Thursday, July 31, 2014

Some Information About Braided Medical Tubing

Braided medical tubing is used in different fields of medicines like coronary, urology, neurology, gastrointestinal, endoscopy, diagnostics, neurovascular and cardiovascular. These tubes optimize the clinical results of medical devices. Some information about it are discussed below:Function: Braiding can improve the functionality of catheter by providing stiffness, kink resistance, high pressure resistance to collapse or small extruded tubing profiles. Some of the functions are given below:1. Increase in the column strength2. Improvement in the burst strength3. Torque properties and good pushing ability4. Resistance to collapsing5. Provide exceptional strength and6. Flexible, but highly kink resistantBraided tubing is a commonly used solution for bringing about an increase in the steam burst strength, besides producing slimmer walls in the process of extrusion. It can be helpful in increasing torque transmission, improving the strength of the burst, increasing the internal pressure and in reinforcing tubing walls. When they are applied to selected materials, these tubes can be viewed under X-ray.There are professional firms engaged in the manufacture of these devices and these firms are making use of the innovative technology and dedicated devices for producing these complex equipments used in the field of medicine thereby saving the lives of a lot of people.

Some years ago, the tubes used in the field of medicine were somewhat bigger. But, nowadays, they are available in tiny sizes, besides providing the same kind of benefits and even advanced features as compared to the conventional models.In the present days, technological advancement is ruling different fields and this is applicable to the field of medicine as well. Many good products and devices are introduced for bringing about further improvement in the way in which treatments are provided to patients for saving their precious lives. The field of medicine and professional practicing in this field is viewed with great respect and they are placed next to the Almighty just because of the fact that they are saving many lives and are making their family members to be truly happy. This sort of self-less service provided by the health care providers bring them great self-satisfaction as well.Surgeons play an important role in this field and only when they get appropriate medical devices, they can perform their surgeries with good rate of success. One of the important things they need is the braided medical tubing. So, hospitals will have to get in touch with the best device manufacturing firms for procuring life-saving gadgets and devices.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Getting the Most Out of Benchmarking and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

With the ever-growing financial challenges that all healthcare organizations now face, how can the various performance indicators be best utilized to increase cash flow, reduce bad-debt charge-offs and improve overall revenue cycle performance? Although there are many factors and undertakings that may be needed within an organization to get the revenue cycle to peak performance (technology needs, training needs, payer relationships, employee incentive programs, etc.), the ongoing need for increased / financial class specific benchmarking data will increase as operating margins decrease.For example, payers that make up a very small percentage of total gross patient revenue may not be getting analyzed and evaluated like larger payers; however, there could be significant dollars in lost recovery within these smaller payer groups affecting the revenue cycle. Even HARA (the benchmark in hospital receivables) doesn't break out payers such as workers compensation, Tricare or motor vehicle claims into their own financial class. With less and less resources available, there is no longer the luxury available to only look at some areas of the revenue cycle. More benchmarking and utilization of additional key performance indicators (KPIs) to help identify areas that need improvement, along with the ability to drill-down into these identified problem areas may be necessary to design effective solutions to get and keep the revenue cycle at peak performance.KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORSDays in A/RWith technology increasing, along with the higher volumes of data available, benchmarking and KPIs shouldn't only be looked at as a tool for financial performance improvement, but also for process performance improvement. As we analyze different KPIs, we may find that our organization is not performing at best-practice standards due to process and operational changes needed. For example, if our overall A/R days are higher than our peers, we need to know the specifics on what is causing that problem. We may find out that our A/R days are out of line primarily due to not having an electronic exchange with a specific payer whose volume has grown over the past year. This is why it is necessary to look not just at overall A/R days, but A/R days by payer class. An organizations' overall A/R days may look fine, but that may be due to a much higher Medicare mix, or a lower self-pay population than their peers. We need to be looking at all payers to establish key performance indicators for each payer type to make sure we are operating as closely to best practice standards for all of them, not just in aggregate. Once we know what the benchmark should be for each payer, we can then quickly identify areas that may need attention, and also monitor ongoing performance.Payer MixAs mentioned previously, knowing the breakdown of where an organization's revenue is coming from, how a change in mix will effect overall A/R days, having KPIs for each payer type, and then utilizing those KPIs to identify trends can help improve or maintain optimal performance. For example, if your commercial payer gross A/R days average around 60 days, and then slowly starts growing, you are now alerted that a problem is developing within this payer class rather than just identifying that overall days are growing. If you only looked at overall A/R days, your growing commercial A/R days may not be recognized due to another payer class performing better than normal, thus offsetting gross A/R days in aggregate. By recognizing trends and developing problems early in the cycle, the identification of the specific causes can be addressed and dealt with as soon as possible. With the advent of Consumer Directed Health Plans, self-pay days may start to grow for many organizations; thus, affecting cash-flow, bad-debt, outsourcing, etc. However, by recognizing this trend early in the cycle, and by having KPIs for this payer group, action can be taken tailored specifically to the self pay group.Cost to CollectThe Hospital Accounts Receivable Analysis (HARA) reports healthcare organizations' cost to collect by bed size, geographic location, geographic settings, etc. However, it does not report cost to collect by payer group. Since this number is an aggregate across all payer mixes, it makes it difficult to recognize what is causing the cost increases or decreases driving this aggregate number. Most organizations agree that it is less costly to process a Medicare claim than a self-pay claim for a variety of reasons, but how can they recognize that cost to collect may be increasing due to complex payer contracts or more tools needed to manage the contract (contract management software, additional staff, etc.) from an aggregate number? Without being able to drill-down the cost to collect by payer, making informed decisions becomes more difficult. By looking at cost to collect by financial class, we may spot a trend -- identifying growing costs in a specific area. For example, if we have set a best practice cost to collect number for our commercial payer financial class, and then notice that it has started to grow, we can now drill down to find out what has caused it to grow. We may identify that a certain commercial payer has added more administrative tasks to its contract (more hoops to jump through) thus driving up our costs in this specific financial class. This issue can now be addressed at contract negotiation time. We may notice that cost to collect in certain financial classes is high and can be done more cost-effectively by outsourcing. By utilizing KPIs and benchmarks for all financial classes, and by having the ability to drill down when necessary, we can improve the revenue cycle by making better informed decisions and recognize problems / trends in their early stages. Benchmarking can be a valuable tool.

