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In This Issue
Industry Insight
Health Sector’s Achilles Heel: Security Leaks
MSN Money details the ongoing battle to keep health information secure.

GPs Act on Few Computer
Prescribing Alerts

According to Pulse, a study found that only 2% of computerized prescribing alerts prompted any action from physicians during patient visits.
Editor's E-Note
Did you ever examine a utility bill? Whether it be from a phone company, cable distributor, or electricity provider, consumers can count on being charged two bucks for this and another five and change for something else.

In an era when signs point to patients demanding more access to their protected health information, it’s important not to charge them a slew of fees for the privilege. Doing so would no doubt discourage some from pursuing their health data.

This issue’s E-News Exclusive takes a look at the fee structure set to take effect on September 23 under the HITECH Act.

Lee DeOrio, editor
E-News Exclusives
Release of Information Under the HITECH Act
By Kim Murphy-Abdouch, MPH, RHIA, FACHE

Meaningful use stages 1 and 2 and the final rule of the HITECH Privacy, Security, Enforcement, Breach, and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act present an opportunity to transform how health care organizations manage patient access to their protected health information (PHI). Both meaningful use and HITECH have placed emphasis on patient engagement through providing them with an electronic copy of their information, including diagnostic test results, problem lists, medication lists, and medication allergies, on request.

Each state sets the fees that may be charged for providing copies of medical records. States do not differentiate the fees that may be charged for individuals seeking to access and maintain their own PHI from the fees that may be charged to other third parties who use the information for business purposes, such as insurance underwriting and legal claims.

Beginning September 23, HITECH limits the fees that individuals may be charged for their PHI to the reasonable costs of labor for copying the PHI plus supplies and postage. So even if a state law establishes a per page fee of 25 cents, under HITECH, if the actual cost to the health care organization is only 10 cents per page, it may charge the individual only 10 cents.

Full Story »
Ask the Expert
Have a coding or transcription question? Get an expert answer by sending an
e-mail to edit@gvpub.com.

This month’s selection:
My organization has a hospitalist group that will be overseeing a new protocol for discharging COPD patients that is interested in reporting transitional care management codes. A patient is discharged from an inpatient stay, still with moderate to high-complexity issues. Within two days, a pharmacist calls the patient for medication reconciliation. Within the required time period, a nurse practitioner conducts a face-to-face visit either at the patient’s home or the physician’s office.

All of the requirements for transitional care management will be performed and documented, however, I am concerned about the pharmacist. Does the pharmacist need to be employed by the physician group or should there, at minimum, be some sort of financial agreement regarding the pharmacist’s services? Additionally, I would think the services must be reported by the nurse practitioner, as this could not be an incident to service. Any advice?

Cristy Donaldson, CPC, CPMA
Coding Specialist
University Physicians’ Association, Inc

Response »
Industry Insight
Standards for Mobile Health
Vital to Reaching Scale

The mHealth Alliance recently released a new report that provides guidance for policy makers, donors, developers, and implementers looking to adopt standards to strengthen health systems and promote the continuum of care, particularly for communities that lack access to health services. The report gives an overview of the current state of standards and interoperability in the field, identifies gaps and opportunities related to standards in low- and middle-income countries, and offers key recommendations that the mobile health (mHealth) community can undertake to achieve progress on interoperability.

The value of mobile technology incorporated into a health system lies with its ability to make information available in a meaningful way to the right person—the client, provider, and/or administrator—in the right place at the right time, regardless of how or when it is collected. Yet health systems in both developed and developing countries continue to struggle to realize the full potential of mHealth and, more generally technology, in part because of limited interoperability.

Read more »
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Recently in For The Record
Mining Untapped Data
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On Guard at All Times
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Control Your Data Domain
Technology can help, but it’s not a cure-all for establishing a sound data governance strategy. Read more »

Making the Grade
For medical transcriptionists to survive in today’s health care environment, it’s going to take a revamped approach to education and training. Read more »
AAPC Conference News
ICD-10 a Hot Topic
By Charlene A. Kennedy

Many of the 2,300 coding professionals in attendance at the AAPC National Conference were concerned about the ICD-10 deadline; for the ZHealth Publishing booth, it was the news about all the code changes that went into effect on January 1.

According to Contexo, there are 305 new and deleted codes for the entire CPT 2013. For our area of interventional radiology and cardiology, there were 95 total new and deleted codes. That equates to more than 30% of the changes for 2013. And for AAPC members, the changes are significant. The concern for coding these procedures correctly was one thing, but bundling the codes seemed to be the most confusing.

Another topic of discussion at our booth was the presence of David Dunn, MD, the newly elected president of the AAPC National Advisory Board, and David Zielske, MD, founder and president of ZHealth Publishing, who was a guest speaker at several events. Attendees could speak directly to these experts in interventional radiology, cardiology, and vascular and endovascular surgery.

— Charlene A. Kennedy is the communications director at ZHealth Publishing.
Tech & Tools
Mayo Clinic Anxiety Coach App
Mayo Clinic’s Anxiety Coach app for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch is a self-help tool that assists people in reducing a variety of fears and worries by guiding them through a series of confidence-building exercises while simultaneously tracking anxiety levels in real time and gauging their progress. Anxiety Coach’s strategies are based on cognitive behavioral therapy, in which people increase their confidence by gradually confronting situations that they have avoided out of fear. Learn more »

Kick Buts 2.0 Smoking Cessation Program
Agile Health recently upgraded its Kick Buts smoking cessation program. Kick Buts 2.0 delivers personalized text messages to smokers who need advice, support, and encouragement as they try to quit smoking. It sends messages at scheduled intervals over a six-month period to help users develop the knowledge, motivation, and behavioral skills necessary to drive sustained behavior change. The program also responds immediately to key words participants can send in requesting help to overcome cravings, slip-ups, or relapse. Learn more »

MedAptus Mobile Schedule App for Providers
MedAptus’ Mobile Schedule application for the Apple iOS platform leverages the company’s iPhone and iPad platform expertise to provide convenient mobile access to physician schedules and pertinent patient details. The development of the MedAptus Mobile Schedule solution grew out of increasing market demand for access to real-time schedule information by physicians who frequently travel between various treatment locations. Beyond providing secure and ready access to who is being seen next and where, the app’s drilldown functionality reveals relevant demographic details, including the reason for the patient visit, referring provider, and insurance carrier. A robust search function and sort/filter capability enhances physician navigation. Learn more »

iPharmacy App and NFC Smarter Sticker
iPharmacy partnered with Blaze Mobile and iRetainRx to improve communication between patients and medical professionals with a health care tool that enables mobile purchases at more than 200,000 stores. iPharmacy creates a direct communication channel to the pharmacist, allowing patients to receive treatment instructions and update their health care providers on their progress. Patients can receive their pharmacist’s instructions by holding their smartphone or tablet computer near their medicine bottle. The app is available from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
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