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AAPC July 3, 2007
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Issue #80

Top Stories

Coder Helps Create State Medical Coders’ Day

AMA Establishes Three New Policies

CMS Delays NPI Database Implementation Date

Transplant Centers Have Dec. 26th Deadline for Medicare Certification

CMS Expands PQRI Tool Kit

Correction on Certification Exams

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Torrey Kim

Torrey Kim, CPC
EdgeBlast editor

Top News

Coder Initiates State Medical Coders' Day

Another AAPC local chapter president took her request for a State Medical Coders’ Day to the governor — and got her wish.

Teresa Umbro, CPC, coder at River Valley Internal Medicine in Rumford, ME, and president of the Lewiston, ME, local chapter, decided that coders should get their own special day of recognition, so she typed up on her home computer a proclamation that gave Maine medical coders their very own day.

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AMA Establishes Three New Policies

On June 25, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced that it had adopted three new policies that may affect health care practices.

First, the AMA voted on a new policy asking all states to enact laws permitting students to carry to school prescribed epinephrine or other medications for asthma or anaphylaxis. “Life-threatening allergic reactions to foods can easily happen at school or away from home, and an epinephrine injection at the first sign of a reaction is critical,” said AMA Board Member Rebecca J. Patchin, MD. “All states should have laws that allow children to protect themselves by carrying lifesaving tools like epinephrine or other prescribed medication.”

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CMS Delays NPI Database Implementation Date

In our June 6th EdgeBlast, we announced that CMS would be debuting a searchable NPI database to allow practices to acquire the NPIs of other health care providers (such as those who send a patient to them for consultation). At the time, CMS had hoped to have the new database up and running by June 28.

Last week, however, CMS announced that health care providers need additional time to view their FOIA-disclosable NPI data and make any updates or deletions that they feel are necessary. Therefore, CMS chose to delay the dissemination of FOIA-disclosable NPI data until August 1, 2007.

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Transplant Centers Have Dec. 26th Deadline for Medicare Certification

CMS recently distributed a directive requiring all hospital transplant centers currently approved for Medicare participation to submit a request for new approval under a new regulation that was issued by CMS on March 30, 2007.

CMS must receive all requests by Dec. 26, 2007. Those organ transplant centers that do not submit requests for approval by this deadline will have their Medicare approval withdrawn.

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CMS Expands PQRI Tool Kit

Last week, CMS expanded its 2007 PQRI Tool Kit to also include the 2007 PQRI Measure Finder Tool (Version 1.0). This came just in time for the PQRI reporting start date, which was July 1.

According to CMS, this tool “is designed to help eligible professionals and their coding/billing staff to quickly search for applicable measures and their detailed specifications. This tool will allow users to search for applicable measures based on a single code or a combination of codes.”

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Correction on Certification Exams

Our most recent EdgeBlast (Issue #79) indicated that although most AAPC certification exam questions are multiple choice, some are true/false. This is incorrect. In fact, all of the questions on the AAPC certification exams are multiple choice. We apologize for the error.

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Looking for Kudos!

Have you recently filed appeals that brought in an extra $1 million in revenue for your facility? Have you spoken at your state medical society? Did you run the Marine Corps Marathon? We’d love to hear about it! Please submit your Kudos to our editors at kudos@aapc.com.

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Test Yourself - Earn .5 CEUs

By answering the following questions, you can earn .5 continuing education units to apply toward your AAPC certification renewal. Simply answer the questions and send in a copy of your work when submitting your CEU package or enter your CEUs into the CEU Tracker online. Include the number of each EdgeBlast on your submission (example: #80). The number is available at the top of the page.

Answers to the questions are not always found directly (word for word) in the EdgeBlast in which they appear. While often related to the EdgeBlast content, they require additional resources such as your ICD-9-CM, CPT® and HCPCS manuals.

1. Transplant centers have until what date to get certified?

Answer:

2. How many true/false questions are on the AAPC's certification exams?

Answer:

3. Which state is the latest to celebrate State Medical Coders' Day, thanks to a chapter president's efforts?

Answer:

4. The AMA has asked pharmacies to let patients know whether they carry what type of drug?

Answer:

5. When will you be able to search CMS' searchable NPI database?

Answer:

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