AAHAM eNewswatch
Nov. 16, 2011

Upcoming webinar: Payment and Compliance Issues Surrounding Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries
AAHAM
When: Dec. 7, 1:30-3:30 p.m. EST
Speakers: Jason Johnson and Todd Doze of Healthcare Payment Specialists
Program focus: This intermediate level educational webinar will discuss how to improve your Indirect Medical Education/Graduate Medical Education/Nursing and Allied Health reimbursement as well as your HITECH Meaningful Use incentive payments by identifying and billing your Medicare Advantage stays (shadow billing).
Registration info: Payment must be received on or before Nov. 23. You will receive your confirmation and handouts via email by Nov. 30. You may download the full description and printable registration form here. More

AMA opposes ICD-10
Modern Healthcare
The American Medical Association's House of Delegates has voted "to work vigorously to stop implementation" of the ICD-10 revision family of diagnostic and procedural codes, citing the healthcare industry's already full plate for changes and reforms, including the federal push for physicians to adopt electronic health-records systems.More

Supreme Court sets historic showdown for health law
NPR
The Supreme Court said Monday it will review President Obama's healthcare overhaul, setting up an election year legal showdown. In an apparent effort to be as comprehensive as possible, the court certified four questions for review: Did Congress exceed its constitutional authority in requiring virtually all Americans to have basic healthcare coverage? If the individual mandate is unconstitutional, does the rest of the law stand? Does the law impose unconstitutional conditions on the states by requiring them to pay 5 percent more into Medicaid by 2017? Is it is premature to decide the first three?More

ICD-10 revenue neutrality: 9 ways to protect your cash flow
Government Health IT
ICD-10 provides refinement to financial/reimbursement models; it will improve clinical specificity results in improvements to patient safety functions; and it will improve understanding of disease and costs and allows providers and others to improve on their delivery. The ICD-10 code sets are not a simple update of ICD-9. The ICD-10 code sets have fundamental changes in structure and concepts that make them very different from ICD-9, and payments based on ICD-10 must be within an understandable and acceptable variance for both payers and their trading partners.More

OCR starts HIPAA privacy audits
Health Data Management
The HHS Office for Civil Rights has begun HIPAA audits to assess covered entities' compliance with the privacy, security and breach notification rules. Under a $9 million contract announced in July, consultancy KPMG has developed audit protocols and now will conduct up to 150 audits by the end of 2012. KPMG, ironically, was responsible for two major breaches listed on OCR's public website of incidents affecting 500 or more individuals. In May 2010, the firm lost an unencrypted flash drive holding protected health information on 956 patients of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and 3,630 patients at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, both in New Jersey.More

Providing prices isn't as easy as it sounds
American Medical News
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ICD-10: Mandate and opportunity
HealthLeaders Media
As the clock continues to tick down toward October 2013, when ICD-10 takes effect, hospital leaders are hopeful that the coding changes will result in improved quality of care. Still, many remain wary of the inevitable learning curve that comes with the mandate. In the long run, the increased specificity of the coding structure will enable physicians to better tailor patient care, says Greg Walton, CIO of El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, CA. But in the short term, it will cause problems and communication confusion, he says.More

Sharing EHR data results in $2 million in savings across Memphis, Tenn., EDs
Healthcare IT News
Sharing electronic health information across every major emergency department in the Memphis, Tenn., area resulted in reduced hospital admissions, reduced radiology tests and an annual cost savings of nearly $2 million, according to a recent study conducted by Vanderbilt University Medical Center.More

Billions wasted on billing
The New York Times
In this opinion piece, former White House adviser and University of Pennsylvania professor Ezekiel Emanuel suggests that administrative red tape and billing systems account for one of the biggest money wasters in the healthcare system. He suggests that electronic billing systems could save billions of dollars annually.More

How ICD-10 can create opportunities for medical coders
Government Health IT
A lot of people are getting into medical coding because of ICD-10. Not just because the profession needs warm bodies. Medical coders' skills will be extremely valuable; skills that include understanding the ICD-10 coding system. But there are other skills that will make medical coders very valuable.More

Readmission penalties cut deeper at urban hospitals
The Tennessean
The Obama administration has targeted hospital readmissions as a means for improving care and saving money. Currently, one of every five Medicare patients discharged goes back into a hospital within 30 days. Three-quarters of those readmissions are preventable, and keeping those patients from returning to hospitals would save $12 billion annually, according to the Medicare Advisory Commission. But readmissions are not always the result of inadequate care from a hospital. A recent study showed that patients with the most repeat readmissions live in neighborhoods with high poverty rates.More