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July 2022 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
During the pandemic, telehealth became a rock star of sorts. Both providers and patients lauded the technology for its role in supplying safe and effective care. To facilitate the technology’s winning attributes, Health and Human Services granted a bit of leeway in terms of privacy and security. However, changes are on the horizon.

This month’s E-News Exclusive spotlights how organizations are shortly going to have to ensure that their telehealth operations are up to snuff HIPAA wise.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
Telehealth Users Must Become HIPAA Compliant
By Kelly McLendon, RHIA, CHPS

Effective in early 2020, during the federally declared COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency, all health care providers that are subject to HIPAA and needed to provide telehealth services were given a significant break via a notification of a waiver from Health and Human Services (HHS). This notice allowed the Office for Civil Rights to use enforcement discretion regarding the use of telehealth under HIPAA. This discretion, in effect, lessened provider liability related to enforcement of several areas and safeguards within the HIPAA privacy and security rules if telehealth was delivered with good faith.

The reasoning for the notice was that it was considered by HHS to be more important to provide patient care at a time when our nation’s health care providers were stretched to the maximum and the crisis was growing by the day. Provision of remote, electronically facilitated telehealth connections between both patients and providers was an important automation component that vastly expanded provider delivery reach in a very short period. Existing telehealth providers were overwhelmed, opening the doors for other technologies and vendors that were not originally known for telehealth to become used to deliver or administer care.

Possibly the most common, video conferencing, took off in health care as it did in other industries. At that point, many technology vendors, including teleconferencing, did not have the ability to sign HIPAA business associate agreements (BAAs) because their technology was noncompliant with HIPAA. Suddenly these vendors were called upon to serve health care customers for the delivery of care and to attend to administrative duties, even without their products providing HIPAA’s required security safeguards. To their credit, many vendors did step up and quickly make compliant versions of their products and their cover entities were able to sign BAAs.

Full story »
Other News
A Tale of Two EHRs
While the VA is postponing rollout of its new EHR at four sites, the Defense Department is more than halfway through deployment of its new EHR, according to Federal News Network.

To Trust or Not to Trust
A survey shows a vast gap between clinicians who trust their organization to deliver good EHR experiences and those who don’t. The study says organizations most satisfied are employing superusers, reports HealthLeaders.
Products & Services
Eagle Telemedicine Adds Rheumatology to Suite of Services
Eagle Telemedicine announces the addition of a rheumatology specialty to its growing list of physician telemedicine services. By 2030, the number of Americans living with rheumatic disease is expected to grow to 67 million, while the number of rheumatologists is expected to decrease to just 4,497. This is generating an increased need for rheumatologist access, particularly among regional hospitals in rural communities, which the Eagle TeleRheumatology service is rising to meet. Offering 24/7 access to telemedicine specialists, Eagle Telemedicine reduces patient referrals, increases physician retention, and enhances hospitals’ overall quality of care. Other available telemedicine specialties include TeleICU, TeleNeurology, TeleCardiology, TeleOncology, TelePediatrics, TelePsychiatry, and more. Learn more »

New Anesthesiology Coding and Billing Course Released
Libman Education has released a new online course that teaches medical coders proper anesthesia coding: “CPT: Essentials of Anesthesiology Coding and Billing,” by Marcy Garuccio, ACS-AN, CANPC, CPMA, CPC, SME, AAPC Fellow, a nationally recognized authority on coding of anesthesia services. “CPT: Essentials of Anesthesiology Coding and Billing” bridges the gap between coding and billing for commonly occurring anesthesia services. The online, self-paced course addresses the dual challenge of arriving at the right American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) anesthesia code and “cross walking” from the ASA code to the correct CPT code. Coders need both to get anesthesia coding right. The course provides mastering the basics of anesthesia coding and billing; real-world coding examples; hands-on, step-by-step practice in coding anesthesia services; and assessments to ensure mastery of the material. Learn more »

Scribe-X Offers Medical Scribe Services
Scribe-X is transforming medical practices across the country with a model that pairs physicians with a highly trained medical scribe. Medical scribes are brought into the visit remotely over a secure internet connection and document the details in the EHR. Most medical scribes complete a patient’s chart by the end of their appointment, and at the end of each day, the provider needs to review only the charts for accuracy. By providing additional documentation support, Scribe-X frees doctors from the clerical tasks that take up so much of their time and energy, enabling them to maximize their time with patients and deliver exceptional care. The Scribe-X model lends itself to a higher patient care standard than other medical scribe services because of its unmatched staffing expertise, careful candidate selection, and exceptional training of medical scribe team members. Rather than training offshore candidates who may or may not be interested and emotionally invested in the profession, Scribe-X recruits team members who are planning to apply to medical school or other postgraduate health care training. Learn more »
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Industry Insight
AGS Health Receives Honor

AGS Health, a tech-enabled revenue cycle management (RCM) solution provider for major health care organizations across the United States, has again been named a Leader and Star Performer in RCM Operations by Everest Group. The company was recognized in the top quartile for performance in market success and capability advancement as part of Everest Group’s RCM Operations PEAK Matrix Assessment 2022.

The report assesses 31 RCM service providers based on market impact and the ability to deliver services successfully—as defined by subdimensions including market adoption, portfolio mix, value delivered, and strategic vision—to identify each organization’s overall market leadership position, labeled as Aspirant, Major Contender, or Leader.

AGS Health is honored to be recognized as a Leader for the second consecutive year, and a Star Performer for the third consecutive year. Star Performers are selected based on year-over-year advances in areas including growth, innovation, and technology investments.

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Have a coding or documentation question? Get an expert answer by sending an email to

This month’s selection:

As a risk adjustment coder for many years, my training has been that in order to capture a hierarchical condition category code, minimal documentation is required. For example, if the assessment and plan states: “Diabetes w/o complications (E11.9), stable, continue meds,” it is sufficient documentation to abstract the code, but recently, I’ve been seeing information that says that this may not be enough documentation and wanted your feedback.

Donna Laughlin, AS, CPC, CRC
ACO Coding Specialist – Physician Practices
Einstein Care Partners (now part of Jefferson Health

Read more »
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