Merriam-Webster defines technology as “a capability given by the practical application of knowledge.”
So, if technology adds knowledge and capability to our lives, why does it often make us feel like all those “For Dummies” books were written just for us?
These days we take for granted that our work tools are going to get faster, smarter, and more efficient. But every new feature, device, or integration can add a degree of complexity to the detective work that is necessary when something goes wrong. How can we work through those error messages, performance issues, and other hiccups that occur on occasion while maintaining both our good humor and good sense? Continue reading
In my last blog, I got to indulge myself and say the things people love to hear about ICD-10 and potential MS-DRG shifts: the problem lies in ICD-9, bad ICD-9 coding is the culprit in this case, and life gets better under ICD-10.
This time I am going to bite the bullet and give you a less fun example of the third type of DRG shift of the three types I introduced in my first blog in this series. The third type of shift is where a correctly coded ICD-10 record may be assigned to a different MS-DRG than the same record coded and grouped in ICD-9 because of important differences in the ICD-10 classification itself. Continue reading
Posted in ICD-10
Last month, I blogged my thoughts on the top ten compliance problem areas for physicians; this month, I am sharing a few thoughts on how practice managers can help with these problem areas. Yes, I know physicians may not be fond of being “managed,” but there are some things you can do to help yours—even the reluctant ones.
Billions have been invested in EHRs/EMRs in the hope they will improve healthcare and reduce costs. Yes, I know the jury is still out on that, but documentation is super-important now more than ever before. With liability still squarely on the physician— and yes, I agree it’s not fair—it remains very important for your physicians to document really, really well. They know all the reasons why they need to do this from a liability standpoint, so I’m not going to repeat them here, but I suggest you remind them anyway. Continue reading
Regardless of where your data resides, it needs to be protected. It may seem more secure to house your software and patient health information on a server within your facility, but this assumes you have well-maintained hardware, good backups, a bulletproof network, and secure remote access. It seems scary for confidential data to be “floating around” the internet, but that’s not what really happens in a hosted environment. Hosted systems are often as secure, if not more, than deployed, because of the dedicated performance monitoring, redundancy procedures, resilient connectivity, and both physical and virtual security measures. Continue reading
A book came out several years ago that has continued to resonate with me and that I still reference in conversations and discussions. The book, What Would Google Do?, by Jeff Jarvis, delves into how the Internet has evolved, and continues to evolve, and why some companies like Yahoo and AOL became has-beens while Google has flourished.
If you think about how Google operates, they focus on giving their users control, while other internet companies focus on trying to control users. The example that illustrates Google’s strategy most clearly is to just go to www.google.com and look at what you see, and then go to www.yahoo.com or www.aol.com and compare these two to Google.
Go ahead, check it out. Continue reading
As the country moves to automated record-keeping in health care, there are certain areas that need to be scrutinized prior to assigning codes for billing. Compliant coding is of utmost importance, not only for healthcare providers, but also for government auditors. While new technologies are being introduced daily, the government has warned that it will not tolerate providers who try to “game the system.”
The top areas that must be evaluated by providers in determining how to use technology include: Continue reading
Donna: Hey Sue, did you see the results of that recent ICD-10 survey?
Sue: No, I didn’t! What did it say?
Donna: Well, it looks like the biggest concern the participants had regarding I-10 preparedness was physician education.
Sue: I can understand that! Physicians need to know about ICD-10 documentation requirements in order for everything else to fall into place.
Donna: That’s right. What do you think organizations should be doing now to get their physicians prepared? Continue reading
Posted in ICD-10
Remember those wish lists you came up with over the holidays, those resolutions you swore you were going to do in the New Year? Well, it’s February, which means if you haven’t already, it’s time to put those New Year’s resolutions to work. The same thing goes for the healthcare IT industry. Last month, Healthcare IT News asked me what I would most like to see happen in healthcare IT in 2013—my wish list for the industry. If I had time and space, my full list would probably stretch out the door, but for now, here are the top three changes I hope to see put in motion this year: Continue reading
Well, that all depends. Just the sound of it could create fear in anyone, and to know that it introduced some of the most significant changes to HIPAA in years, one could easily be concerned. And before they published it in the Federal Register, over 500 pages to review seemed to be a daunting task. However, if you followed the changes to HIPAA within the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and in the Proposed Rule modifying HIPAA for the HITECH Act, you are less likely to be caught by surprise with most of the Final Rule and may have already started to implement some of the provisions.
Modifications were made to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Enforcement, and Breach Notification Rules under the HITECH Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. Just understanding when the Rule takes effect is important. The Department of Health and Human Services has determined an effective date with a compliance date six months later, offering organizations time to bring their processes within compliance with the new Rule. Continue reading
In December, states had to let the Department of Health and Human Services know whether they would set up their own state-operated health insurance exchanges. The deadline was not a surprise, although several states protested they didn’t have enough time to consider the issue. The mandate originates with the 2010 Accountable Care Act. What is surprising is the number of states who declined the opportunity to create their own insurance exchanges.
Federal health law requires states to establish health insurance marketplaces to serve individuals and small businesses that need access to affordable health benefits. HHS outlined a federal model, which was intended as a default option, fully expecting most states to choose local control and operation of their exchanges. Continue reading