As managers, providers and employees, we always have to be looking ahead at how the technology on our horizon will affect how our organizations administer health care. In the spirit of looking forward to the future, we present “2.0 Tuesday”, a feature on Manage My Practice about how technology is impacting our practices, and our patient and population outcomes.
We hope you enjoy looking ahead with us, and share your ideas, reactions and comments below!
Natural Language Processing Advances Allow for Improved Insight into Public Health
Writing for KevinMD, Jaan Sidorov, author of the Disease Management Care Blog highlights several examples of how Natural Language Processing- the idea of teaching computer programs to understand the relationship between words in human speech (teaching them to not just hear us, but understand us- like Watson understood the clues on Jeopardy) is being be applied to the Electronic Health Record to predict and prepare for public health trends, as well as to correct mistakes present in the electronic record due to human error. Recent developments like the CDC’s Biosense program allow public health officials at local, state and federal levels to monitor big picture trends in public health by the words and diagnoses reported in medical documentation- keeping an ear on health trends, by “listening” to data about reported health incidents.
10 Best Practices for Implementing Telemedicine in Hospitals
Sabrina Rodak at Becker Orthopedic, Spine and Pain Management has put together a fantastic list of the steps and assessments involved in implementing a telemedicine program in a hospital setting. Although written with Orthopods in mind, the questions that need to be answered, and the steps that need to be taken to develop a strong, lasting program are similar across many different programs and specialties. With so much excitement in the field, it is very nice to see someone talk about the process of taking these technologies from drawing board excitement to nuts-and-bolts execution.
San Diego Health System Seeks to Develop Single App to Access Any EMR
Presenting at a Toronto Mobile Healthcare Summit Last Week, Dr. Benjamin Kanter, CIO of Palomar Pomerado Health presented the two-hospital system’s plans to develop their own native mobile application to view as many different Electronic Medical Records as possible from a single mobile interface. In other words, this fairly small health system, who has only devoted three employees to the project, is taking on one of the biggest, and toughest challenges in HIT by simply saying “We can do it ourselves!”, and from some of the reactions from the conference attendees who saw the presentation, they are off to quite a strong start. The first version of the program should launch for Android in March, and the system already has a deal in place with vendor Cerner to access their systems. Stay tuned!
Be sure to check back soon for another 2.0 Tuesday!
As healthcare embraces technology to improve patient outcomes, streamline operations, and lower costs, the technologies with the most impact are the ones that Make Things Simpler.
One of the most basic ways to simplify a complex process to is remove friction
The electronic medical record removes the friction of paper records finding, handling, storing, and securing them – all the things that can get between the critical information on the page and the physician who needs it. A smartphone removes the friction of needing to be near a desktop to read and send email, get contact information, and securely access practice and hospital documents and patient data. This technology provides value by simplifying a process to its core so that time, effort and resources are not wasted on mishaps, transportation, and basic human inertia.
Now, think about your practice’s web content: the basic information and elevator pitch about your services that you want to communicate to existing and future patients. Your content is the reason you have a website in the first place and you should always be looking for ways to get eyeballs in front of it. Email lists, Facebook and Twitter, direct mail and practice brochures are all designed to connect people with your content to drive business to your practice. If someone sees a link to your content while they’re at their computer, then the only friction you’ll encounter is getting them to click to go to your page.
But what about all the mobile time your potential customers spend?
If they see an advertisement – TV, billboard, print that has the URL (web address) you want to send them to, they will have to bypass a lot of potential friction before they see your content. They have to:
- Commit to going to the website later
- Remember the URL, and why they wanted to go to in the first place
- Follow through with this commitment and remember how and why they wanted to go to the page
- Type the URL into a browser
With social media and email campaigns that are usually accessed through internet enabled PCs or mobile devices, a simple link enables you to bypass all of this potential friction because theres a fairly good chance that your customer will either click the link immediately, or possibly bookmark it to check it out later (enabling a much easier recall). But with print, public, and televised advertising campaigns the odds are the customer doesn’t have either:
- An internet enabled device on them at the moment, or
- The time or inclination to check out the website immediately- and if they did, they would encounter more friction typing the address into their mobile.
So how can you overcome this friction, and get the benefits of the simplicity of a link in a real world marketing situation? One way is with Quick Response (QR) codes.