However, when it comes to cost to collect benchmarking,standardization of what goes into the number may be masking real problems. Some organizations may only include their business office expenses while others may include items like technology costs, overhead, etc. With organizations not being required to report the data the same way, this overall cost to collect percentage can become much less effective for benchmarking purposes. When we prepare our income taxes, the IRS clearly defines what needs to be reported as income and what doesn't, so everyone would benefit from an industry standard on this issue. There really needs to be an industry standard to address this issue. Along with the ability to identify cost to collect by financial class, there is also the need to identify that as claims age, the costs to collect them also increase. By having benchmarks that identify costs by financial class and the age of a claim, we can now make better decisions regarding resources such as staffing, additional process changes needed, etc.Collection RatiosOrganizations are able to recognize collection problems by looking at indicators such as overall A/R days, percentage of bad debt, A/R days greater than 90, etc. However, by looking at both gross and net collection ratios by payer, you can establish KPIs by financial class. By setting these up, and then utilizing other KPIs like cost to collect, better decisions can be made regarding improving the revenue cycle. By having the ability to drill down into the details of the data, along with having KPIs by payer (as many as deemed necessary), we can quickly answer questions like: is my overall cost to collect growing due to my payer mix, industry changes, added resources? Is this increased cost to collect a negative factor or a positive one? My cost to collect may be higher than my peers, but my net collection ratio may also be higher; thus, justifying this higher than normal cost to collect My organization could also have a lower than average cost to collect which could indicate a positive factor. However, it could also indicate a negative factor if other KPIs are not where they should be. An organization could also be doing a great job collecting in a particular financial class. However, they may not be doing it cost-effectively. With just looking at KPIs in the aggregate, we cannot answer many of these questions.EFFECTIVELY UTILIZING BENCH- MARKING AND KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORSThe days of focusing on only a few revenue cycle key performance indicators are quickly disappearing. By utilizing financial class specific KPIs, and by benchmarking against both our peers and best practice standards, we have another tool to identify ways to improve operating margins The goal of any healthcare organization is to get paid as accurately and quickly as possible for all services rendered at the least possible cost. However, under the current ever changing health care reimbursement environment, this is not such an easy task to accomplish.By: Robert L. Wambolt, Healthcare / Management Consultant

