AAHAM eNewswatch
June. 1, 2011

HHS proposes changes to HIPAA records-sharing rules
Modern Healthcare
HHS' Office for Civil Rights has posted proposed changes to rules regarding the disclosure of patients' health information that could give patients more insight into how their information is shared. The 95-page proposed rule, published in the May 31 issue of the Federal Register, proposes changes to the privacy regulations under the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The Civil Rights Office says the proposed rule reflects changes mandated by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. However, the Civil Rights Office noted that it also is looking to exercise the "more general authority" granted to it through HHS under HIPAA itself.More

Healthcare administration simplification
As you know, there is lots of dialogue on Capitol Hill right now about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and efforts by House Republicans to repeal this law. Whatever happens with the law, we need to reinforce with our legislators to keep administrative simplification (Section 1104) to help reduce costs and increase efficiency in healthcare operations. Please click here to ACT NOW and send an email to your congressmen — to retain administrative simplification in whatever healthcare reform legislation is enacted.More

Medicare ACO options added after criticism
American Medical News
The Obama administration has offered new options for Medicare accountable care organizations to entice wary physicians and other healthcare professionals to participate in the shared savings concept.More

Three ways to improve patients' experiences with waiting room design
Of course, the ideal medical office waiting room is one in which patients spend very little time. But given the reality that patients' experience in your reception area goes a long way toward their impressions about your practice, consider these ideas to make it more patient-friendly.More

HHS undertakes massive review of rules, regulations
HealthLeaders Media
Under orders from the Obama administration, the Department of Health and Human Services is setting out to review and update virtually every one of its rules and regulations. The effort is part of a government-wide initiative to create a simpler and smarter regulatory system that will annually save, according to government estimates, tens of millions of hours of red tape and billions of dollars in regulatory costs.More

New reservation system lets you stay home until emergency room doctors are ready
For $9.99, nine South Florida hospitals are guaranteeing immediate entry into their emergency rooms. Or your money back. Patients with non-life-threatening conditions such as a sprained ankle or urinary-tract infection can make reservations at InQuickER.com or on the hospitals' websites, which post the next available appointments. InQuickER returns the money if a patient isn't evaluated by a healthcare professional within 15 minutes of the reservation time.More

How to get third-party payers out of the exam room
Medical Economics
By significantly reducing overhead and improving collections to nearly 100 percent, you can charge much lower fees and improve access.More

How big a challenge is ICD-10? Ankle sprain = 72 codes
Health Data Management
The new coding system, set for national implementation on Oct. 1, 2013, greatly expands the ability to describe patient conditions. Coding a simple ankle sprain, for example, will involve 72 codes, rather than the single code currently in play.More

CMS schedules dry run of 5010 electronic readiness
American Medical News
Less than six months before physicians, clearinghouses and insurers must begin using new standards for electronic claims submissions, a government-designated test day will give all sides a chance to gauge their readiness for the switch. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has declared June 15 as National 5010 Testing Day.More

HIMSS introduces ICD-10 PlayBook and G7 Advisory Report
Working with more than 20 contributing participating organizations, HIMSS has introduced the ICD-10 PlayBook, a Web-based resource with updated and interactive information to help healthcare providers understand and follow the necessary steps to meet ICD-10 deadlines.More