AAHAM eNewswatch
Jun. 27, 2012

Emerging reimbursement models pose new risks
Medical Economics via Modern Medicine
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has played a significant role during the past few years in emphasizing new provider relationships and payment models aimed at controlling the growth of runaway healthcare costs by financially rewarding physicians who provide high-quality care as opposed to a high volume of care. Fee-for-service payment arrangements, whereby doctors are paid only when they provide a medical service, still predominate in most healthcare markets around the country, but that situation is rapidly changing. New budget-based payment models that build on current Medicare demonstration projects such as accountable care organizations, medical homes and shared savings are slowly replacing traditional FFS. With or without healthcare reform, however this paradigm shift will continue to alter the U.S. healthcare system.More

Take action on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
As a follow-up to our TCPA position paper at Legislative Day, please send the attached letters to your legislators to encourage them to co-sponsor the critical legislation to modernize the TCPA. AAHAM continues to make advancements in our efforts and we need your assistance. We are pushing for a companion bill to H.R. 3035, which would amend the TCPA to provide parity in the protections and options accorded to landlines and wireless numbers and to allow healthcare providers and their agents to contact consumers at any number provided to them. The TCPA needs to keep pace with the rate at which technology is changing and how it is being used by businesses and consumers.More

AAHAM webinar: ICD-10 Implementation – An Advanced Dialogue
Topic: A Common Sense Approach To Denial Management
When: Aug. 22, 1:30-3:00 p.m. EDT
Speakers: Janet Hodgdon, CPA, CPC; Laurie Desjardins, CPC-I, PCS and Ilona Romanenko of Baker Newman Noyes
Program Focus: This intermediate/advanced level session will discuss ICD-10 implementation with regards to patient access, billing and collections from the perspective of finance, coding, reimbursement and technology.
Registration Info: Payment must be received on or before Aug. 8. You will receive your confirmation and handouts via email by Aug. 15.
You may download the full description and printable registration form here.More

4 ways social media can improve your medical practice
American Medical News
Although patients may appreciate social media for the active dialogue with physicians and access to trusted educational material, social media can provide value to physicians and their practices in ways doctors may not have considered.More

AMA thinking seriously about ICD-11
Government Health IT
ICD-10 proponents are not going to like this one bit. The AMA has voted to evaluate ICD-11 as a possible alternative to ICD-10 for replacing ICD-9 — saying that it will report back to delegates in 2013 with its findings.More

Feds propose rules to control collection practices at non-profit hospitals
Becker's Hospital Review
The U.S. Department of Treasury has proposed rules to protect patients from abusive collection practices at charitable hospitals. Here are some key elements of the department's proposed regulationsMore

AAHAM 2012 professional certification training webinars
This summer, AAHAM and top CPAMs & CCAMs coaches will bring back the popular four-part webinar study program for the AAHAM Professional Exams Certified Patient Account Manager & Certified Clinic Account Manager (CPAM/CCAM).

Whether you are planning to take 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: Held on July 27
*Billing: Held on Aug. 10
*Credit & Collections: Held on Aug. 24
*Revenue Cycle Management: Held on Sept. 7

If you are unable to attend the sessions, CD-Roms of the entire series are available for sale. You may download the full description and printable registration form here. More

5 trends in ACO development
Becker's Hospital Review
More than 60 accountable care organizations have sprung up since November 2011, and the number of ACOs nationwide has increased 38 percent over that time period, according to a recent Leavitt Partners white paper. Here, co-author of the white paper, Andrew Croshaw, shares five findings from his team's analysis of ACO developments nationwide.More

Taking a close look at an ACO
Healthcare Finance News
Accountable care organizations today mainly exist as a concept — a high-minded concept to be sure, but a concept just the same. The elements required to make the concept a reality remain largely elusive to many provider groups as they search for cohesion, cooperation and machination.More

Unsustainable ED crowding grows twice as fast as visits
Emergency department crowding is growing twice as fast as visits and will rise to unsustainable proportions, according to Jesse Pines, director of the Center for Healthcare Quality at George Washington University. ED visits increased 60 percent faster than population growth over an eight-year period. Crowding, or occupancy, grew even faster, according to an Annals of Emergency Medicine study. While ED visits increased by 1.9 percent annually from 2001 to 2008, crowding grew by 3.1 percent.More

AHA rejects proposed readmission penalties
HealthLeaders Media
Federal officials "ignored Congress's intent" when they wrote proposed rules governing how hospitals will be penalized up to 1 percent for higher readmission rates, said American Hospital Association executive vice president Rick Pollack. That's in part because the May 11 document by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services does not exclude all planned and unrelated readmissions from being counted against the 3,393 hospitals affected by the penalty rule, which will take effect Oct. 1, the AHA says.More

Insured, high-income patients delay medical care, too
American Medical News
An examination of healthcare spending habits conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that healthcare costs worry even patients with insurance and relatively high incomes. The financial worries of patients with even comfortable circumstances point to the reasons many researchers have seen a drop in patient volume at physician offices.More

Call for nominations for the Bill Spare Award
The Bill Spare National AAHAM Recognition Award is presented to a National AAHAM member to acknowledge and honor significant, commendable and longstanding contributions to the AAHAM organization. The award is named in honor of Bill Spare, CPAM, who served as the National AAHAM president from 1996-1998. Spare demonstrated integrity and leadership in every role he served within the organization and provided support and encouragement for so many of its members. You may download the nomination form by clicking here. The nomination deadline is July 31.More