A QR code is a two-dimensional barcode that can be quickly and easily read by a fairly simple piece of software to communicate a piece of information: text, or a phone number or other contact information, or a web address to direct a phone’s web browser. Most of the QR Codes themselves are a small jumble of black and white pixelated dots that sort of resemble a digital bacteria or some sort of computer life form. But in many ways, Quick Response (or QR) codes are like hyperlinks that exist in our physical lives. By installing a small program on your phone, and then taking a picture of the code with your phone, you can immediately access the information embedded within.
- See a newspaper ad about a sale at one of your favorite stores, and scan the QR code to get a link to a coupon for an additional discount, or to register to be told about other upcoming sales.
- See a TV commercial about a new restaurant, where scanning the code on TV leads your phone to a website to make reservations for dinner, or receive a special two-for-one deal.
- See a poster at a health fair booth and scan the QR code to get an instant calculator app that gives you easy exercise options for someone your age with your level of physical fitness.
By removing the friction of telling someone about web content without giving them the ability to access it automatically, QR Codes lubricate the entire person education process. A QR Code on a brochure can facilitate initial contact with the patient by sending them to a website to get more information, or book an appointment, whereas a phone number to call with more info, or even just the practice’s web address means a patient is left to go the rest of the way on their own. On top of that, a QR code is a simple and effective way to improve your image as an organization on both a technical and user friendly front, and QR codes are flexible enough to handle a lot of different applications in your practice:
- Flyers about annual checkup services: (blood pressure, weight management, mammograms) that your patients see as they leave (often when most motivated to seek additional services) can include links to more information (general info sites, government warnings, approved resource sites, treatment communities) or redirect to content on your site or blog.
- Advertisements for surgical procedures and contain codes to access before and after pictures and patient testimonials, or to a landing page to submit requests for more information.
By streamlining the process of fulfilling a patient’s request to tell me more, QR Codes give practices an easy (and did I mention free) way to build relationships, influence patient health choices and outcomes, direct patients to the content you choose for them, and even send the message that your practice is on the leading edge of technology.
Five steps to start using QR codes in your practice right away
- Decide how QR Codes fit into your overall marketing and education effort. Which real-world situations do you want to link to web content?
- Setting up a QR plan doesn’t have to involve a big up-front expense. Use free programs like Kaywa (http://qrcode.kaywa.com/) to generate codes for your campaigns, and free readers like i-nigma for iPhone (http://itunes.apple.com/us/
app/i-nigma-4-qr-datamatrix-) and QRDroid for Android (https://market.android.com/ barcode/id388923203?mt=8 details?id=la.droid.qr) to get started right away
- Think carefully about where you place the codes themselves. You want people to have access to the info, without making the code itself the center of the message. The code is the link to more, not the point of the marketing effort. And make sure people can see and frame the code easily enough that they don’t struggle to scan it. Don’t add friction now!
- Don’t assume everyone knows what the code is, or what to do with it. Give them a clear call to action, complete with instructions. “Scan this code with a QR reader to receive (learn more, find out, book now…)”
- Make sure the payoff at the other end of the code is worth the effort. Give them some real value for their scan. It could be a discount, it could be exclusive, valuable, it could be a frictionless way to make an appointment with you (win-win!), but don’t have people scan if the effort won’t be rewarded with real value.
e-RX: Medicare e-prescribing hardship exemptions under review (jump to story)
EFT: suppliers and providers who are not currently receiving Medicare EFT payments are required to submit the CMS-588 EFT form (jump to story)
SNFs: Allowing Physician Assistants to Perform Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Level of Care Certifications and Recertifications (jump to story)
ACA: the final rule on preventive health services will ensure that women with health insurance coverage will have access to the full range of the Institute of Medicines recommended preventive services, including all FDA -approved forms of contraception. (jump to story)
EHR Incentive Program: what can still be completed in 2012 in order to receive an incentive payment for CY2011 (jump to story)
5010: National Provider Call: Medicare FFS Implementation of HIPAA Version 5010 and D.0 Transactions (jump to story)
Claims Crossovers: Greater instances of Medicare correspondence letters that make reference to error N22226 as the basis for patient claims not crossing over(jump to story)
ICD-10: What’s Your Plan, Man?(jump to story)
MLN: Medicare Learning Network Announcements, Updates and Revisions (jump to story)
Medicare e-prescribing hardship exemptions under review
Last fall, physicians had the opportunity to seek hardship exemptions and avoid penalties for failing to successfully participate in Medicares e-prescribing program. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reviewing each hardship exemption request on an individual basis and has not yet completed its analysis. Therefore, it is possible that some physicians will be subjected to a 1 percent Medicare payment penalty inappropriately until the backlog of exemption requests is reviewed. Ultimately, CMS will reprocess the claims.
