Identifying Patients by Their Eyes

Iris scanners, palm pattern readers, and other once-futuristic devices are becoming more common as providers turn to biometrics to reduce patient identification errors. A healthcare clinic in the Bronx that serves a large low-income population has recently turned to eye scan technology it says has greatly lowered the risk for duplicated and merged medical records. The Urban Health Plan clinic, featured in an article on CNN.com, fully...

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Putting ICD Updates on Ice, Continued

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have proposed freezing both the ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM/PCS code sets prior to ICD-10-CM/PCS implementation. The proposal was announced at the March 9 meeting of the ICD-9-CM Coordination and Maintenance Committee, which maintains the code sets in the US. Freezing the code sets will allow organizations to focus on the system change without...

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ONC Announces State-level HIE Grants

The Office of the National Coordinator completed its award of grants in the State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program today. ONC announced approximately $162 million in grants to 16 states and qualified state designated entities. The program, funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, promotes nonproprietary health information exchange based on national standards. In total, 56 states, eligible...

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2010 CPT Coding Update

Kathy DeVault, RHIA, CCS, provides an overview of the 2010 CPT coding updates in the February 2010 issue. DeVault is manager of practice resources at AHIMA. *** Changes to CPT codes for 2010 include 219 additions, 141 revisions, and 63 deletions. This article highlights some of the more notable changes; a comprehensive list can be found in appendix B of the 2010 CPT coding book. The changes took effect January 1. Resequencing The most...

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ONC Releases EHR Certification Program Proposal

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT sketched in another piece of the meaningful use puzzle today, releasing a notice of proposed rulemaking on the program that will test and certify health IT for use in the voluntary incentive program. [Update: the rule was officially published March 10 in the Federal Register.] Professionals and hospitals seeking to receive payments under the program must use EHR products that meet...

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