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Issue #116 - January 7, 2009
AAPC EdgeBlast

ICD-10 Date Still Unannounced
Like you, the AAPC continues to await publication of the final rule by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that will implement ICD-10-CM into the HIPAA mandated code set and establish the implementation date.

While there will need to be significant education and training for physicians, coders and other health care personnel to fully implement this major code change, no one needs to panic. Other organizations are already attempting to capitalize on the situation by suggesting that coders should begin training immediately. The AAPC does not believe such an approach is either necessary or prudent since it will likely be difficult to remember in three or four years what you were trained on today. It is important for you to know the AAPC has a plan in place to provide accurate and timely assistance to permit you to effectively implement ICD-10 on time.

AAPC’s ICD-10-CM Training will have . . . Read more »

CMS Issues 2009 OPPS Update
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued January 2009 updates to the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS). Read more »

Comment »

Final Rule Protects Providers’ Ethics
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule Dec. 18, 2008 to ensure HHS funds do not support morally coercive or discriminatory practices or policies in violation of federal law. Read more »

Comment »

DMEPOS Suppliers
Must Post Surety Bond

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final regulation Dec. 29, 2008 requiring certain suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) to post a $50,000 surety bond.
Read more »

Comment »

Oxygen Suppliers Keep Equipment
Recent legislation changes how Medicare pays for oxygen equipment and supplies. Effective Jan. 1, Medicare will continue to pay 36 monthly payments (less deductible) to oxygen equipment suppliers, but beneficiaries will not own the equipment at the end of the 3-year contract — as they have in the past. The law now says suppliers retain ownership.
Read more »

Comment »

CMS: How Does Your Contractor Rate?
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched its fourth annual health care provider satisfaction survey. Approximately 30,000 providers nationwide were randomly selected to participate in the Medicare Contractor Provider Satisfaction Survey (MCPSS) where they’ll reflect on their experiences with federal payers. Selected participants were to receive an invitation by the first of the year. Read more »

Comment »

Coding Tips
Telehealth Services See Payment Increase in 2009
The 2009 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) final rule, published Nov. 19, 2008, produced a number of policy changes for health care professionals. Included in these changes is the payment amount for HCPCS Level II code Q3014 Telehealth originating site facility fee. Read more »

Comment »

FDA Approves New Waived Tests
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a collection of new waived tests under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA). CPT® codes 83036, 81003, 82274, G0328, and 80101 must include modifier QW CLIA waived test to be recognized as a waived test. Read more »

Comment »

Medical News
Contrast Imaging Agent Gets FDA Approval
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Vasovist® (gadofosveset trisodium), a new injectable contrast imaging agent for use in patients undergoing magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). Read more »

Comment »

OIG Reports on Adverse Event Study
Fifteen percent of hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries in two selected counties experienced an adverse event during their hospital stays, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) said in a Dec. 19, 2008 report. Read more »

Comment »

Congress Cracks Down on Pharmaceutical Ghostwriting
Wyeth, the pharmaceutical company that makes hormone replacement drugs Prempro and Premarin, is accused of using ghostwriters to write medical journal articles favoring its hormone replacement therapy (HRT) Prempro. Wyeth hired the medical coding company, DesignWrite Inc., to write articles related to Wyeth products and breast cancer risks, according to Congressional letters released from Sen. Charles Grassley. Read more »

Comment »

FDA Advises Against Risky Asthma Drugs
A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee says long-acting beta-2 agonist (LABA) inhalers used alone are too risky for children younger than 18. The decision is still out on whether the benefits outweigh the risks for adults who use an LABA drug for daily treatment of asthma. Read more »

Comment »

New Adult Vaccine Guards Against Pertussis
It may be flu and cold season, but it’s always a good time for providers to be on the lookout for pertussis (whooping cough). Symptoms mirror the common cold: runny nose, sneezing, mild fever, and coughing. The tipoff is cough severity and duration. Read more »

Comment »

Test Yourself Online
The Test Yourself questions can be accessed online at www.aapc.com/testyourself/. Once you go there and take the test, you can automatically grade your answers, correct any mistakes, and have your CEUs automatically added to your CEU Tracker for submission.

Coding Job Links
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Featured Items
ICD-10 Launch Date
2009 OPPS Update
Providers’ Ethics
DMEPOS Suppliers
Oxygen Suppliers
Contractor Rating
Coding Tips
Medical News
Coding Job Links
Test Yourself Online


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