Find additional electronic prescribing information and resources on the AMA website.
The ACA (Affordable Care Act) Mandates Federal Payment to Providers and Suppliers Only by Electronic Means
Existing regulations at 42 CFR 424.510(e)(1)(2) require that at the time of enrollment, enrollment change request, or revalidation, providers and suppliers that expect to receive payment from Medicare for services provided must also agree to receive Medicare payments through electronic funds transfer (EFT). Section 1104 of the Affordable Care Act further expands Section 1862(a) of the Social Security Act by mandatingfederal payments to providers and suppliers only by electronic means. As part of CMSs revalidation efforts, all suppliers and providers who are not currently receiving EFT payments are required to submit the CMS-588 EFT form with the Provider Enrollment Revalidation application, or at the time any change is being made to the provider enrollment record by the provider or supplier, or delegated official.
For more information about provider enrollment revalidation, review the Medicare Learning Networks Special Edition Article #SE1126, titled Further Details on the Revalidation of Provider Enrollment Information.
Allowing Physician Assistants to Perform Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Level of Care Certifications and Recertifications
A Statement by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
In August 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services issued an interim final rule that will require most health insurance plans to cover preventive services for women including recommended contraceptive services without charging a co-pay, co-insurance or a deductible. The rule allows certain non-profit religious employers that offer insurance to their employees the choice of whether or not to cover contraceptive services. Today the department is announcing that the final rule on preventive health services will ensure that women with health insurance coverage will have access to the full range of the Institute of Medicines recommended preventive services, including all FDA -approved forms of contraception. Women will not have to forego these services because of expensive co-pays or deductibles, or because an insurance plan doesnt include contraceptive services. This rule is consistent with the laws in a majority of states which already require contraception coverage in health plans, and includes the exemption in the interim final rule allowing certain religious organizations not to provide contraception coverage. Beginning August 1, 2012, most new and renewed health plans will be required to cover these services without cost sharing for women across the country.
After evaluating comments, we have decided to add an additional element to the final rule. Nonprofit employers who, based on religious beliefs, do not currently provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plan, will be provided an additional year, until August 1, 2013, to comply with the new law. Employers wishing to take advantage of the additional year must certify that they qualify for the delayed implementation. This additional year will allow these organizations more time and flexibility to adapt to this new rule. We intend to require employers that do not offer coverage of contraceptive services to provide notice to employees, which will also state that contraceptive services are available at sites such as community health centers, public clinics, and hospitals with income-based support. We will continue to work closely with religious groups during this transitional period to discuss their concerns.
Scientists have abundant evidence that birth control has significant health benefits for women and their families, it is documented to significantly reduce health costs, and is the most commonly taken drug in America by young and middle-aged women. This rule will provide women with greater access to contraception by requiring coverage and by prohibiting cost sharing.
This decision was made after very careful consideration, including the important concerns some have raised about religious liberty. I believe this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services. The administration remains fully committed to its partnerships with faith-based organizations, which promote healthy communities and serve the common good. And this final rule will haveno impact on the protections that existing conscience laws and regulations give to health care providers.
Receiving an EHR Incentive Program Payment for CY2011
As 2012 begins, CMS wants to remind eligible professionals (EPs) participating in the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program of important deadlines approaching and what can still be completed in 2012 in order to receive an incentive payment for CY2011.
Important Medicare EHR Incentive Program Dates
On Saturday, December 31, 2011, the reporting year ended for EPs who participated in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in 2011. What does this mean? For participating EPs, they must have completed their 90-day reporting period by the end of 2011.
However, EPs have until Wednesday, February 29, 2012 to actually register and attest to meeting meaningful use to receive an incentive payment for CY2011 through the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Registration and Attestation System.
Payment Threshold Information
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 is also the deadline for EPs to submit any pending Medicare Part B claims from CY2011, as CMS allows 60 days after Saturday, December 31, 2011 for all pending claims to be processed. This means that EPs have 60 days in 2012 to submit claims for allowed charges incurred in 2011.
