AAHAM eNewswatch
Jun. 5, 2013

The new site that could change hospital billing forever
The Fiscal Times
When the Obama administration recently went public with the first comprehensive data on disparities in hospital billing, it was expected to be a game changer. First, the differences are massive. A pacemaker implant that might cost a patient $36,012 in one hospital might cost $143,124 down the road at a different hospital. There's no clear explanation as to why, and — until now — no simple way to go about finding out if you could get a better deal by shopping around for medical procedures first. That's what makes the new database such a huge deal.More

The slow crawl toward improved EHR usability and interoperability
Well-developed electronic health records hold the promise of helping healthcare professionals improve patient care and deliver it more efficiently, and the American Medical Association recognizes that enhancing EHR usability and interoperability will further ensure our nation's goal of a high-performing healthcare system. Physicians are generally prolific users of technology: new patient monitoring devices, diagnostic imaging, equipment and advanced surgical tools, to name a few. In each case, physicians have adopted these tools quickly and became proficient users — and they have done so without the need for a national incentive program. Why is it, then, that so many physicians are still trying to incorporate EHRs into their practices?More

Upcoming webinars
'Enrollment Solutions in the Shadow of PPACA', on June 19 from 1:30-3 p.m. EST

'A Little TACT is all it takes - Improving the Process of Business Office Collections', on June 26 from 1:30-3 p.m. EST

'Biometrics: The Future of Patient Identification is Here Today at INTEGRIS Health', on July 17 from 1:30-3 p.m. EST

'Cycling Through the Revenue Cycle: Are there Overlooked Paths of Opportunity?', on Aug. 14 from 1:30-3 p.m. EST

CPAM summer webinar series, various dates

Click any of the titles above for more info.

Click here for online member registration

Medicare readmission rates showed 'meaningful decline' in 2012
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
During calendar year 2012, the national 30-day, all cause, hospital readmission rate dropped to 18.4 percent from a 5-year average of 19 percent for all Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says in a new report. But, the agency said, the "reasons behind the apparent reduction are not yet clear and merit further investigation."More

Providers: Be on the lookout for 'insider' fraud threats
Healthcare organizations need to more closely monitor how staff members access patient information to minimize "insider threats" that could compromise privacy or lead to fraud, says security consultant Mac McMillan.More

Pay that motivates your medical practice staff
American Medical News
Physicians know who their best employees are — hardworking, competent, loyal and emotionally invested in the practice and its patients.More

ICD-10: An important and positive change
If you work in any healthcare environment, you know how inundated we have become with information around ICD-10 — most of it leaning toward the negative end of the spectrum. Yes, there is a lot to learn.More

Serious work put into making primary care fun again
American Medical News
Amid alarming rates of physician burnout, hundreds of clinics nationwide are redesigning their practices with a goal in mind beyond improving the quality of care. They are aiming to make life as a primary care doctor enjoyable once more. Innovative clinics say redesigning the flow of care and freeing doctors from administrative hassles may boost physician satisfaction.More

Hospitals thinking beyond 30-day readmissions
HealthLeaders Media
Operating under the assumption that the government is moving toward enacting reimbursement penalties for all-cause readmissions, some hospitals and readmission prevention experts are already developing corresponding strategies. When asked why their efforts to prevent 30-day readmissions focus only on patients with heart failure, pneumonia, or heart attack, many hospital leaders shrug: because those readmissions are the only ones for which hospitals suffer a stiff reimbursement penalty.More

ACOs are coming, will HIEs be there?
Health Data Management
The Obama administration shepherded through the HITECH Act in 2009 to accelerate adoption of information technology to support the healthcare reform initiative, which heavily relies on IT and health information exchange to manage a new health system centered on the patient, value and outcomes. One of the centerpieces of the effort was support for the development of health information exchanges. But the big question facing the industry is what role, if any, HIEs can and will play in supporting the newest federal idea: accountable care organizations.More

6 tips for lean revenue cycle management
Healthcare Finance News
To keep bottom lines healthy, organizations are turning to a process called lean revenue cycle management. John Gallagher, account manager of Simpler Consulting, helps organizations utilize this efficient form of management. "Our client base is quickly moving toward a majority immersion in revenue cycle management and we would be surprised if it wasn't 100 percent in the next 12 to 18 months given the cost crisis in healthcare," said Gallagher. In the following, Gallagher gives explains six tips on lean revenue cycle management.More

Looking to share your expertise?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of the AAHAM eNewswatch, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of AAHAM, your knowledge and experience in the industry can be of great help to your fellow members. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit, and our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.More

CMS: Providers can't rely on clearinghouses for ICD-10 implementation
Government Health IT
Clearinghouses can be a major help for healthcare providers that need help submitting medical claims to healthcare payers. And they may have a role in the ICD-10 transition. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, "It is important to know that while clearinghouses can help, they cannot provide the same level of support for the ICD-10 transition as they did for the Version 5010 upgrade." Clearinghouses allowed healthcare providers to submit medical claims in the HIPAA 4010 standard and sent the claims in the HIPAA 5010 standard to healthcare payers. Apparently there are healthcare providers still using the HIPAA 4010 standard — which cannot hold ICD-10 codes.More

New payment models: Comparing fixed discounts and shared savings
Becker's Hospital Review
At the recent Becker's Hospital Review Annual Meeting in Chicago, several presentations covered accountable care organizations, bundled payments and other new payment methodologies. Although not described specifically in these presentations, two different payment arrangements are emerging in which payors and providers are cooperating to reduce healthcare costs. The following article compares and contrasts those payment methodologies.More