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Other News
Medical Records for Ransom
In the wake of a string of data breaches, ABC News wrote a lengthy piece about the security of digital medical records.

Doctors to Be Paid
for eHealth Work

Here’s an interesting concept: Doctors in Australia will be paid $100 to help patients set up an EHR, according to a report by SBS.
Industry Insight
Most PA Labs Capable of Sending Test Results Electronically
The Pennsylvania eHealth Collaborative recently released a study that shows most laboratories operating in the state are capable of sending test results electronically. The collaborative is working to ensure that all eligible providers in Pennsylvania have at least one option for receiving structured lab results.

“It is encouraging to see that labs in Pennsylvania are sending lab results electronically,” says Robert Torres, Pennsylvania’s HIT coordinator. “We know from previous research studies that health information exchange [HIE] can increase efficiency, improve quality and safety of care, reduce costs, and make care more convenient for patients.”

Read more »
Editor's E-Note
Mention recovery audit contractors to a coding director and you’re likely to get a reaction somewhere between vile and violent. The guys looking for misfiled claims simply get no love. However, this month’s E-News Exclusive attempts to paint these “pests” in a better light by pointing out all the good things they do. No, it isn’t an unusually short article.

Speaking of unwelcome visitors, that's certainly not the case at the For The Record booth at the upcoming AHIMA conference. Please be sure to stop by booth #835 for a friendly chat about all things HIM and to meet our engaging staff.

Lee DeOrio, editor
E-News Exclusives
Good Grief!
By Judy Sturgeon, CCS, CCDS

The Coding Institute
No matter how many hospital health information and revenue cycle professionals you ask, it’s unlikely that you will find any who are willing to line up on the side of the recovery audit contractors (RACs). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) changed their name to recovery auditors in September 2011, but that really hasn’t changed their image. They’re contractors—head hunters, if you will. The more money they can take back from hospitals, the more they get to keep on commission. So if a physician orders inpatient status for a patient and years later these auditors decide that in retrospect the documentation doesn’t support the inpatient status, then the hospital has to return its entire payment to the CMS.

With the documentation that’s available, legible, and present at the time of coding, coders do their best to assign the correct codes. Financial pressures keep edging the “time to code” closer to discharge and the “time to have documentation completed” farther after coding has been done.

One can understand why there’s no love lost toward the RACs, no matter what name the CMS decides to give them. And there are certainly thieves on the medical forefront committing intentional fraud worth millions of dollars, but facilities generally deal with simple errors. Two main reasons for errors in patient status, coding, and billing are a shortage of nurses for case management positions that oversee the medical necessity of admission status and a shortage of qualified coders to make certain that both coding and diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) are assigned correctly.

Full Story »
Pre-AHIMA Conference Digital Supplement
Sponsored by
A2iA        M*Modal       
Don’t miss our pre-AHIMA Conference digital supplement, Use It Wisely: ICD-10 Implementation Delay Presents an Opportunity, coming this month. This special stand-alone supplement also includes features on specialist strategies for meaningful use and using transcription with your EMR.
AHIMA Conference Preview
All Aboard for the Health Innovation Station
By Heather Hogstrom

The 84th AHIMA Convention and Exhibition: Next Stop to Health Innovation will be held September 29 to October 4 at McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. Innovation is key at this year's conference as well as in the HIM industry, which is currently facing some important changes.

The convention will provide HIM professionals with the latest on current issues such as EHR implementation, meaningful use, HIPAA/HITECH, ICD-10, clinical documentation improvement, data analytics, and data governance. The exhibit hall, open September 30 to October 3, will feature cutting-edge products from more than 200 exhibitors to help HIM professionals advance their organizations and the profession. Attendees can earn one CEU each day just by visiting the exhibit hall.

This year's conference will feature addresses from the following keynote speakers:

Full Story »
Ask the Expert
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e-mail to edit@gvpub.com.
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Today's Diet & Nutrition
Tech & Tools
HIM On Call
College of St. Scholastica
Consult A Doctor 24/7
Telemedicine iPhone App

Consult A Doctor 24/7 now provides a telemedicine iPhone app that connects mobile users with the company’s national network of board-certified physicians and offers members the convenience of cloud-connected medical consultations from anywhere at any time. Learn more. »

HealthClips Rx Prescriptive
Patient Education App

HealthClips Rx patient education app, a collaboration between Milner-Fenwick, Inc and Preventice, Inc, delivers physician-selected educational videos to patients where and when needed. HealthClips Rx allows physicians to create and share educational playlists tailored to individual patients. Patients interact with HealthClips Rx content by flagging sections of video content, inserting notes for care providers, attaching files, e-mailing videos to family members, and sending data to an EMR. The app is now available in iTunes. Learn more. »

Sermo Real-Time Medicine
Mobile App for Physicians

Sermo Mobile builds on Sermo’s current Web platform, where 125,000 US physicians in 68 specialties discuss and consult with each other to provide the highest-quality care to their patients. iConsult, a feature of the app, allows physicians to take or add a photograph at a patient’s bedside, choose a question from the available list (eg, “How would you treat this?”), and then immediately send it to relevant specialists on Sermo. Members can view and respond instantly, offering access to shared medical expertise. Sermo Mobile is available for free for Apple iOS devices. Learn more. »

Popsicare Blood Pressure Telehealth App
Popsi Cube and Withings have launced Popsicare, a telehealth app for blood pressure and risk factor monitoring dedicated to medical health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry. Popsicare is a computerized solution for the capturing and sharing of pulse and blood pressure data and medical questionnaires directly from a patient’s home. Simple to use, the Withings connected self-measurement tool connects to an iPhone. The pulse and blood pressure measurements are made automatically once the patient has filled out the questionnaire. All the information is sent via the cellular connection to a secure server accessible online and in real time by the health professional. Learn more. »
Recently in For The Record
Meta Health
New Thoughts on EHR Design
Project Synapse delves into the facets and features that can make EHRs more patient friendly while taking clinician preferences into consideration. Read more »

Share the Health
Online patient communities are creating powerful forums to help individuals take control of their care. Read more »

Emerging Technologies for Chronic Disease Care
A national health policy group has identified 11 tools with the potential to affect how patients and providers interact. Read more »

RAC Frustrations Remain
Poor communication and a logjam of appeals are just two sticking points cited by HIM professionals. Read more »
Continuum Health
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