Medicare EHR incentive payments to EPs are based on 75% of the Part B allowed charges for covered professional services furnished by the EP during the entire payment year. If the EP did not meet the $24,000 threshold in Part B allowed charges by the end of CY2011, CMS expects to issue an incentive payment for the EP in April 2012 for 75% of the EP’s Part B charges from 2011.
Note for Medicaid Participants: Medicaid incentives will be paid by the states, but the timing will vary according to state. Please contact your State Medicaid Agency for more details about payment.
Want more information about the EHR Incentive Programs? Visit the EHR Incentive Programs website for the latest news and updates on the EHR Incentive Programs.
National Provider Call: Medicare FFS Implementation of HIPAA Version 5010 and D.0 Transactions Register Now
Wednesday, January 25, 2012, 2-3:30pm ET
CMS will host a special National Provider Call regarding the Medicare FFS implementation of HIPAA Version 5010 and D.0 transaction standards.
Target Audience: Vendors, clearinghouses, and providers who need to make Medicare FFS-specific changes in compliance with HIPAA Version 5010 requirements.
Agenda (there will be no slide presentation for this call):
- HIPAA Version 5010 implementation update
- Question & answer session
If you would like to submit a question related to this topic in advance of, during, or following the call, please email your inquiry to the 5010 FFS Information resource mailbox at 5010FFSinfo@CMS.hhs.gov. Note that this resource box will only accept emails the day before, the day of, and the day after this call; your emailed questions will be answered as soon as possible, and may not be answered during the call.
Registration Information: In order to receive the call-in information, you must register for the call. Registration will close at 12pm on the day of the call or when available space has been filled; no exceptions will be made, so please register early. For more details, including instructions on registering for the call, please visit http://www.eventsvc.com/
Greater instances of Medicare correspondence letters that make reference to error N22226 as the basis for patient claims not crossing over
On Monday, December 5, 2011, CMS issued a Special Edition MLN Matters Article (SE1137) entitled Additional Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) 837 5010 Transitional Changes and Further Modifications to the Coordination of Benefits Agreement (COBA) National Crossover Process. CMS issued this guidance for the benefit of physicians/practitioners, providers, and suppliers to help them understand why they were seeing greater instances of Medicare correspondence letters that made reference to error N22226 as the basis for why their patients claims could not be crossed over.
CMS has since learned that concern exists in the provider community concerning whether billing of hardcopy CMS 1500 or UB04 claims or HIPAA version 4010A1 or National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) version 5.1 batch claims will result in Medicare being unable to cross those claims over to COBA supplemental payers that have cut-over to exclusive receipt of crossover claims in the version 5010 837 claim formats or NCPDP D.0 batch claim formats. This is not true.
During the 90-day Version 5010 non-enforcement period (Sunday, January 1, 2012 through Saturday, March 31, 2012), Medicare will have the systematic capability to perform up- or down-version conversion of incoming claim formats (ie. convert incoming hardcopy formats to HIPAA equivalent claim formats and convert incoming version 4010A1 claim formats to 5010 formats and vice-a-versa), in accordance with external supplemental payer specifications concerning production claims format. This practice will discontinue, however, at the conclusion of the 90-day non-enforcement period, with the exception below. (This action is controlled by information that the Common Working File receives concerning individual supplemental payers ability to accept HIPAA 5010 or NCPDP D.0 claim formats in production mode.)
Note that physicians/practitioners, providers, and suppliers that have authorization under the Administrative Simplification Compliance Act (ASCA) to submit claims using a hardcopy format should know that Medicare has the systematic capability to convert keyed claims into outbound-compliant HIPAA 837 claim formats for crossover claim transmission purposes. This is true at all times, not just during the 90-day non-enforcement period.
What’s Your Plan, Man?
Is your organization preparing for a smooth transition to ICD-10 on Tuesday, October 1, 2013? ICD-10 National Provider Calls, hosted by the CMS Provider Communications Group, can help you prepare for the US healthcare industry’s change from ICD-9 to ICD-10 for diagnosis and inpatient procedure coding.
Video slideshow presentations from the following National Provider Calls are available on the CMS YouTube Channel. These video slideshows include the call slide presentation and audio with captions; each call includes presentations by CMS subject matter experts, followed by a question and answer session.
- ICD-10 Implementation Strategies and Planning Thursday, November 17, 2011
The ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 Cooperating Parties CMS, the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discuss ICD-10 implementation strategies and planning, and the CMS Provider Billing Group discuss the Medicare FFS claims processing guidance issued in August 2011.
