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Issue #121 - March 18, 2009
AAPC EdgeBlast

NIH to Dole Out $1.5 Billion in
ARRA Grants

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is prepared to award up to $1.5 billion in grant money funded by the American Recovery and Reimbursement Act (ARRA).
Read more »

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Submit Your Input on Health Reform
White House forums on health reform are being conducted across the country. Don’t miss your chance to be heard.

Upcoming forums are:

  • Des Moines, Iowa - March 23
  • Greensboro, N.C. - March 31
  • Los Angeles, Calif. - April 6

Submit questions you’d like addressed at one of these forums on the HealthReform.gov Web site.

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CMS Releases 2009 MPFSDB Update
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently notified contractors that it amended payment files based on the 2009 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) final rule. Transmittal 1691, Change Request (CR) 6397, issued March 4, instructs contractors to update their payment files in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Database (MPFSDB). Several important changes affecting all providers were made. Read more »

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Quality Data Codes Rejected in Error
Providers should be aware that line items containing certain quality data codes (QDCs) on claims submitted during first quarter 2009 may be rejected or returned as unprocessed in error. You have the option of resubmitting affected claims. Read more »

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Inappropriate Medicaid Payments
Cost N.Y., U.S. Millions

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) made $28.4 million in Medicaid payments for people who were also enrolled in another state’s Medicaid program at the same time, according to an audit released March 3 by state comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“DOH has to cut Medicaid waste and abuse, and it can start by tracking down and stopping payments for out-of-state residents,” DiNapoli said in a press release available on the Office of New York State Comptroller’s (OSC) Web site. Read more »

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Obama Releases
$155 Million for New Health Centers

President Obama announced March 2 the release of $155 million in grant funds authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for 126 new health centers across the country. These grants, administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), are expected to create 5,500 jobs and help provide health services for 750,000 Americans in need of health care. Read more »

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Two More Companies Dump Database
The list of insurers agreeing to stop using a popular “usual and customary” database and contribute to a new independent database to determine the rate they pay out-of-network doctors and hospitals continues to grow. Read more »

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Health Care Forums Results Released
Results from more than 9,000 discussions about health care held throughout the nation in December have been released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Cost, insurance access, and quality of care were key concerns. Read more »

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Time Is Running Out for
DMEPOS Suppliers

Suppliers of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) who bill Medicare Part B have until Sept. 30 to obtain accreditation. For those who haven’t submitted an application yet, it may be too late. Read more »

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Peruse the Health Workforce Resource
Health care organizations, hospitals, and providers, as well as policy makers and schools, have a new tool they can use to help develop strategies to meet future workforce demands. Health Workforce Information Center (HWIC) is an online information resource center providing up-to-date news, data, and research on the nation’s health workforce. Read more on NurseZone.com.

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Coding Tips
CMS: HST for OSA Nationally Covered
Evidence shows the use of certain sleep tests to confirm an obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) diagnosis in patients who present with known signs and symptoms improves health outcomes and are reasonable and necessary, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Read more »

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New Waived Tests Released for Mid-Quarter
New waived tests approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 go into effect April 1.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released Transmittal 1689, Change Request (CR) 6370, with attachment, on Feb. 27 to inform contractors of a Recurring Update Notification (RUN) of the latest waived tests. This RUN can be found in Chapter 16, Section 70.8 of the Internet Only Manual.

To be recognized as a waived test, some CLIA waived tests have unique HCPCS Level II procedure codes and some must have modifier QW CLIA waived test included with the HCPCS Level II code. Click here to download the HCPCS Level II codes list subject to CLIA.

Comment »

CMS Clarifies NPI Use on Certain Claims
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued Transmittal 1690, Change Request (CR) 6362, Feb. 27, to clarify a National Provider Identifier (NPI) reporting policy on claims for reference laboratory and purchased diagnostic services purchased outside the billing jurisdiction. Read more »

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Medical News
President Approves Stem Cell Research
President Obama signed, March 9, an Executive Order entitled “Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells.” Read more »

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Donít Let Transdermal Patches Burn Patients
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Public Health Advisory on transdermal drug patches after learning a warning was missing on certain patches containing aluminum or other metals in their non-adhesive backing. Such patches can cause burns if worn while undergoing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Read more »

Comment »

Scientists on Brink of Universal Flu Shot
Flu shots protect against many, but not all, flu strains. Each year, flu specialists make an educated guess at which flu strains will be prevalent during seasonal outbreaks. Scientists create vaccines based on this flu strain research. Because the flu strains can mutate over time, it’s not easy to predict the strains correctly. Read more »

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Provista Offers Test for Early Detection
of Breast Cancer

Provista Life Sciences LLC (PLS) announced March 5 a limited rollout of the Biomarker Translation Test or BT Test™ for the early detection of breast cancer.
Read more »

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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
ARRA Grants
Input on Health Reform
2009 MPFSDB Update
Data Codes Rejected
Inappropriate Payments
New Health Centers
Companies Dump Database
Health Care Forums
DMEPOS Suppliers
Workforce Resource
Coding Tips
Medical News
Test Yourself Online
Coding Job Links


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