Posts tagged ‘Medicare’

Standardization – It’s Not Just for Reporting Anymore!

Via Digistan

While developing mTuitive OpNote, we’ve used the knowledge and experience of many physicians to help shape the form of our postoperative report. As we’ve noted elsewhere, there is no standard form for postoperative reports. There are suggestions and basic requirements put forth by Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO) and each specialty’s own association (like American Society of Breast Surgeons, etc.) usually has its own idea of what’s important to capture in the reports for procedures that fall under its purview. But while debate about and progress in creating standardization for postoperative reports, there are other aspects of Health IT generating their own sets of standards.
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June 1, 2010 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment

HITECH – One Year Later

This Healthleaders Media article examines the efficacy of Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act after its one year anniversary.  Built on other Health IT initiatives originating in 2004, HITECH Act incorporates monetary incentives to encourage health professionals to adopt electronic health records and to utilize more health information technology.

In the wording of the law, “eligible professionals” must demonstrate “meaningful use” of a certified EMR in 2011 in order to receive incentive payments of up to $44,000 from Medicare and $65,000 from Medicaid per individual physician – to help cover the cost of EMR adoption.

And while there are ongoing debates about privacy issues and the effectiveness of digitization, one of the main goals of the project seems to be portability: the ability to have a individual’s medical history readily available to any physician where ever/when ever that individual seeks treatment.  This is the ideal that Dr. H. Walter Kaess and Dr. Roger Chabra spoke of when I interviewed them recently.  GE has illustrated this idea dynamically in its recent commercials for EMRs that have been airing recently.

But what does this all mean for physicians?  How is the Health IT market working with physicians to deliver on the promise of portability without any cost to caring for patients or impeding the physician’s workflow?

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March 12, 2010 at 9:01 am 1 comment

The RAC is Connecting the Dots: Are You Ready?

Did you ever wonder about the insanity of separate billing for the hospital and a hospital-based physician?  The requirement was put in place to simplify Medicare’s accounting system and keep track of which trust fund the payments came from.  Separate billing is demonstrably redundant, wasteful and confusing to patients – and recently CMS announced plans that will likely add insult to injury.

RAC (recovery audit contractors) efforts have been expanded into complex case reviews.  Hospitals in RAC region C (Connolly Healthcare) are starting to compare inpatient DRG assignments to physicians’ reports, especially in the area of surgery.  Although the patient, the procedure and the diagnosis are the same in actuality, there is little coordination of billing and coding between the surgeon and the hospital to ensure that they are billed and coded similarly. Coding and billing are independent processes for each party. This is the weakness that the RAC will be attempting to exploit.

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January 29, 2010 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment


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