AAHAM eNewswatch
Aug. 22, 2012

Federal rule to streamline electronic fund transfers and other billing transactions
American Medical News
New operating rules regulating electronic claims transaction services in the healthcare industry are aimed at enrolling more physician practices in these time- and money-saving programs, officials say. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published an Aug. 7 regulation applying uniform business practices for electronic fund transfers and remittance advice transactions. The rule establishes uniform enrollment standards for health insurers so physicians and hospitals can receive transactions electronically from multiple payers. The simplification rules could make the billing process more efficient and save doctors and hospitals $4.5 billion over 10 years.More

Make your plans for ANI 2012!
The 2012 ANI will be held Oct. 17-19 at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs, Fla. This year's theme is "Changes In Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes ... Taking Your Revenue Cycle to New Altitudes." The registration brochure is now available to be downloaded and online registration is now open. It's never too early to make your hotel reservations! The deadline to reserve your hotel room is Sept. 17. For reservations please call (888) 421-1442 or click here.More

Do bundled payments make the grade?
Becker's Hospital Review
Traditionally, third-party payers reimbursed healthcare providers for services performed on a fee-for-service basis. The Patient Protection Affordable Care Act has been exploring alternative payment models that result in improved quality of care and lower costs. One initiative comes in the form of bundled payments, also known as episode-based payments, which are becoming more common as organizations experiment with alternative ways to structure reimbursement. CMS recently invited providers to help test and develop four different models of bundling payments.More

Hospital initiative cuts readmissions and ED wait times
American Medical News
A quality improvement effort involving nearly 150 hospitals in 16 U.S. communities is boasting reduced readmissions, improved emergency care and better adherence to care standards. Sixty percent of hospitals in the project cut their 30-day readmission rates for patients with heart failure and avoided nearly 500 readmissions combined.More

Smart CFOs keep focus on ICD-10
Healthcare Finance News
When the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced a one-year delay for ICD-10 implementation in February 2012, some industry groups cheered, others jeered. What did CFOs do? The smart ones kept their focus and pushed forward with their implementation plans and schedules. The trouble is there may not be enough smart ones.More

AAHAM webinar: Predictive Modeling for Revenue Cycles — How to Get More For Your Efforts
Topic: Predictive Modeling for Revenue Cycles: How to Get More For Your Efforts
When: Sept. 12, 1:30-3 p.m. EDT
Speakers: Neil Smithson, Managing Member of PARO Decision Support, LLC and Steven Levin, CEO of Connance, Inc.
Program Focus: This intermediate level session is designed to give you an understanding of how predictive modeling and scoring can impact revenue cycle outcomes.
Registration Info: Payment must be received on or before Aug. 29. You will receive your confirmation and handouts via email by Sept. 5.
You may download the full description and printable registration form here.

Hospitals treating the poor hardest hit by readmissions penalties
Kaiser Health News
Medicare's new crackdown on readmissions will hit hospitals that treat large numbers of low-income patients especially hard, a Kaiser Health News analysis shows. The debate over whether readmissions penalties would fall most heavily on safety-net hospitals has been a flash point since penalties were included in the 2010 health law.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. This is another supplement to our campaign encouraging them to support the critical legislation to modernize the TCPA. AAHAM continues to make advancements in our efforts and we need your assistance! Working through Paul in Washington, we have gained recognition for our work on this! Let's keep it moving! Thank you for your continued support and participation. More

California suing doctor over billing tactics
Los Angeles Times
Plastic surgeon Jeannette Martello's aggressive tactics to collect fees from emergency room patients — including lawsuits and taking out liens on their homes — has prompted an unprecedented court case by California state officials.More

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 July 27
•Billing: Held Aug. 10
•Credit & Collections: Held Aug. 24
•Revenue Cycle Management: Held 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

Health law gives Medicare fraud fighters new weapons
Fighting health care fraud in the U.S. can seem like an endless game of Whack-a-Mole. When government fraud squads crack down on one scheme, another pops up close by. But the fraud squads that look for scams in the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs have some new weapons: Tools and funding provided by the Affordable Care Act.More

Maryland seeks a new balance in its unique hospital payment system
Kaiser Health News
Maryland hospitals and regulators are discussing raising hospital prices for private insurers and businesses by hundreds of millions of dollars a year to make up for suggested cuts from Medicare and Medicaid. A proposal by the Maryland Hospital Association circulated to policymakers details a plan to shift costs to private payers by raising the rates they pay hospitals by 7 percent over three years while giving sharp discounts to the Medicare program for seniors and the Medicaid program for the poor.More