Use This Toolkit to Make Best Decisions for Your Practice’s Finances
By David Doolittle

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The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t changed just the way you care for patients, it’s also changed the business of caring for patients.

Across the state, physicians like you are dealing with decreased and cancelled patient encounters; reduced billings, revenue, and cash flow; staff shortages and reductions; restricted work hours and locations; and limits on non-urgent surgeries and procedures.

In fact, 54% of respondents to a recent survey conducted by the Texas Medical Association, already have cash flow problems, and 40% of that group have one or fewer months of reserves on hand.

Adding to physicians’ stress are the ever-changing rules, guidelines, and flexibilities related to telemedicine, human resources, coding, billing, submitting claims, and more.

To help you make informed decisions for your practice during the pandemic, TMA today released a Practice Viability Toolkit that provides the most up-to-date information and resources.

“Certainly, every industry and our entire economy will suffer as a result of the pandemic. However, if the health care industry is allowed to fail then the health of our patients, our state, and the country will suffer for years to come,” TMA President David C. Fleeger said in a statement. “We have a dedicated team of TMA staff ready to help not only our members but all physicians. That’s right, these resources are available to all Texas physicians. We are a community and we are in this together. Fight the good fight knowing that when this is over, we will return to a new normal because our TMA has our back.”

The toolkit covers:

  • Telemedicine, including technology, HIPAA relaxations, prescribing, coding and billing, and policies and procedures;
  • Cash flow, including Small Business Administration loan assistance, lines of credit, payment deferrals, loan refinancing, and loans from private banks;
  • Payers, coding, and documentation, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), commercial plans, workers’ comp, and claims submissions;
  • Human resources, including wages and hours, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and termination and unemployment benefits;
  • Advocacy, such as mass critical care guidelines, non-urgent, elective surgeries and procedures, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), payment parity for telemedicine services, liability protection, and stay-at-home guidance; and
  • Additional TMA resources. 

The toolkit, and other tools, resources, and information can be found on the practice viability section of the TMA COVID-19 Resource Center.

Last Updated On

April 07, 2020

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David Doolittle

Editor

(512) 370-1385

Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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