Monday, July 28, 2014

Benefits of Buying Respiratory Medical Equipment Online

Respiratory medical equipment is becoming a popular online product. Today, more and more people (medical professionals and individuals) are turning to the Internet to purchase respiratory equipment because of various benefits associated with it. In this article, we discuss some of the benefits of buying respiratory medical equipment online.Online stores are specialized: Respiratory medical equipment is a very narrow market. It may not be viable for a traditional retail store to sell only respiratory equipment. There are few stores specialized in medical respiratory equipment. Online dealers of this equipment can be much more specialized and can sell at a lower price due to lower operating costs like rent and maintaining a physical store.Variety: Since this is a specialized market, finding a store specialized in respiratory equipment can be difficult. Often, these stores sell products from only one brand. You may have only a limited product selection to choose from. Online shopping experience is totally different. You can visit dozens of sites from the comforts of your home and choose from a wide variety of products/brands.Convenience: Shopping online for respiratory medical equipment offers you the freedom of shopping at your convenience. You need not worry if the store is open or closed and things like that. All you need is an Internet connection and time to review the products. You can shop anytime and anywhere.Compare: One more advantage of shopping online is that it enables comparison. When purchasing in a regular brick and mortar store, you are completely dependent on the salesman at the store. You have limited or no capability of comparing products - selection will be an issue. The sales team may have some incentive to sell a certain product/brand and may try to promote specific product brands. When it comes to purchasing online, you can do your own research, compare products from various brands, read the opinions/reviews of people who have already bought and used the product, and then make an informed decision.

Price: Compared to the regular brick and mortar stores, online stores offer the same products at lower prices. They try to keep their margins low as they don't have to bear the regular maintenance and other expenses of that of a retail store. You can also expect some decent discounts from online stores. Price comparison is quite easy to do online. This makes finding the best deals very efficient.No compulsion: There is no need to work through sales representatives unless you want to when you are purchasing online. If you are not happy with one online store, you can, without hesitation, switch to another that offers better products and deals. But make sure that you are going only to licensed dealers - you will have less to worry about the safety and security of your purchase and products.Privacy: As you will not be visiting the store physically, you can maintain privacy. You just sit at home or business, research, order and have the item delivered. Many reliable online stores don't reveal your details and personal information to third parties; they also make sure that the product is directly delivered to the person who ordered it.Reputable online stores also offer used products and rental services. However, make sure that the used products are properly tested and service is up to date.Why wait? Try shopping for respiratory equipment online. However, make sure that you are working with a reliable online dealer to get superior quality products and service that can make your deal even more profitable.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Guide To The Process Of Medical Billing

Medical billing processes are complex and are becoming increasingly sophisticated. They also require the cooperation of a number of different employees, working on their own and in concert to gather the information necessary to receive the correct reimbursement from the right sources for each patient.While it's not necessary for each member in a practice to have a full understanding of the entire medical billing process, they must understand, and thoroughly, each part of the process that they themselves will carry out. It's also helpful if they have some understanding of how their role affects the final outcome. On the other hand, it is critical for a professional to understand each role in the process and to be able to contact and communicate with each person taking part in the process.Medical billing specialists must also have an understanding of each entity's responsibilities for reimbursement as they apply to each individual patient. In doing so, they'll need to be able to evaluate each patient's insurance coverage, which may include coverage from one or more companies, government subsidized coverage, and employer subsidized coverage. They have to use this information to further determine how to apply the medical charges listed in a patient's account to each responsible agency, and also determine whether or not the individual is responsible for payment for some or all of the charges themselves.Once they've done this, they will then need to prepare the necessary billing forms to be distributed, offering accurate and thorough information in order to streamline the billing process. Once these forms have been created, they'll have to distribute them and then collect the resulting reimbursement for the practice.

The medical billing process begins as soon as a patient checks in for the first time, and the receptionist will gather the patient's basic information. This information, necessary for medical billing, includes their name, address, birth date, and the reason they made an appointment. Some of this information may be collected prior to the appointment, when the patient calls to schedule it. Using this information, the receptionist or other clerk will then set up a patient file according to an acceptable template. This will make billing easier in the future.Once basic information is collected, information regarding financial responsibility will be collected. This includes insurance company information, plan information, and patient financial information. Then the office can confirm with the insurance company that the current reason for the visit can be covered. After the patient's visit, the services rendered are recorded and added to the file.At this point, the physicians billing service typically takes over, using the medical services recorded to create the billing forms necessary to send to the parties responsible for the costs incurred during the patient's visit. To do so, medical coders will need to examine the services the patient received and translate these into the acceptable billing codes used by insurance companies for their reimbursement services. The claim is this transmitted to the responsible party.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Payer Solutions

