HHS Says I-10 is 2013
Health and Human Services (HHS) announced last week the final rule for implementation of the ICD-10-CM code set. For more information, go to the link below:
Get more information on the ICD-10 announcement
Insurance Act Resurfaces
National health care is the talk of the town lately, especially since it was one of President Barack Obama’s campaign platforms. What better time to reintroduce a bill for national health care that died two years ago? Read more »
House Eliminates Medicare Trigger
The U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 6 voted 242-181 in favor of the 111th Congress adopting the operating rules of the 110th Congress — with a few changes. In particular, the rules package (H Res 5) eliminates the Medicare "trigger" provision of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. The move frees President Obama from submitting a plan to contain Medicare costs. Read more »
Results of Hospital
Quality Data Reporting Are In
Nearly all hospitals who participated in the Hospital Outpatient Quality Data Reporting Program (HOP QDRP) in 2008 will receive the full market basket update of 3.6 percent for 2009, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
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Final Five MACs Selected
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Jan. 7 it has awarded five Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) contracts for the combined administration of Part A and Part B Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) claims. Read more »
Outpaces Economic Growth
Although health spending in the United States slowed to 6.1 percent in 2007 compared to 6.7 percent in 2006, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), it continues to shadow overall economic growth, which grew 4.8 percent in 2007.
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OIG Lists Top Management
and Performance Challenges
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) identified, Jan. 6, the most significant management and performance challenges facing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this year. The integrity of the Medicare program is No. 2 on the list. Read more »
Beginning early this year, a hand-picked group of health care institutions will help the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) test a theory that bundled payments for both Part A hospital and Part B physician services will improve the quality of care fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare beneficiaries receive, produce savings, align incentives, and increase collaboration. CMS announced Jan. 6 its site selections for the Acute Care Episode (ACE) Demonstration. Read more »
Insurance Companies $50 Million
A leader in the health insurance industry, Oxford Insurance and its parent company UnitedHealth Group, agreed to pay a $50 million settlement for paying less medical reimbursement by overcharging patients due to "defective and manipulative" numbers, according to New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Read more »
Correction to Home PT/INR Monitoring Service
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued, Jan. 8, Change Request (CR) 6313 to correct an omission of ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes reportable for prothrombin time and international normalized ratio (PT/INR) anticoagulation management monitoring services furnished on or after March 19, 2008.
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2009 Coding Books Need Correcting
The American Medical Association (AMA) has detected a number of errors in their 2009 ICD-9-CM physician and CPT® 2009 books. The physician society says it is essential that coding books are updated with the correct information. Read more »
New MLN Products: Guided Pathways
Try the NEW Guided Pathways (December 2008) Medicare Learning Network (MLN) products. These three booklets incorporate existing Medicare Learning Network (MLN) products and other Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) resources into well organized sections to help Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) providers and suppliers find information to understand and navigate the Medicare program. The three Guided Pathways booklets guide learners to resources that provide a fundamental overview of Medicare, as well as detailed FFS policies and requirements.
HHS Plans to Eliminate HAIs
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says it has identified the key actions needed to achieve and sustain progress in protecting patients from the transmission of serious and, in some cases, deadly infections. The Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections (the Plan), unveiled Jan. 6, establishes a set of five-year national prevention targets that HHS says will "reduce and possibly eliminate" health care-associated infections (HAIs). Read more »
Online Database Reveals Patient History
A complete family history is the cornerstone of all comprehensive medical records. Unfortunately, obtaining this information from a patient isn’t always easy — especially if the patient is an immigrant. Collecting a family history from a patient of European descent, however, may be a little easier thanks to a free and easy-to-use online database. Read more »
Another Reason to Get a Flu Vaccination
In recent years, doctors have used the drug Tamiflu to treat serious flu cases. Unfortunately, most flu strains making rounds in the United States this year are resistant to Tamiflu, making it more difficult to treat serious flu sufferers. Listen to the NPR news report for details.
Comment on CMS PET Scan Expansion
On Jan. 6 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a national coverage determination (NCD) broadening initial diagnostic testing with positron emission tomography (PET) scans for many Medicare beneficiaries’ cancer treatment. Read more »
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.
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