- ICD-10 Implementation Strategies for Physicians Wednesday, August 3, 2011
CMS subject matter experts discuss how physician offices can prepare for the change to ICD-10 for medical diagnosis and inpatient procedure coding and provide updates on national ICD-10 implementation issues affecting all providers.
- CMS ICD-10 Conversion Activities Wednesday, May 18, 2011
CMS subject matter experts discuss the ICD-10 conversion process currently taking place within CMS, including a case study from the Coverage and Analysis Group on their transition to ICD-10 for the lab national coverage determinations (NCDs).
Podcasts, complete audio files, and complete written transcripts for these ICD-10 National Provider Calls are also available on the CMS ICD-10 webpage at http://www.CMS.gov/ICD10/
Available 24/7, YouTube video presentations and podcasts make learning about the ICD-10 transition easy and convenient. Check them out today.
Medicare Learning Network Announcements, Updates and Revisions
From the MLN: Health Professional Shortage Area Bonus Payment Policy Reminders MLN Matters ArticleReleased – A new MLN Matters Special Edition Article #SE1202, Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) Bonus Payment Policy Reminders, has been released in downloadable format. This article is designed to provide education on the HPSA Bonus Payment Program, and provides information about the program and resources that providers can use to determine whether they are eligible to receive the bonus payment.
From the MLN: New Medicare Coverage of Radiology and Other Diagnostic Services Fact Sheet Released - A new Medicare Coverage of Radiology and Other Diagnostic Services fact sheet (ICN 907164) has been released in downloadable format. This fact sheet is designed to provide education on Medicare coverage and billing information for radiology and other diagnostic services, and includes specific information concerning billing and coding requirements and an overview of coverage guidelines.
From the MLN: New Fast Fact on MLN Provider Compliance Webpage – A new fast factis now available on the MLN Provider Compliance webpage. This page provides the latest educational products designed to help Medicare Fee-For-Service providers understand and avoid common billing errors and other improper activities. Please bookmark this page and checkbackoften as a new fast fact is added each month!
From the MLN: Acute Care Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System Fact Sheet Revised – The Acute Care Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System fact sheet (ICN 006815) has been revised and is available in downloadable format. This fact sheet includes information on payment background, the basis for the Acute Care Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System payment, payment rates, and how payment rates are set.
From the MLN: Items and Services That Are Not Covered Under the Medicare Program Booklet and Medicare Claim Submission Guidelines Fact Sheet Now Available in Hardcopy – The Items and Services That Are Not Covered Under the Medicare Program booklet (ICN 906765), available now in hardcopy, includes information about the four categories of items and services that are not covered under the Medicare program and applicable exceptions to exclusions and the Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage.
The Medicare Claim Submission Guidelines fact sheet (ICN 906764), available now in hardcopy as well, includes information about applying for a National Provider Identifier and enrolling in the Medicare program, filing Medicare claims, and private contracts with Medicare beneficiaries.
From the MLN: Medicare Claim Review Programs BookletRevised – The revised Medicare Claim Review Programs: MR, NCCI Edits, MUEs, CERT, and RAC booklet (ICN 006973) is designed to provide education on the different CMS claim review programs and assist providers in reducing payment errors, including, in particular, coverage and coding errors. It includes frequently asked questions, resources, and an overview of the various programs, including Medical Review, Recovery Audit Contractor, and the Comprehensive Error Rate Testing Program.
From the MLN: Substance (Other Than Tobacco) Abuse Structured Assessment and Brief Intervention (SBIRT) Fact Sheet Revised – This revised Substance (Other Than Tobacco) Abuse Structured Assessment and Brief Intervention (SBIRT) fact sheet (ICN 904084) is designed to provide education on SBIRT, an early intervention approach that targets those with nondependent substance use to provide effective strategies for intervention prior to the need for more extensive or specialized treatment.
From the MLN: Non-Specific Procedure Code Description Requirement for HIPAA Version 5010 Claims MLN Matters ArticleReleased – The new Non-Specific Procedure Code Description Requirement for HIPAA Version 5010 Claims MLN Matters Special Edition Article (#SE1138) is designed to provide education on the requirements for non-specific procedure codes for HIPAA 5010 claims, as established in Change Request 7392. It includes guidance to help providers comply with the requirements and submit HIPPA-compliant claims for all non-specific procedure codes.