Payer solutions refer to complete price control approaches through suite of billing, coding, collections, and denial management facilities. These solutions benefit the healthcare industry in evolving payment processing efficacies and dropping administrative prices, changing data into business intelligence(BI) for informed decision making to efficiently manage care delivery and business performance.Healthcare ITHealthcare IT is the backbone of healthcare revolution raising the bar for actual, effectual, and reasonably priced care with a solid IT foundation. It is almost as vital to patient care as a cure plan. Industry leaders must take a more all-inclusive view of their roles to drive revolution. They require building solider foundations for a "connected health" approach by laying down a solid IT strategy that is completely in line with the business requirements.TherapiesSometimes, therapies are more commendable and more price-effective than conventional medical cures. Complementary therapy is recognized by several distinct terms, counting alternative therapy, holistic therapy, alternative medicine, and conventional medicine.An extensive range of cures relates to the term 'complementary therapy'. Each cure has its specific unique philosophy and practice. Perhaps an easy definition can be reached by comparing the philosophy of complementary therapies with that of conventional medicine.PayerIn healthcare, payer usually speaks of the entities other than the patient that sponsor or repay the price of health services. In maximum instances, this term denotes third-party payers, employers (or unions) or insurance groups.Healthcare IT solutionsThe Payer solutions offer personalized and cost effective solutions to come across your exact healthcare IT requirements. Healthcare IT solutions provide financial and administrative, medical, and service IT solutions that work for a broad range of organizations.Healthcare payerHealthcare payers are facing troublesome ups and downs. Charge pressure and healthcare transformation has paved the way to innovative means of doing business. Private payers require reexamining how to design products that are yet applicable in a quickly evolving environment, build rock-hard relations with their associates, and support persons with care management techniques and reimbursement systems that inspire advanced quality of care at lesser cost. Delivery systems should arrange to take on more duty to contain prices while demonstrating incessant developments in patient results.

Healthcare consultingHealthcare consulting services aid payers revolutionize, resolve problems, and enhance performance in an ever-evolving healthcare environment. It supports healthcare customers cultivate and implement technology solutions intended to guarantee alignment with healthcare trends and every customer's general business plan enabling the payers to accomplish technology-empowered revolutions.Pharmaceutical marketingPharmaceutical marketing is the last component of an information continuum, where research ideas are changed into real-world therapeutic tools and where information is gradually layered and made more valuable to the health care system. Therefore, transmission of information to doctors through marketing is a vital component of pharmaceutical revolution. By offering an informed choice of judiciously categorized agents, marketing helps doctors in matching drug therapy to distinct patient requirements. Pharmaceutical marketing is currently the utmost organized and complete information system for informing physicians about the availability, security, efficiency, threats, and methods of utilizing medicines.Healthcare consulting companiesHealthcare consulting firms provide payer solutions. They support their customers in improved accomplishment of the fiscal and operating aims through the delivery of extraordinary customer-centric consulting services causing constant, quality outcomes to their healthcare customers.Pharmaceutical consultingPharmaceutical consulting offers an extensive variety of scientific, medical, and intelligence solutions to the pharmaceutical industry all across the globe and has a widespread track record of cost-effectively meeting the information requirements of healthcare experts.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Role Of Heath Care Practitioners In Various Medical Fields

A health care practitioner is one having the authority or license to provide curative or preventive health care services to individuals or communities in an organized and methodical way in the field of medicine, obstetrics, pharmacy, nursing, pediatrics, clinical psychology or other associated sectors. The quality of service provided by health care practitioners is strictly monitored by the state authorities on the basis of pre-fixed rules and regulations. The state has the right to judge the actions of the health care providers, and seize their license in case they are found to violate any of the rules. In such circumstances, it is the responsibility of the state to provide the Board of Medical Examiners the name and the action details of the concerned health care provider for the implementation of necessary actions.Let us see the various types of health care providers available:Primary Care Providers (PCP): The person you make your first visit to for a general health check-up is defined as your primary care provider. You can decide on the best PCP for you on the basis of your health problems and the health care plan you have. Let us discuss some of the possible options:

In most cases, a general physician can be the best PCP, who can look into your health problems and refer you to the most appropriate specialist. A general physician refers to a doctor of medicine or osteopathy with a specialization in internal medicine and family practice.

You can also choose an Obstetrician and Gynecologist has a specialization in women's health and prenatal care as your PCP.

