AAHAM eNewswatch
Dec. 14, 2011

Ready or not, reform under way
HealthLeaders Media
As a topic, healthcare reform is almost too big to fully evaluate. There's a reason the legislation runs 900 pages. Further, most of the provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act won't reach maturity until 2017. And it's not even certain that the law will survive that long. But healthcare leaders have to worry about what is, not what might be, and right now, PPACA is the law of the land. Whether or not the law is ultimately repealed, many of the drastic changes taking place in healthcare today regarding strategy, composition of assets, and even the business model are already under way. Going back to the way things used to be simply is not an option.More

AAHAM audio conferences/webinars
Topic: Effective Telephone Techniques
When: Jan. 25, 2012, 1:30-3:30 p.m. EST
Speakers: Amy Repman, CHAA, Director of Access at WellSpan Health
Program Focus: This beginner level session will provide useful tips and techniques for communicating over the phone.
Registration Info: Payment must be received on or before Jan. 11, 2012. You will receive your confirmation and handouts via email by Jan. 18, 2012.
You may download the full description and printable registration form at www.aaham.org.More

New year, new concerns: How to set medical practice goals for 2012
American Medical News
Experts say setting goals for the coming year that do not fall by the wayside like many New Year's resolutions is increasingly important to help medical practices stay focused and in business, what with all the changes being wrought by health system reform.More

Using time as currency can help practices care for the uninsured
American Medical News
Time banking, a system that turns hours into a currency, is being tested in a few places as a way for practices to treat uninsured patients and improve access to care. Time banks are local networks in which participating businesses and individuals give and receive credits that can be used for "purchasing" goods and services elsewhere. People can earn credits for volunteering in their community.More

Is a post-discharge clinic in your hospital's future?
The Hospitalist
Recent research on hospital readmissions by the Dartmouth Atlas Project found that only 42 percent of hospitalized Medicare patients had any contact with a primary-care clinician within 14 days of discharge. For patients with ongoing medical needs, such missed connections are a major contributor to hospital readmissions, and thus a target for hospitals and HM groups wanting to control their readmission rates before Medicare imposes reimbursement penalties starting in October 2012.More

3 tactics to take control of payer reimbursement
As demonstrated by the more than 4,700 recent physician remarks about their relations with payers, physicians believe that insurers strive to wear them down with repeated denials and paperwork demands in hopes that a high percentage of doctors will give up trying to secure their deserved reimbursement, Medscape Medical News reports. But despite the many aspects of reimbursement that are out of physicians' control, the article pointed out three concrete ways physicians can (and should) take ownership of their practice revenue cycle.More

Making the transition to 5010 and ICD-10
Medical Economics
Over the next two years, billing and coding processes across the United States will undergo significant changes. The compliance deadline for the first major change — the transition from 4010A1 to 5010 for the electronic interchange of billing information — remains Jan. 1, although on Nov. 17 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a delay in enforcement until March 31. The second major change, transition to ICD-10, will not officially take place until Oct. 1, 2013, but requires a substantial amount of work and preparation by many groups before that deadline. Healthcare providers, payers, software vendors, clearinghouses, and third-party billers will all be significantly affected by these two transitions.More

10 myths and facts about ICD-10
Becker's ASC Review
Healthcare facilities are right to be concerned about the path to ICD-10-CM/PCS implementation. The new coding system has come under fire in recent months, as the American Medical Association House of Delegates recently announced its opposition to the switch. Despite the AMA's opposition, CMS maintains that the 2013 implementation date for the new coding system stands. Here are 10 "myths and facts" about the transition to ICD-10, published by CMS.More

4 contentious topics in the ICD-10 debate
Healthcare Finance News
Fighting words were heard from both sides of the ICD-10 debate after the AMA called for a delay of the Oct. 1, 2013 deadline for conversion. LinkedIn and Twitter were bustling with yea or nay responses. Steve Sisko, IT consultant and avid ICD-10 blogger, and Rob Tennant, senior policy adviser at the MGMA, weighed in on some of the issues.More