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Issue #131 - August 19, 2009
AAPC EdgeBlast

Meaningful Use Recommendations Controversial
The Health Information Technology (HIT) Policy Committee reviewed at an Aug. 14 meeting in Washington, D.C. its latest recommendations for how physicians and hospital providers will be able to earn incentives for adoption and meaningful use of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology.

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Voluntary Refunds Wont Stop RAC Audit
Don’t let internal audits lull you into a false sense of security. “Certainly, internal audit results can show where additional education is necessary to ensure appropriate coding, billing, and documentation practices,” says HealthLeaders Media in a July 30 report. “And this will result in fewer RAC denials, because if practices are correct, the RACs will find fewer errors to deny.

“But many providers also assume that reporting errors (and refunding identified overpayments) discovered while self-auditing will protect those claims from RAC review.”

Not so, says the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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New Authority Enforces HIPAA
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Aug. 3 that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is the new authority for the administration and enforcement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Security Rule.

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OIG Eyes Unqualified Help in Incident-to
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) is worried physicians are billing for services provided by unqualified help, so it just audited Medicare incident-to claims for 2007. What it found made the agency ask the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to review its incident-to policies.

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Physicians Beware of EMR Software Purchasing Assistance
If a clinical laboratory offers your physician’s practice financial assistance to acquire electronic medical records (EMR) software, listen to the sirens going off in your head and run the other way. There’s probably a catch, and it’s probably illegal.

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HHS Allots $200M for Health Professions Training
Approximately 8,000 students and credentialed health care professionals will get the financial backing they need for training by the end of 2010.

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Medicare Launches Supplier Competitive Bidding Effort
The 60-day supplier bidding period will begin in late October for the Medicare Competitive Bidding Program’s Round One Rebid for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS). To help suppliers prepare for bidding in the nine competitive bidding areas, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is leading a supplier outreach and education effort.

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Final Wage Index Set for Medicare Hospice Benefit
Hospices serving Medicare beneficiaries will see a 1.4 percent payment increase for fiscal year 2010 as a result of a 2.1 percent increase in the “hospital market basket.” The hospital market basket indicates an input price increase offset by a 0.7 percent decrease in payments to hospices due to the revised policy to phase-out the wage index budget neutrality factor.

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Coding Tips
RACs Post CMS-Approved Audit Issues
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Specimen Collection Travel Allowance Goes Up
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CTC for Colorectal Cancer NCD Confirmed
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OIG Applies Pressure on Support Surface Claims
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Ambulance Mileage Reporting Changes
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2009 Addenda to ICD-9 Index and Tabular List
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Medical News

CDEs Recognized as Medicare DSMT Providers
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Dr. Collins Directs NIH
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AAPC News

AAPC Offers Distance Learning Training Series for 2010 Coding Updates
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AAPC Issues Call for Speakers for 2010 National Conference
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Do You Have an EMR Story?
Do any of you have a story to tell about the purchase of an EMR system for your practice? How long did it take to install? How much did it cost? Was it easy to use? Has it accomplished what you wanted? Are your physicians seeing the same, more or less patients per day since? Do the physicians like it? Wed love to hear from you! Please send your stories directly to reed.e.pew@aapc.com

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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AAPC Employment Forums

Featured Items
Meaningful Use
Voluntary Refunds
New HIPAA Authority
OIG Eyes Incident-to
Physicians Beware
HHS Allots $200M
Competitive Bidding Effort
Final Wage Index
Coding Tips
Medical News
AAPC News
Test Yourself Online
Coding Job Links

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