• Jeff Zeelander

OWCP / DFEC Tele-health and Health Care Solutions - update for claimants and medical providers

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, with federal employees and their medical providers struggling to comply with OWCP's perpetual "what have you done for me today" approach to medical documentation, OWCP also switched to a new bill processing contractor last month. The new contractor, Health Care Solutions, has taken over the contract previously administered by Conduent.

I have gotten many questions about this change from medical providers and claimants. Here are a couple of things that I have learned so far with the new processes.

Firstly, the PO Box mailing address for all things FECA (federal employees compensation act (the workers compensation program for federal employees), has changed. You should NOT still be sending mail to London KY. Whether your are a medical provider or a claimant, all USPS mail sent to OWCP/DFEC MUST be sent to: U.S. Department of Labor, OWCP/DFEC, P.O. Box 34450, San Antonio, TX 78265.

I had an interesting conversation with someone from a mental health care provider's office who explained how the new billing interface allows a medical provider to bill for Tele-health. Again, this information is second hand from a medical provider who shared this with me. There is now a check box on the drop down menu for submitting bills to check off whether the service was provided in a live appointment or remotely. The rest of the bill coding is apparently identical regardless of whether the patient was seen in the office or remotely. It also appears that the billing codes are paid the same whether in office or remote; at least in the context of a mental health care provider, presumably for other services that can be provided remotely as well.

I am advised that there will soon be a new FECA Bulletin specifically addressing the furnishing of remote services. As soon as I see that on line I will send around a link.

Of course, in the midst of everything else going on at the moment, providers must also deal with the long planned change-over to OWCP's new billing contractor, Health Care Solutions. That went live late in April. I am hearing complaints about difficulties with navigating the new system. Again, this is second hand, a medical provider explained that after watching the various online tutorials that were not helpful, and calling Health Care Solutions several times and speaking to various people who were unable to provide basic useful information, a call back was requested from a higher level person and that person did call back after a day or so and was able to assist the provider in resolving their problems. If its your job to do this, make sure your requested call back is to a cell phone or other phone line that you will hopefully not be able to miss the call back when it randomly occurs!!

Maintain your social distancing!

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