AAHAM eNewswatch
Mar. 18, 2015

Legislative Day 2015 is a couple of weeks away
Sponsored by The American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM), this event brings you face-to-face with the decision-makers in Washington who will determine the outcome of our industry's top legislative priorities.

Legislative Day is right around the corner, March 30-31. We are all very excited to present you with a jam-packed agenda for this year's trip to "The Hill". This year we are making appointments for you with both your senators and representatives. Those of you who have attended this event in the past can attest to the excitement of being part of a grassroots advocacy event such as this. With all of the issues and obstacles facing us in healthcare today, it is imperative that you take this opportunity to let your voice be heard in Washington. AAHAM is giving you the opportunity to personally make this happen. Don't let this once a year opportunity pass you by!

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Where & When
Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C.
March 30-31More

Study: Costs vary widely for hospital outpatient surgeries
Risk & Insurance
States that use percent-of-charge-based fee regulations or have no fixed fee schedules are paying a bundle for common hospital outpatient surgeries, suggests a new study. States with cost-to-charge ratio fee regulations or fixed fee schedules see lower payments and slower growth of increased payments compared to other states. The Massachusetts-based Workers Compensation Research Institute compared hospital outpatient costs for the most commonly used outpatient surgeries in workers' comp for 33 states to develop its fourth Hospital Outpatient Cost Index for Workers' Compensation.More

4 price transparency considerations for providers
The majority of Americans want to compare healthcare prices, but many don't know how to find the information they need, according to a report from Public Agenda. Of 2,010 Americans polled, more than half have actively sought cost information before receiving care, and 21 percent of Americans compared prices across multiple providers during the process. About a third only checked prices for one provider. Moreover, consumers who price-compare are more likely to be responsible for adult family members' healthcare decisions, the report found. More than half of consumers who compare prices across providers are responsible for such decisions, compared to 34 percent of consumers who only checked a single provider's prices.More

Study: EHR non-adoption rate stands at 9 percent
Medical Economics
Electronic health records use has steadily increased among office-based physicians since the passage of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, but new studies indicate that the number of physicians who don't or plan to participate is substantial. A new study conducted by Mathematica Policy Research and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine seeks to reveal more information about those physicians to understand better why they don't participate and what effect their lack of participation has on their business.More

Telehealth's true success starts behind the scenes
By: Karen R. Thomas
For the last few years, telehealth has been one of the biggest buzzwords in the healthcare industry, and businesses are scrambling to create devices that can keep up with the high demand. In this digital age, though, it's no wonder that the devices are what garner much of the attention. It's easy to focus first on a new technology and forget all the behind-the-scenes effort that makes a telehealth program really work. However, it's precisely the operational backend that is essential to making telehealth technologies work — and work well.More

Don't confuse EHR HIPAA compliance with total HIPAA compliance
Healthcare IT News
Electronic health records systems are revolutionizing the collection and standardization of patient medical information. Never before has it been so easy for healthcare practitioners to have patient information so readily available, allowing for more efficient and accurate care. Unfortunately, what many organizations today don't realize is, just because their EHR system is compliant with HIPAA security standards, their entity as a whole may not be fully compliant.More

OIG presses CMS to cut hospital outpatient payments for low-risk surgeries
Modern Healthcare
HHS' Office of Inspector General is using a congressionally mandated report to repeat its call for Medicare to pay hospitals the same as it pays ambulatory surgery centers for low-risk outpatient procedures. The policy change could save $15 billion over six years, the OIG estimates, but would require legislation allowing the CMS to cut the rates for low-risk surgeries without having to increase other payment rates to make the policy change budget-neutral as required by law. More

Next Generation model designed for experienced ACOs
Healthcare Dive
Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it was launching a new initiative called the Next Generation ACO Model. According to CMS, the new model is intended to build on the experiences of the current Pioneer ACO Model and the Shared Savings Program. CMS anticipates that it will offer a new opportunity in accountable care — one that sets predictable financial targets, enables providers and beneficiaries greater opportunities to coordinate care, and aims to attain the highest quality standards of care.More

Does 'ACO' stand for 'a cash-flow obstacle'?
Health Data Management
To understand the fiscal yin and yang of what it's like to embrace accountable care payment models, compare and contrast Westmed Medical Group with Barnabas Health. The former, a 260-plus multi-specialty group practice in Purchase, N.Y., received a nearly $1 million bonus under a commercial ACO agreement it signed in Jan. 2012 with UnitedHealthcare-which rewarded the group for upholding various quality metrics-in mid-November last year. "We have shown great progress in managing diabetes care," says Medical Director Barney Newman, M.D., who monitors financial performance through regular meetings with the payer to review its data analytics.More