2020 Advocacy Recap – 2021 Looking Ahead

November 20, 2020

Zotec Partners made a decision several years ago that if we wanted to serve our clients and the healthcare community to the best of our ability, we needed to give them an opportunity to let their voices be heard. The best way to ensure that happening was to give them a seat at the table with the people that were crafting the policies that govern the way healthcare does business. Zotec Partners’ advocacy continues to advance this goal.

ZPAC is more dedicated than ever to protecting the business of healthcare, which has changed considerably, but still there are many things that remain the same.  As we look ahead to 2021, we are still challenged by many of the same issues; several that you can take action on right now, if you haven’t aready:

  • Re-evaluation of E/M Services is something that we support; however, Congress needs to waive Budget Neutrality, in order to pay for it.  Further reductions to a conversion factor that has had a positive meaningful increase in past years is dangerous, and will ultimately impact patient access to care;
  • Out of Network Billing/Surprise Medical Billing at the federal level and over 80 bills in 30 different states including GA, MA, MI, OH, OR, PA, TX, VA and WA;
  • Large Commercial Carriers employing aggressive and self-serving tactics during a time of great vulnerability for patients and physicians; and
  • Monitoring Scope of Services, on a statewide basis, across the nation.

Zotec will continue to advocate for physician compensation and patient access to care as we look ahead to a very important election.  For those of you that have not taken action, please consider doing so by visiting Zotecpac.com.  We remain hopeful that these large and complex issues have bipartisan support, and we will aggressively monitor and advocate for a physician friendly resolution.

COVID-19 Response

This year we created a dedicated page at: Zotecpac.com/COVID-19, that contains all of the updated information on the CARES Act, Provider Relief Fund details, and updated CPT coding information. Most of this content was created during the height of the pandemic in the beginning of the spring and into the summer. 

As the government has passed additional legislation, we have continued to break the information down and provide the most important and applicable information to our clients, while actively addressing these challenges with relevant calls to action to address lawmakers.

Collaboration to Improve Processes that Impact Your Reimbursement

Over the course of this unprecedented year, we have continued to use our relationships to find ways to improve processes that are critical to safeguarding patients’ access to quality care and protecting physicians’ ability to receive fair compensation for delivery of that care.

  • Working with CMS Improve Processes

CMS released a new Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) usage policy last year, affecting PECOS, Identity & Access Management (I&A), NPPES, and HITECH logins. Zotec had already established MFA processes for customers, with regular maintenance and updates in compliance with CMS.  However, upon reviewing the new CMS policy, Zotec’s provider enrollment team immediately identified problems within the process layout. ZPAC and Zotec’s provider enrollment team worked directly with CMS to review the proposed changes and layout specific concerns regarding the proposed PECOS MFA process.  While ZPAC remains in agreement with CMS compliance initiatives, it is advocating for more training and education before those are enforced.

  • Collaboration to Improve Medicare Appeals

Currently, Zotec is working with Novitas and First Coast to improve Medicare claims processing and decrease denials. We have been asked to be part of a core team that will work with these groups to review provider enrollment, EDI, claims, appeals, etc.  This collaboration is an opportunity to provide education between entities, reduce costs, and increase revenue.

  • Ensuring Tricare DBT Coverage for our Military Families

Tricare began covering annual DBT mammography screenings for women age 40 or older, or who are age 30 or older, and have a 15% or more lifetime risk of breast cancer as of January 2020. We celebrated with many of our coalitions over the hard work and many years of effort that went into Tricare agreeing to cover DBT mammography screenings.  ZPAC and Zotec Partners are very proud to have been a key part of this critical initiative to provide these services to the families of those who serve our country.

Looking Back, and Forging Ahead to 2021

In 2020 we added over 900 new advocates, with over 1,400 advocates sending over 13,500 communications to their elected officials. 

Our team, just like yours, has found a way to continue our work in the virtual world. We had over 200 meetings including: lobbying calls; Zoom meetings and presentations with various agencies, coalitions, and virtual events; and even a few in-person visits adhering to the strict PHE guidelines.

In 2021, we look to grow our advocacy network and increase our footprint in Washington D.C. and statehouses across the nation.  If you are supportive of our actions, any and all donations will be used 100% toward funding the candidates that support the physician community. 

Learn more about Zotec Partners here.