COVID-19 has become part of our lives. As these past few months have shown, it is our shared responsibility to take proper precautions and help mitigate the spread of infections. We’re all in this together, and every individual has a role to play.
Mobile COVID testing units are crucial tools in containing the spread of the virus. Often parked outside a local business or community center, mobile testing units provide access to many people who might not otherwise have the time or resources to get tested.
You may have seen one by your local park, church, or grocery store.
This article discusses mobile COVID-19 testing for small- or medium-sized medical practices.
In particular, we’ll look at 5 common mistakes to avoid when setting up your mobile testing unit. These involve staff, equipment, credentialing, documentation, and coding. We’ll go over each in detail and explain what you need to set up a mobile testing unit.
Mobile COVID Testing: 5 Mistakes to Avoid
Table of Contents
1. Lack of Proper Staff
If you’re planning a mobile testing unit, you already know what personnel are needed to conduct a COVID-19 test. However, there are a few additional considerations that some people overlook.
Your mobile testing unit should be manned by a team of certified medical personnel. In particular, make sure to hire:
- Medical assistants or nurse assistants to go into the field and run the tests.
- A front-office coordinator to manage patient registrations and staff schedules.
- A phlebotomist to consult on specimen collection and blood draws.
If you’re organizing a drive-through testing unit, be aware that lines and waiting time can grow very long very fast. Have point people to direct incoming cars, answer patients’ questions as they wait, and keep track of waiting times.
Your staff must be dynamic, flexible, and ready to move to the next testing location on short notice.
2. Improper or Insufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Adhering to proper safety standards should come as second nature to medical practitioners. Still, with the COVID-19 situation constantly changing, it never hurts to double (or triple) check.
Ensure that you have ample personal protective equipment. This includes:
- Respirator or facemask: this means an N95 respirator or medical-grade facemask. Cloth face coverings are not considered PPE and should not be worn by medical personnel. They are for patients only.
- Eye protection: goggles or face shields. Make sure there are no gaps between the eyewear and face.
- Gloves: wear clean, sanitary gloves, change them often, and perform hand hygiene between changes.
- Gowns: wear a clean isolation gown and remove and discard it in a dedicated container for waste or linens when leaving the testing unit.
All reusable PPE should be properly cleaned, decontaminated, and maintained between uses. To guard against surges in demand, have extra equipment stored at all times.
Remember, simply taking proper safety precautions is not enough. Patients must be able to see your safety procedures firsthand. They need to trust you and recommend your mobile testing unit to friends and family.
3. Incorrect Credentialing
Incorrect medical credentialing can have serious consequences. It can result in denied claims, revenue loss, or even providers suddenly getting dropped from your practice.
All service providers should me correctly credentialed with Medicare, State Medicaid, PPO’s, and so forth. This will guarantee that you get paid on time for all your services provided.
To receive payment for uninsured individuals, go through the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) website. Click here for more info.
Important! If you’re planning to bill under a new Tax ID or Group ID, make sure that:
- Your ID is credentialed with all PPO’s, Medicare, and Medicaid.
- All rendering providers used for billing are credentialed with insurance companies under that ID.
Consider hiring a professional medical credentialing service. We’ll triple check the records, get you set up with HRSA for billing uninsured claims, and free you to focus on your patients.
4. Improperly Documenting Patient Encounters
Like improper credentialing, failure to properly document patient encounters can delay your payment and potentially get your practice into legal trouble.
Understandably, most patients want to get in and out of the testing unit as fast as possible. However, it is essential that all patients provide the necessary information for claim reimbursement.
A sample evaluation form is provided at the end of this article. Feel free to use it!
Want some assistance with evaluation forms for your mobile testing unit? Practice Tech Solutions is here to help! Contact us here.
5. Improper Medical Coding
Medical coding can be a headache. After a day of rapid-fire testing 250 COVID-19 cases (or more), the last thing you want to deal with is coding.
But annoying or not, proper medical coding is essential if you want to get paid for your mobile testing unit.
Luckily, the sample form above will collect most of the information needed to draw up the correct medical codes and bill claims correctly.
If you need assistance with medical coding, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We have years of experience helping healthcare providers with medical coding and billing. We’ll ensure that you get set up and properly paid for your mobile testing unit.