AAHAM eNewswatch
Nov. 23, 2011

CMS offers grace period for 5010 compliance
Healthcare Finance News
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are giving payers, providers and vendors a bit of a break. It has instituted a 90-day grace period for HIPAA 5010. Jan. 1, 2012 is still the compliance date, but CMS said it will not "initiate enforcement action" on that compliance before March 31, 2012.More

What's Next in AMA's Fight Against ICD-10?
Health Data Management
Now that the American Medical Association's House of Delegates has adopted a resolution directing the organization to "vigorously work" to stop implementation of the ICD-10 code sets, what comes next?More

Log uncollected amounts, keep up computers to boost revenue collection
By now, many practices have gotten serious about collecting patient copays at registration, well before the patient sees the physician. But practices that limit themselves to collecting only copays risk letting revenues slip away. "Collecting copays is not hard, but coinsurance, deductibles and past-due payments are more challenging to manage well," said Margaret Hoban, executive vice president at Southwind, a Nashville-based division of The Advisory Board Company.More

Managing the uncertainty of health system reform
American Medical News
Medical practices are under a great deal of strain from declining payments, escalating expenses and declining patient volumes. Patient numbers may shoot up, because as baby boomers age, the newly insured enter the system because of health reform — or they may not, because of escalating out-of-pocket health costs. Practices are trying to prepare, but none can anticipate what they are preparing for.More

Surgeons taking the leap; dropping insurance
General Surgery News
Kevin Petersen, a private-practice surgeon in Las Vegas, grew more frustrated each year. And like many general surgeons, the things that frustrated him about his practice had little to do with performing surgery. He became most frustrated when trying to get reimbursed by Medicare. His office costs soared as he took on staff to deal with the bureaucracy of third-party payers. So, after 22 years of practice, Petersen did what many surgeons dream of—he dropped all insurance from his practice. Today, he operates on a strict cash-only basis, offering general surgery procedures to uninsured or under-insured patients for an all-inclusive, one-time fee.More

Patient engagement's critical role in post-reform success: 6 steps to improve patient centeredness
Becker's Hospital Review
Patient engagement, or the efforts we take to get patients involved in all aspects of their care both within and outside our facilities and physician offices, is more than a nice thing to do. Engaged patients are more likely to comply with their treatment and prevention plans, which results in higher quality care, fewer medical errors and lower cost.More

Ability to pay drives hospital length of stay
HealthLeaders Media
Uninsured patients spend less time in the hospital than insured patients, according to a study that suggests that ability to pay plays a greater role than medical need when determining length of stay. "The only two explanations we could come up with are either people without insurance are being discharged prematurely or hospitals are keeping people who can pay longer to increase revenue," Arch G. Mainous, III, author of the study, told HealthLeaders Media.More

3 contract negotiation strategies to improve accounts receivable
If your practice doesn't shrewdly negotiate payer contracts, you're making a big mistake. Many physician owners and practice administrators incorrectly think that health plans won't come to the bargaining table. However, payers are gearing up to compete in the health insurance exchanges that, barring an action by the U.S. Supreme Court, will go live in 2014. Up to 35 million new members are expected to shop for health insurance coverage via the exchanges, and the payers need strong provider networks. More