spread in your practice: Prepare Your Practice for COVID-19
- Steps to take to reduce facility risk and protect you, your colleagues, and your staff: Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings
- Interim guidance for establishing return-to-work criteria for staff and healthcare workers with suspected or confirmed coronavirus disease: Criteria for Return to Work for Healthcare Personnel with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19
- Contingency strategies to help stretch PPE supplies and crisis capacity strategies during severe shortages: Strategies to Optimize the Supply of PPE & Equipment
- Assistance in preparing for staff shortages that might occur due to COVID-19: Strategies to Mitigate Healthcare Personnel Staffing Shortages
AAOS CARES Act Resources
The AAOS has prepared helpful summary documents that outline the provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act that are most relevant to orthopaedic surgeons and their patients.
Family First Coronavirus Response Act
The Family First Coronavirus Response Act includes expansions to the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act. This resource provides information about the expansions that are pertinent for practices and clinicians: Families First Coronavirus Response Act Overview
CMS Workforce Virtual Toolkit
COVID-19 has had a profound impact on today’s workforce, introducing a variety of concerns for employers and decision makers. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR) have curated a range of tools to navigate the new workforce reality: Workforce Virtual Toolkit: Resources for Healthcare Decision-Makers Responding to COVID-19 Workforce Concerns
Joint Commission Webinar on Preventing COVID-19 Transmission
In this webinar recorded May 5, the Joint Commission provides an overview of COVID-19 routes of transmission and focuses on prevention strategies for freestanding surgical centers to consider prior to resuming elective procedures: Preventing Coronavirus Transmission in Ambulatory Surgery Centers
Financial Information & Student Loans
AAOS Articles on Federal Small Business Relief Programs
The AAOS has developed summaries of the various federal loan and grant programs that have been created or expanded to counter the economic challenges related to COVID-19.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Programs
- Paycheck Protection Program
- Main Street Lending Programs
- Provider Relief Fund
- Accelerated and Advance Payments Program
Resources from SoFi
With the ever-changing times, uncertainty, and economic changes, there are many questions related to practice and personal finances. AAOS partner SoFi has created an online resource to help you navigate your personal situation with up-to-date information. Everything from understanding the CARES Act and how it impacts you to the Paycheck Protection Program, student loans, and more: A Guide to COVID-19 and Your Finances
Quick Chart on Small Business Relief
The AAOS created this quick chart to outline small business relief programs available due to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to mitigate economic impact: AAOS Small Business Relief Chart
FCC Funding FAQ
The AAOS developed an FAQ for providers applying for funding from the COVID-19 Telehealth Program through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). AAOS FCC Funding FAQ
Webinar on Minimizing Financial Impact of COVID-19
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, a full-service, national law firm headquartered in Cincinnati, recently presented a webinar titled “Strategies for Healthcare Entities to Minimize the Financial Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis.” The 30-minute, interactive session addressed challenges related to funding resources and revenue opportunities. Access the PowerPoint presentation and webinar recording online.
Address Liability Issues at State Level
The American Medical Association (AMA) and the Medical Professional Liability Association have created a new resource to help address liability issues arising from COVID-19 at the state level: Recommendations for Pursuing Liability Protections Through State Action
Patient Education & Physician Wellness
OrthoInfo COVID-19 Resources for Patients
OrthoInfo, the Academy's patient education website, has published a COVID-19 Resource Center for patients. Find articles and Ortho-pinions on a range of topics relating to the coronavirus, including telemedicine, bone and joint health, and how orthopaedic surgeons continue to provide care during the pandemic. COVID-19: Information for Patients
- The COVID-19 Vaccine and Your Bones and Joints
- Questions and Answers for Patients Regarding Elective Surgery and COVID-19
- What to Do If Your Orthopaedic Surgery Is Postponed
WHO Recommendations for Staying Healthy in Workplace
The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a package that provides healthcare facility managers and personnel with an overview of the key actions required to stay safe and healthy in the workplace and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19: WHO COVID-19 Risk Communication Package for Healthcare Facilities
Medicare and Medicaid
CMS Regulatory Revisions
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Programs (CMS) have made several regulatory revisions in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. This AAOS quick-scan reference summarizes the changes to help you determine how they might impact you and your practice: AAOS Medicare and Medicaid Policy and Regulatory Revisions
CMS Relief for Participation in Quality Reporting Programs
CMS has granted relief for clinicians, providers, and facilities participating in Medicare quality reporting programs. Learn more about the programs that will be included in the upcoming measure reporting and data submission deadlines: CMS Relief for Clinicians, Providers, Hospitals and Facilities Participating in Quality Reporting Programs