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AAPC August 15, 2007
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Issue #83

Top Stories

CMS Wants Your Feedback on Proposed Fee Schedule Changes

Make Sure You Still Take HIPAA Seriously

Keep Your Therapy Codes On the Straight and Narrow


Test Yourself - Earn .5 CEUs


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Torrey Kim

Torrey Kim, CPC
EdgeBlast editor

Top News

CMS Wants Your Feedback on Proposed Fee Schedule Changes

On July 12, CMS published its proposed rule regarding the 2008 physician fee schedule, as well as other proposed Medicare changes. The most alarming change for most medical practices is a proposed 9.9 percent pay cut in Medicare reimbursement. Anesthesia, nuclear medicine and dermatology providers would be among those suffering the least under the proposed rule, while nephrologists, interventional radiologists, hand surgeons and pathologists would feel some of the biggest financial impact from the proposal.

In addition, the document proposes raising the work RVUs for 33 codes, such as increasing the work RVU for partial mastectomy code 19301 from 6.03 to 10.00, and establishing RVUs for cochlear implant codes 92601-92604 (previously the work RVU for these services was 0.00). The rule also proposes decreasing the work RVUs for 10 codes. For instance, reimbursement for anoscopy code 46615 would decrease from 2.68 work RVUs to 1.50.

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Make Sure You Still Take HIPAA Seriously

You've had all of your patients sign privacy forms, you've password-protected your computers, and you no longer send faxes to your billing company without crossing out personal patient information. You're all set, right? Probably not. HIPAA mania may have died down, but some Washington insiders want to make sure you haven't forgotten what's important.

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Keep Your Therapy Codes on the Straight and Narrow
By Constance Valdez, CPC, CCP, RMC

Coding physical therapy services can be tricky if you don't know the ropes, but if you know the facts about timed codes and supervision requirements, you can make your life a lot easier.

You'll note that some therapy procedures require "supervised" attendance, meaning that the therapist does not have to have constant one-on-one patient contact. Brief, intermittent personal contact with the patient during the therapy is all that is required. This code range, 97010-97028, does not require that the therapist give undivided attention to the patient.

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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: #83). 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. Under CMS's proposed fee schedule changes, would a nephrologist make more money next year or less?

Answer:

2. If you perform a timed therapy service for 84 minutes, how many units should you bill?

Answer:

3. Two senators would like to impose what type of sanctions for the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive health information?

Answer:

4. The therapist must have one-on-one patient contact under which type of attendance?

Answer:

5. CMS is proposing that the work RVU for partial mastectomy code 19301 should go from 6.03 to what?

Answer:

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