For routine checkups and general health issues, you can appoint nurse practitioners with graduate degrees as your PCP. They are authorized to provide primary care in the field of pediatrics, family medicine, women's health, adult care etc.

Nursing Care: The nursing sector can be divided in various categories.

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): LPNs refer to trained nurses having the license to provide health protection services to individuals, families or communities.

Registered Nurse (RN): RNs are required to get through a state board examination and attain a graduate degree from a nursing program in order to get the license for providing health protection services.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN): APRNs are superior to general nurses owing to their advanced trainings and special degrees. APRNs include certified registered nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and licensed nurse midwives.
Mental Health Practitioners: A mental health practitioner refers to a health protection provider who is known to offer preventive or curative services in order to treat mental conditions in individuals. Mental health practitioners include clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists etc.Pharmacists: Having a graduate degree from pharmaceutical colleges, licensed pharmacists provide services in the field of health protection by preparing drugs that are prescribed by primary or specialty care providers.Specialty Care Providers: Specialty care providers are health care practitioners, who provide health protection services in various specialized fields such as Cardiology, Dermatology, Gastroenterology, Orthopedics, Nephrology, Allergy and Asthma and many more.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Short Guide To Health Insurance Policies

Many would agree that it's difficult to not have health insurance nowadays. It might seem like nearly an impossible goal to find a good health care plan that is still affordable. Apply these tips to shop for the right policy.Make sure you consider your overall health, as well as that of your family, as you make your policy selections. If your health is good, you may choose to purchase insurance that has a lower premium. While that may be cheaper upfront, it could be risky if problems start developing.There are plenty of options for you if you have just finished college and you are looking for health insurance. You may be able to get health insurance from your employer, if you have one. If you are younger than 26, you can remain covered under your parents' insurance plan, or you can look into personal insurance plans too.When open enrollment time comes, review your health insurance plans and needs. Perhaps your situation has changed and your policy is no longer adequate. Open enrollment offers you the ability to change vision and dental coverage, too, if you have that option.Remember to get vision insurance to help you deal with existing and potential eye problems. Vision insurance will help you afford your annual eye exam and your eyeglasses or contact lenses. You are not required to have vision insurance, and not opting for this coverage can actually sometimes save people money.Look at your prescription coverage every year. It is common for insurance providers to change the rules from year to year with little warning, so refrain from enrolling for another year until you read the newest policy. Pay careful attention, in particular, to changes in your prescription drug program. If the pill you are taking on a daily basis is suddenly not covered, it is probably a good time to begin looking for another insurance provider.

When talking to the health insurance company, never give them more information then they need. Give responses only to specific queries they have made. Giving extra information gives them more reasons to raise your rates or deny coverage.If you are one of those people that does not go to the doctor too much, your best bet would probably be to start a Health Savings Account (HSA). All of the money that you save from paying premiums and deductibles, can be put into this account and used for any medical expenses that you incur.Health insurance can be dramatically cheaper if you purchase it through a group plan. This is why employers can often offer their workers cheaper health insurance premiums. If you don't have an employer or they don't offer insurance, join a trade organization that has negotiated lower premium rates for its members.Catastrophic coverage is a viable option for those who cannot afford the premium payments for a more comprehensive health insurance policy, but who want some coverage in the event that there is a sudden major illness or accident. It's also good to add it to your comprehensive policy as an added coverage in case of extreme circumstances.Research your particular situation thoroughly if you're attempting to purchase health insurance with a pre-existing health problem. Some insurance companies will not insure those with pre-existing conditions, and some charge very expensive premiums for them. Doing research is a great way to get the best rate possible.Health insurance is among the most vital kinds of insurance one should have. Becoming overwhelmed with the multiple options of insurance can seem inevitable. The hints from this article should guide you to picking the right insurance plan.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ensure A Smooth Transition To ICD-10 For OB-GYN By Mastering All The Coding And Billing Changes

In the coming year, everybody is anticipating the coding and billing changes and ob-gyn practice is no exception. Amongst all the changes, here are a few to help you ease the transition process to ICD-10 for ob-gyn and help you in your ob-gyn coding training.For anything related to contraception, your physician needs to document the type of contraception that was discussed. On the other hand, patients may come up for discussion on contraceptive measures and not have any specific complaints. So after October 1, 2014, you need to choose from the following codes:

Z30.011 with the description Encounter for initial prescription of contraceptive pills

Z30.012 with the description Encounter for prescription of emergency contraception

