Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Issue #119 - February 18, 2009  

Stimulus Bill
Includes Funds for Health Care

The House and Senate passed the final version of the stimulus bill (H.R. 1) Feb. 13. President Obama signed the $787 billion economic stimulus bill Tuesday. Several provisions in the bill provide additional funding for health care across a wide range of programs and initiatives. We have summarized these items for your information.
Read more »

Comment »

Incentives in
Stimulus Bill for Adopting EHRs

The AAPC is learning more about how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed by President Barak Obama Tuesday will affect your workplace and your job. Under the $787 billion economic stimulus bill, health care providers will receive financial incentives beginning 2011 for implementing qualified electronic health records systems (EHRs).
Read more »

Comment »

CMS Announces
Decision for Bariatric Surgery Coverage

There is not enough evidence to support bariatric surgery in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and a body-mass index (BMI) less than 35 as reasonable and necessary, concluded the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in a Feb. 12 decision memo for surgery for diabetes (CAG-00379N). Read more »

Comment »

Invalid NPIs
Cost Medicare Millions in 2007

The National Provider Identifier (NPI), requested on all claims submitted to Medicare since May 2007 and required since May 2008, is a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandate intended to simplify administration. According to an Office of Inspector General (OIG) report, however, Medicare has allowed the NPI requirement to be one more way to lose money. Read more »

Comment »

Two New York Insurers
Agree to Fund Database

Not long after United HealthCare agreed to shut down its Ingenix usual and customary database and pay $50 million to establish a nonprofit group to run a new database that will determine payment rates for out-of-network health care providers, two additional regional insurers have agreed to ante up. New York insurers, Independent Health and HealthNow New York, Inc., will pay more than $600,000, according to a Dow Jones news report.

Comment »

RAC Back on Track
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Feb. 6 that the permanent Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program is set to begin March 1. The bidding protests filed by Viant, Inc. and PRG Schultz, USA, Inc., which caused a Stop Work order in October 2008, are resolved.  Read more »

Comment »

Coding Tips
February is Low Vision Awareness Month
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive disease that diminishes central vision and, if left untreated, can result in severe vision loss and even blindness. AMD affects approximately 2 million Americans 50 years and older and is the leading cause of blindness in the United States in patients 65 and older. Prevent Blindness America—a volunteer health and safety organization—declared February as Low Vision Awareness Month to increase awareness of this incurable disease. Read more »

Comment »

Diagnosis Codes Added to PT/INR Coverage
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released, Jan. 8, Change Request (CR) 6313 to correct an error in a previous transmittal. Several ICD-9-CM codes that qualify for coverage of Prothrombin Time/International Normalized Ratio (PT/INR) monitoring for home anticoagulation management were inadvertently omitted in CR 6318. Read more »

Comment »

Coding Guidance for 2009 Ortho Claims
Like most, you’re probably still trying to make heads or tails of all the 2009 CPT® changes. If specialty guidance in orthopaedics is what you seek, Mary LeGrand, RN, CPC, MA-CCS-P, offers it in an article she wrote recently for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Read more »

Comment »

An Important Reminder
About Preventive Screening Tests

February, American Heart Month, is a good reminder of the importance of heart health. It’s also a good time to remind health care professionals of certain Medicare benefits offered to beneficiaries for preventive care beyond the initial preventative physical examination (IPPE). Read more »

Comment »

Medical News
No Link Between Autism and Vaccines, Court Rules
Three families were unable to prove to a U.S. court Feb. 12 that their children developed autism due to childhood vaccines they received. The court ruled that the plaintiffs presented insufficient scientific evidence that childhood vaccines, such as the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, caused autism in these particular test cases. Read more »

Comment »

A Cure for the Common Cold
We may not have a cure for the common cold as yet, but researchers say they’re getting closer now that they know the genetic codes for the 99 known human rhinoviruses (HRVs) that cause upper and lower respiratory tract disease. Read more »

Comment »

Ablation Catheters for Atrial Fibrillation Approved
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced, Feb. 6, that it has approved the first ablation catheters—BioSense Webster’s NaviStar ThermoCool and the EZ Steer ThermoCool Nav—for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF). Read more »

Comment »

New Treatment Option for Overactive Bladder
Physicians will soon offer patients with overactive bladder (OAB) a new treatment option. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new topical gel designed to treat the symptoms of OAB, Jan. 27 . 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
AAPC Job Database

AAPC Employment Forums

Featured Items
Stimulus Bill
Adopting EHRs
Bariatric Surgery Coverage
Invalid NPIs
New York Insurers
RAC Back on Track
Coding Tips
Medical News
Test Yourself Online Coding Job Links


EdgeBlast Sponsors























The AAPC EdgeBlast is offered as a benefit to members and we hope you find the information useful. If you'd rather not receive future EdgeBlast issues, please log in to our member area and change your e-mail preferences.

AAPC
2233 S Presidents Dr. | Salt Lake City, Utah 84120 | (801) 236-2200

Copyright © 2009 AAPC - All rights reserved. CPC®, CPC-H®, and CPC-P® are registered trademarks of the AAPC.

CPT® codes Copyright 2008 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. CPT® is a trademark of the AMA. No fee schedules, basic units, relative values or related listings are included in CPT®. The AMA assumes no liability for the data contained herein. Applicable FARS/DFARS restrictions apply to government use.