From the MLN: Federally Qualified Health Center Fact Sheet Revised – The revised Federally Qualified Health Center fact sheet (ICN 006397) includes the following information: background; FQHC designation; covered FQHC services; FQHC preventive primary services that are not covered; FQHC Prospective Payment System; FQHC payments; and Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 provisions that impact FQHCs.
From the MLN: Medicare Preventive Services Series: Part 2, Web-Based-Training Course (WBT) Revised – This WBT is designed to provide education on Medicare Preventive Services. It includes information on Medicares coverage for the initial preventive physical exam (IPPE), ultrasound screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), screening electrocardiogram (EKG), Annual Wellness Visit (AWV), cardiovascular screening blood tests, diabetes-related services, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening and smoking and tobacco-use cessation counseling services. To access the WBT, visit the MLN Products page, scroll to the Related Links Inside CMS, and select the Web-Based Training (WBT) Courses.
From the MLN: MLN Guided Pathways (Basic, A, and B) Provider-specific Resource Booklets Revised – The revised MLN Guided Pathways curriculum is designed to allow learners to easily identify and select resources by clicking on topics of interest. The curriculum begins with basic knowledge for all providers and then branches to information for either those enrolling on the 855B, I, and S forms or on the 855A form (or Internet-based PECOS equivalents). The resource booklets are:
- MLN Guided Pathways to Medicare Resources Basic Curriculum for Health Care Professionals, Suppliers, and Providers
- MLN Guided Pathways to Medicare Resources Intermediate Curriculum for Health CareProviders (Part A)
- MLN Guided Pathways to Medicare Resources Intermediate Curriculum for Health Care Professionals and Suppliers (Part B)
From the MLN: MLN Guided Pathways Provider-specific Resource Booklet Revised – The Revised MLN Guided Pathways to Medicare Resources provider-specific resource booklet provides various specialties of healthcare professionals, (physicians, chiropractors, optometrists, podiatrists), nurses (APN, RNCNS, NP, Midwife) PAs, social workers, psychologists, therapists (OT, PT, SLP), dietitians, nutritionists, suppliers (ambulance, ASC, DMEPOS, FQHC, RHC, Labs, mammography, radiation therapy, portable x-ray), and providers (CMHC, CORF, ESRD, HHA, hospice, OPT, pathology and SNF) with resources specific to their specialty including Internet-Only Manuals (IOMs), Medicare Learning Network publications, CMS webpages, and more. This version includes the addition of pathways for Anesthesiology Assistant/Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Anesthesiologist, Ophthalmologist, and Optometrist, along with a fully developed pathway for Mass Immunization Roster Biller.
All of the MLN Guided Pathways booklets above are available at http://www.CMS.gov/
From the MLN:Preventive Services Educational Resources for Health Care Professionals MLN Matters ArticleReleased – The new Preventive Services Educational Resources for Health Care Professionals MLN Matters Special Edition Article (#SE1142) is designed to provide education on available educational resources related to Medicare-covered preventive services. It includes a list of MLN products that can help Medicare FFS providers understand coverage, coding, reimbursement, and billing requirements related to these services.
From the MLN: Advanced Payment Accountable Care Organization Model Fact Sheet Available- The new Advanced Payment Accountable Care Organization Model fact sheet (ICN 907403) is designed to provide education on the advance payment model for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). It includes a summary of the Advance Payment ACO Model, background, and information on the structure of payments, recoupment of advance payments, eligibility, and the application process.
From the MLN: Summary of Final Rule Provisions for Accountable Care Organizations Under the Medicare Shared Savings Program Fact Sheet Available – The new Summary of Final Rule Provisions for Accountable Care Organizations Under the Medicare Shared Savings Program fact sheet (ICN 907404) is designed to provide education on the provisions of the final rule that implements the Medicare Shared Savings Program with ACOs. It includes background, information on how ACOs impact beneficiaries, eligibility requirements to form an ACO, and information on monitoring and tying payment to improved care at lower costs.
From the MLN: Improving Quality of Care for Medicare Patients: Accountable Care Organizations Fact Sheet Available- The new Improving Quality of Care for Medicare Patients: Accountable Care Organizations fact sheet (ICN 907407) is designed to provide education on improving quality of care under ACOs. It includes a table of quality measures under the program.
From the MLN: Medicare Shared Savings Program and Rural Providers Fact Sheet Available – The new Medicare Shared Savings Program and Rural Providers fact sheet (ICN 907408) is designed to provide education on how the Medicare Shared Savings Program impacts rural providers. It includes information on federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, critical access hospitals, and how this program impacts them.
