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‘The biggest challenge of my career’: Keeping up with telehealth coding changes during COVID-19

Podcast - May 19, 2020

Coding & Documentation

Billing & Collections


In this episode of the MGMA Insights podcast, we’re joined by Nancy Enos, FACMPE, CPMA, CPC-I, CEMC, independent consultant, MGMA, principal, Enos Medical Coding. In her 40 years in practice management, Enos has never seen as many major – and frequent – coding and billing changes as she has since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. 

“After March 17, we had the March 30 and April 30 revisions, which were 221 pages each,” she said. “To cull through that much information and find the most important facts, summarize them and teach them quickly has been the biggest challenge of my career.”

The rapid expansion of telehealth services amid the pandemic has come with a slew of coding and reimbursement challenges for billing staffs across the country. According to a recent MGMA Stat poll, responding healthcare leaders reported inconsistent paNancy-Enos.jpgyer rules, pay parity and accuracy, and documentation as their top three coding/billing challenges for telehealth and telephone visits during the public health emergency. 

Be that as it may, the convenience of the care delivery model from the patient perspective has made it difficult to imagine a future where telehealth access returns to limited levels.

“I’m hoping that after this is over, there’ll be a lot of consideration before things go back to the previous stringent rules about originating site and telehealth platforms,” Enos said. “Now that patients have been introduced to this service delivery, once you give something, it’s very difficult to take it away.”

There’s never been a more important time to understand the medical coding landscape, which is precisely why Enos and other industry experts presented the MGMA online seminar “Coding Essentials for the Non-Coder,” with a spotlight on telehealth and COVID-19. Through this virtual event, attendees gained a deeper knowledge of the major coding principles during the coronavirus outbreak and beyond, learned how to become more strategic in their coding practices and gained insights on how these processes drive practice revenue. 

The seminar, which consists of six 45-minute sessions, is eligible for ACMPE, ACHE, CME and CEU credit. Each session is available as an on-demand recording. 

Session Overview

  • Part I: Coding Best Practices for Telehealth and COVID-19
  • Part II: E/M Services: What’s the Big Deal Anyway?
  • Part III: Coding Basics for the Non-Coder
  • Part IV: HCC Coding for Risk Adjustment 
  • Part V: The Global Surgical Coding Package and the Role of Modifiers: Get Paid Right the First Time
  • Part VI: Coding Practices to Maximize Revenue

Register for the seminar today

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MGMA Insights is presented by Decklan McGee, Rob Ketcham and Daniel Williams.

Thanks to CareCredit for sponsoring this episode. 
  • To learn how CareCredit is providing patients with payment flexibility and helping providers deliver a better patient financial experience, visit

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