CMS Releases Notice on Meaningful Use, ONC Issues Certification Standards

CMS and ONC released proposed and interim regulations on meaningful use and EHR certification late yesterday as the year wound down. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a 556-page notice of proposed rulemaking defining the “meaningful use” of EHRs and describing the provisions governing the incentive programs. [January 13 update: official publication occurred in the Federal Register today.] The program...

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CMS Eliminates Reimbursement for Consultations

Confusion and disagreement about the proper use of consultation codes has persisted since their development in 1990. Now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has a solution: cancel them. CMS finalized its decision to eliminate the use of all consultation codes with the exception of telehealth consultation G codes. CMS will not reimburse for consultation codes submitted on Medicare claims beginning January 1, 2010. Physicians...

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Best Practices for Terminal Digit Filing

Paper doesn’t get the publicity these days, but maintaining current and legacy paper-based health records continues to be important to day-to-day HIM operations. Understanding how to file, retrieve, and maintain paper records—especially across multiple locations, such as offsite storage—remains a core function in many departments. Most HIM departments file by terminal digits, which is the only way to keep files expanding at an even...

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Putting ICD Updates on Ice

One step to help the industry make the transition to ICD-10-CM/PCS will be temporarily suspending updates to the code set as the October 2013 deadline gets closer. Freezing both the current ICD-9-CM and the new ICD-10-CM/PCS code sets will save organizations further cost and complexity by enabling them to focus on the system change without simultaneously managing code updates. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has been...

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More E-Signature Resources

Organizations can find further guidance on developing electronic signature policies in the online version of the November–December practice brief “Electronic Signature, Attestation, and Authorship (Updated).” The online version includes five separate appendixes, linked at the end of the brief: Appendix A excerpts portions of the HL7 EHR-System Records Management and Evidentiary Support Functional Profile Standard, which can be used to...

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