When do you think about customer service in your practice?
When things start heading downhill? You overhear something that surprises you, complaints seem to be on the rise and you think, “time for another customer service seminar.”
The problem with this, of course, is that customer service is a day-to-day relationship. If you wait until you recognize the signs of things heading in the wrong direction, it could be too late. Just like other relationships, customer service in your practice needs consistent attention and creativity to keep things fresh and in the forefront of everyone’s mind. Just like other relationships, customer service is a living thing that needs care and feeding.
Here is what Customer Service isn’t:
Grand Rounds is a weekly summary of the best healthcare writing online, featuring stories, opinion and analysis from doctors, nurses, patients, researchers and administrators, as well as journalists. Each Tuesday, a different blogger takes the helm, publishing a new edition of Grand Rounds on their site. Each edition features the hosts picks for the ten best healthcare links of the week.
This week, one of my very favorite bloggers hosts Grand Rounds, Dr. Bryan Vartabedian of the famed blog 33charts.com. Dr. V. is a pediatric gastroenterologist at Texas Children’s Hospital/Baylor College of Medicine. If you’ve never read Dr. V’s blog, try it – his writing is excellent.
Here’s his intro:
Welcome to this edition of Medical Grand Rounds. I scoured the web and pulled together what I think are some of the more interesting posts and news items of the past couple of weeks. Ive tried to explore some voices that perhaps havent crossed your radar. Weve got sociologists, medical students, IT gurus, medical futurists and even a couple of doctors. Some of the discussions have related posts that you might find interesting. Posts are not listed in any particular order.
Give yourself a little gift and click here to read Grand Rounds.
Here is a collection of the latest Medicare updates to get your New Year off to a
good informed start:
Pay Cut: Physicians continue to receive 2011 pay rates for an additional two months while lawmakers seek a compromise on a package that could last through the remainder of 2012 (jump to story)
PQRS - National Provider Call on Physician Quality Reporting System & Electronic Prescribing Incentive Program (jump to story)
ICD-10: Did you miss the November 17th National Provider Call on ICD-10? YouTube Slideshow, Podcasts here (jump to story)
5010: New FAQs for 90 Day Discretionary Enforcement Period of ASC X12 Version 5010 (jump to story
Medicare Enrollment: Having trouble committing to Medicare this year? You have five more weeks to think about it. (jump to story)
eRx: The 2012 Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program payment adjustment feedback report ain’t gonna happen due to the huge volume of exemptions filed.(jump to story)
IDTF: Did you get your accreditation to be able to perform the technical component of MRIs, CTs and Nuclear Medicine tests for Medicare patients? (jump to story)
PQRS: CMS announces the posting of 2012 Physician Quality Reporting System educational products (jump to story)
EFT & RA: Interim Final Rule Standards for the Health Care Electronic Funds Transfers (EFT) and Remittance Advice transaction (RA) (jump to story)
There are two things I’ve found over the years that medical offices have a hard time giving up.
One is the appointment book.
The other is patient statements.
My first experience with creating patient statements was placing patient ledger cards on the copier. The copies were folded and slid into envelopes and mailed to patients. Despite a bad photocopy of handwriting of several different people squashed onto skinny lines, patients routinely understood what the bill said and paid the total. That was 25 years ago.
Today the process of sending statements to patients is largely outsourced along with electronic claims, but it’s not very electronic. If we can get paid by insurance companies electronically, why not get paid by patients electronically?
Happy New Year!
What will your practice achieve in the coming year? Many people make resolutions to improve themselves when the new year rolls around, but what about your practice? With all the changes in the industry, it can be tempting to just “hang on tight” through all the speculation and uncertainty, but technology and strong leadership will allow the highest performing practices and groups to get ahead and cement their market position in trying times.
To help your practice be a leader in the market, Manage My Practice is presenting a series of 12 articles outlining strategies, (or “Resolutions”, if you will) to take your practice to the next level in the coming year. Look for the next article on Thursday, and share your practice’s resolutions, and ideas for 2012 below! Don’t want to miss a single article? Type your email address in the upper right-hand corner box and get the articles fresh off the presses into your inbox.
What is a Practice Dashboard?
You’ve probably heard the adage ‘You can’t manage what you can’t measure!” The Dashboard is a way to capture key pieces of data in your practice and demonstrate your management skills to your stakeholders.