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MiraMed’s eAlerts are distributed via email every Wednesday, and contains the latest industry information regarding business process outsourcing solutions, helpful coding news, or any number of relevant topics in the fast-paced, ever-evolving world of healthcare. To subscribe, simply complete the form below. Below the subscription form, you will find the archived eAlerts available.

December 12, 2012

It is difficult to avoid hearing or talking about the fiscal cliff—an impending tax-hike-and-spending-cut disaster that is set to take effect in less than one month.  While Washington appears to be dancing to a familiar routine, the rest of the country is sitting on the edge of its seat wondering when it will see the end of this number and what it will bring.  Generally, Republicans propose severe cuts to spending and limited, if any, tax increases, while Democrats propose limited spending cuts and steep tax hikes for upper income earners.  Amidst all of this debate, it is hard to discern where healthcare fits into the picture. Unfortunately, while navigating through the labyrinth of information, we find little concrete guidance.

Read more: Approaching the “Cliff” Regarding the Quickly-Approaching Fiscal Cliff

December 5, 2012

Since 2011, over 84,000 physicians and hospitals have claimed about $4 billion in incentive payments for meaningfully using certified electronic health record (EHR) programs.  Estimates revealed that the government will be paying eligible physicians and eligible hospitals nearly $7 billion in total incentive payments by 2016.  Because the aggregate incentive payments are so great, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted an audit and issued a report, Early Assessment Finds that CMS Faces Obstacles in Overseeing the Medicare EHR Incentive Program (Report), which analyzes the fraud and abuse vulnerabilities in the EHR inventive program.  The Report focused on the Medicare incentive payments and did not discuss Medicaid incentive payments. 

Read more: Could Pre-Payment Audits for EHR Incentive Payments Be on the Horizon?

November 28, 2012

By now, most individuals involved in the healthcare industry have a familiarity with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).  As a brief refresher, HIPAA requires covered entities to maintain the privacy and security of protected health information (PHI) held or transmitted by them.  A covered entity is defined as a healthcare provider that conducts certain administrative and financial transactions electronically, a healthcare clearinghouse, or a health plan. 

Read more: HIPAA: De-Identified Health Information Explained

November 21, 2012

Many healthcare providers utilize templates (either hardcopy or electronic) to increase the efficiency of clinical documentation.  Oftentimes, these templates contain check boxes or other similar time saving-elements, which assist providers in maintaining an efficient practice.  On November 9, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued Transmittal 438 (Transmittal), which, in part, provides some insight into CMS’s position on the use of templates in medical record documentation, the risks, as well as some guidance.

Read more: Does Your Facility Use Templates in Documenting Clinical Information? If So, CMS Has Issued...

November 14, 2012

Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its 2013 Final Physician Fee Schedule (Final PFS).  Included within the Final PFS is discussion about the omnipresent Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, increase in payments to primary care physicians (PCP), an expansion of the multiple procedure payment reduction (MPPR) policy, and revisions to the new value-based payment modifier proposal.

Read more: Final 2013 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Issued

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