As COVID-19 cases continue to surge, it’s more important than ever to stay up to date on Coronavirus news.

In mid-November, reported cases of COVID-19 in the United States surpassed 12 million. With the holiday season upon us, experts fear an even bigger surge. Though the flu and COVID-19 are two completely different viruses, the flu vaccine could keep patients from being hospitalized should they contract the coronavirus.
Dr. Ming-Jim Yang at the University of Central Florida in Gainesville performed an analysis on the medical records of 2,000 COVID-19 patients and suggests those who get a flu vaccine have a lower risk of hospitalization if and when they get COVID-19. You can read the full study here:

Vaccinations are being developed and scientists hope to begin giving them to the public in early 2021; however, on November 22, 2020, a press release by AstraZeneca and Oxford reported that efficacy ranged from 62% to 90% depending on the strategy and that there are a “number of variables that we need to understand.”
It has also been reported that the COVID-19 vaccination could come with several undesirable side effects. Some side effects reported are:

• Fatigue
• Muscle and/or Joint Pain
• Headache

The possibility of experiencing these side effects are higher than that of the Flu vaccine but immunologist Drew Weissman at the University of Pennsylvania states Tylenol can combat any negative side effects of the vaccination.

Insurance companies are still implementing cost share waivers while the Coronavirus Pandemic continues to ravage the world.

UnitedHealthcare Cost-sharing for COVID-19 related visits and testing will continue to be waived until January 21, 2021. Cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatments will be waived until December 31, 2020 for in network subscribers who have an Individual and Fully Insured Group Market Health Plans. For patients who have a Medicare Advantage plan, cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment will be waived until December 31, 2020.

Cigna Cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment will be waived until December 31, 2020.

Aetna Cost-shares will be waived until December 31, 2020 for all Medicare Advantage plan members for in-network primary care and specialist telehealth visits, including outpatient behavioral and mental health counseling services. Cost-sharing will be waived for both COVID-19 related visits and non-COVID-19 related visits. For commercial plans, Aetna extended all member cost-sharing waivers for covered in-network telemedicine visits for outpatient behavioral and mental health counseling services through December 31, 2020. Other telemedicine visit cost-share waivers ended June 4, 2020.
Aetna recommends the continued use of telemedicine visits as their first line of defense for appropriate symptoms or conditions to limit potential exposure in physician offices.

Medicare Cost-sharing for COVID-19 diagnostic testing or antibody testing for any member with Medicare Part B has been waived until the end of the public health emergency. Be sure to use the Cost Sharing modifier (CS) on the applicable claim lines.
For hospitalizations related to COVID-19, deductibles, coinsurance sand copays will still apply.
You can find the full list of COVID-19 guidelines here:

Medicaid All patients who have a Medicaid plan should abide by state and local regulations.

About PGM

Physicians Group Management (PGM) is one of the fastest-growing medical billing companies in the United States. For over 35 years, PGM has been providing medical billing and practice management services and software to physicians, healthcare facilities, and laboratories. PGM’s current client base encompasses the full spectrum of medical specialties, including Internal Medicine, Dermatology, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Pathology, EMS & Ambulatory Services, Cardiology, Nephrology, Urology, Pain Management, OB/GYN, Gastroenterology, Independent Laboratory, and many more. PGM’s medical billing and practice management solutions include:

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Practice management software that provides advanced financial and practice analysis tools, specifically designed to give enhanced visibility of operations at the click of a button
Laboratory billing software that offers best-in-class systems to streamline, and manage and track, financial and administrative processes