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Issue #148 - May 5, 2010
AAPC EdgeBlast

Proposed HITECH Privacy Rule to be Released
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to release in May a proposed rule strengthening existing privacy, security, and enforcement requirements for organizations handling patients' health information, Healthcare IT News reports. The rule is required by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.

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Obama Nominates Berwick to Head CMS
President Obama has officially nominated Donald Berwick, MD, for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator, according to a White House statement released April 19.

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New Interest Rate for Medicare Over/Under Payments
Medicare contractors will charge/pay a slightly lower interest rate for underpayment/overpayments this period than in the last. Effective April 23, the interest rate is 10.875 percent.

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HCR: New Timely Filing Requirements for Medicare FFS Claims
News of how health care reform will affect Medicare providers continues to trickle in. Of late, a First Coast Service Options (FSCO) online post notifies providers that one of the bills President Obama signed into law in March amended the period for filing Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) claims.

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Legislation Widens EHR Incentives Scope
Getting the health care industry to adopt electronic health records (EHR) may cost the government more than originally intended. That's because the list of providers eligible to receive incentives for meaningful EHR use continues to grow.

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HCR: Stark Law Amendment Affects Physicians
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590) may affect your practice in more ways than you think. A provision in the health care reform bill changes disclosure requirements for in-office ancillary services.

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Expansion of False Claims Review Bodes Well for Coders
More scrutiny of new health care reform (HCR) laws bodes well for coders, to whom physicians will turn to help them avoid expansion of the government's reach under the federal False Claims Act (FCA), according to an amednews.com report. Experts recommend physicians turn to coders to regularly analyze claims.

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AHA: Meaningful Use Rule "Too Much, Too Soon"
When members of the American Hospital Association (AHA) met in Washington, D.C. last week, a major complaint centered around the proposed meaningful use rule, which AHA Vice President Rick Pollack said is "asking for too much, too soon."

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CMS Actuary: HCR Costs and Warnings
Memoranda from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary offer a mixed view of the impacts of the health care reform (HCR) bills passed this year. Noting that utilization will grow in CMS programs as various parts of the bills are enacted, Chief Actuary Richard S. Foster indicates reform will be more expensive than the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation in his assessment titled, "Estimated Financial Effects of the 'Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,' as Amended."

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Coding Tips
DME MACs to Stop Covering Voice Prostheses Claims
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CMS Removes Therapy Value Code Requirement
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New Billing Instructions for Colorectal Screening Services
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New Signature Guidelines in Effect
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Excessive Lithotripsy Services Tip OIG Hat
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Something to Consider Before Billing High-Level E/M Services
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Medical News

Medicare Denies Wheelchair Claim for Elderly Amputee
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FDA Halts Distribution of STERIS Device, MFG Offers Rebate
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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.

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Featured Items
HITECH Privacy
Berwick Nominated
Medicare Interest Rate
Timing for FFS Claims
EHR Incentives
Stark Law Update
False Claims Review
Meaningful Use
HCR Costs
Coding Tips
Medical News
Test Yourself Online
Coding Job Links

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