AAHAM eNewswatch
June. 15, 2011

Doctors, patients ready for online tools
Healthcare IT News
Physicians and patients alike are ready to move registration, prescription renewal, bill pay and other services online, according to a new study from Intuit Health. The Intuit Health Patient Engagement Study of 556 U.S. practices was conducted in April and found that 95 percent of doctors want their patients to fill out medical and registration forms online before their appointment. When Intuit Health asked patients about filling out forms and the registration process, 81 percent said they'd like to move this task online too.More

Are you ready for a HIPAA audit?
Medical Economics
Time was when violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act got you little more than a warning letter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But no more. HIPAA has grown sharp teeth in recent years, along with an inclination to use them, which means you and your practice need to be prepared for a visit from HIPAA investigators.More

EMRs a risky investment for some small practices
American Medical News
Problems with the reliability and utility of electronic medical record systems has caused hardships for some small physician practices — costing them tens of thousands of dollars and limiting access to patient care.More

New medical coding system taxes hospital IT resources
Medical providers and insurance payers are required to move from the current ICD-9 coding system to ICD-10 by Oct. 1, 2013. While two years away, the effort has already been underway since 2008, yet most hospitals have yet to begin the change-out, says the American Hospital Association, an industry group with more than 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other care organizations.More

AAHAM 2011 professional certification training webinars
Join AAHAM and top CPAMs & CCAMs coaches as we present a four-part webinar study program for the AAHAM Professional Exams Certified Patient Account Manager & Certified Clinic Account Manager (CPAM/CCAM).

Whether you are planning on taking the CPAM/CCAM exams or just preparing for the future, you will want to sign up for the webinar program. Those who take this popular series have a higher pass rate than those who do not. We will cover the four parts of the exam in the four-part series:

Patient Access: July 22 – 1 - 3 p.m. EDT
Billing: August 5 - 1 - 3 p.m. EDT
Credit & Collections: August 26 - 1 - 3 p.m. EDT
Revenue Cycle Management: September 2 - 1 - 3 p.m. EDT

Download the full description and printable registration form here.
Online Member Registration

HIPAA changes seek balance of compliance, right to know
In accordance with the HITECH Act's call for revising privacy rules governing healthcare information, the federal government has proposed changes to HIPAA that would allow patients to learn more about who has access to their electronic health information.More

Personal health records: Doctors have 3 big doubts
Primary care physicians like the idea that personal health records will make healthcare data more portable and open up communications channels with patients, but they still have plenty of questions about data security, workloads, and how PHRs might change their relationships with patients, a new study says.More

Physicians leaving practices for health system employment
By 2013, less than a third of physicians will be in private practice, electing instead for employment with larger health systems, according to a new report released by Accenture Health. The rate of independent physicians employed by health systems will grow by an annual rate of 5 percent over three years, according to the report. Burdened by administrative responsibilities of their private practices, physicians are increasingly attracted to the resources that health systems offer, as well as manageable work weeks and job stability, notes the report.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

AMA: Medicare ACO plan still needs work
American Medical News
Significant changes must be made to Medicare's accountable care organization proposal before the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services can finalize the shared savings plan, the American Medical Association stated in comments on the proposal. "A well-developed ACO model has the potential to improve care coordination and quality while promoting cost savings, and to help ensure success the AMA has asked CMS to make numerous revisions and to issue an interim final rule that allows the flexibility to adapt as needed," AMA President Cecil B. Wilson, MD, said in a statement.More

Email and your patients
Medical Economics
A decade ago, in an article for the Journal of Healthcare Risk Management, Michael G. Lloyd, a risk management consultant, predicted that "within the next few years, all clinicians will be routinely using email as a communications tool in patient care. In 10 years or less, clinicians will wonder how they ever got along without email." It hasn't quite turned out that way. More