Z30.013 with the description Encounter for initial prescription of injectable contraceptive

Z30.014 with the description Encounter for initial prescription of intrauterine contraceptive device

Z30.018 with the description Encounter for initial prescription of other contraceptives

Z30.019 with the description Encounter for general counseling and advice on contraception, unspecified

Z30.02 with the description Counseling and instruction in natural family planning to avoid pregnancy

Z30.09 with the description Encounter for general counseling and advice on contraception
If "encounter for family planning advice NOS" has been documented by your provider then Z30.09 should be reported.Next, if a patient who is pregnant reports to your practice, but the complaint has been documented as "incidental" for the pregnancy, then in this case one should report this along with another code that is outside of the obstetric complications chapter of ICD-10 that signifies the complaint.

Under ICD-9, it was being reported with V22.2 with the description Pregnancy state, incidental, but when ICD-10 sets in the code Z33.1 with the description Pregnancy state, incidental needs to be used. Although the code description is the same, the codes are different.While documenting, it is essential for the provider to document that the pregnancy is incidental and mention it in the chart note when the encounter is done to ensure you can use this code.Additionally, while reporting polyuria 788.42 changes to a new code. Any patient suffering from polyuria indicates that there is excessive or more than usual production of urine. Under ICD-9, the code used to report this is 788.42 with the description Polyuria. But as soon as ICD-10 sets in, you need to use R35.8 with the description Other polyuria and there is a direct co-relation between 788.42 and R35.8. When it comes to documentation, your provider can document it as "Polyuria NOS."Tip: You should not confuse polyuria with urinary frequency. Urinary frequency needs to be reported using the code R35.0 with the description Frequency of micturition. Also ensure that you steer clear of any confusion with nocturia which indicates that the patient has a tendency to wake up in the middle of the night to urinate. This condition needs to be reported with the code R35.1 with the description nocturia.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Five Things To Consider When Choosing An Outpatient Medical Coding Specialty

When it comes to choosing a coding specialty, there are a number of things to take into consideration before making an informed choice.The first is taking a look at the specialties that pay the most. Typically, the highest paid are Cardiology, Oncology and Gynecology due to the fact that there are a large number of codes (both CPT and ICD) and numerous procedures performed. You'll need to have an in-depth knowledge of medical terminology and anatomy that are specific to these areas of medicine.Next up is discovering what specialties are in the most demand. Evaluation and Management is perhaps the first choice here due to the fact that most coders find it very challenging. E & M is complex and requires a full understanding of the numerous guidelines and rules required to assign the proper codes. However, this may be the best reason to choose E & M as your specialty as it improves your chances of being employed. Down the line, if you choose to work toward becoming an E & M auditor, it usually means an increase in pay.Many coders choose a specialty based on their education and experience. For example, knowledge of chemistry will definitely help you master Pathology and Laboratory coding. If you worked for an orthopedic surgeon for a number of years, your might make the move to Radiology. Have you cared for a parent or friend that had heart issues or asthma? You may know more about Cardiology or Respiratory than you think.

How about playing to your strengths and make your decision based on what you are good at? Some coders have a knack for Musculoskeletal while others are great at coding for the Digestive system. In the working world, choosing an area in which you can really excel can be a major key to success.Finally, make a decision about whether you would like to work for someone in your neighborhood, city or town or focus on working remotely. Both have their pros and cons. Locally, you may be limited in your choices (depending on what your medical community is like) but you have the social aspect of working directly with a team which many coders enjoy. Remote coders perhaps have a better chance of working in their specialty but need to be self-disciplined and the ability to work well independently.Keep in mind that with a little extra work, you can have two specialties, which will improve your chances of employment. Many employers will ask you what your specialties (plural) are as a way to make sure you have a wide range of knowledge and experience.Both AAPC (American Association of Professional Coders) and AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) offer certifications in a number of medical coding specialties. Once you decide, take the steps to become certified and you can carve out a career that's both enjoyable and rewarding

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Doxil Coding Changes Again In 2013

This year you might face issues in reporting HCPCS code Q2048 or J9002. Although all the practices are well impacted with the coding and billing changes this year, for oncology and hematology, HCPCS code changes are of prime importance. Here is an overview to help you make the correct coding decisions:• In 2012 there were significant changes for Doxil coding and this has also been in 2013 for HCPCS 2013. Amongst all the changes and updates, code J9001 has been deleted and added the temporary code Q2048. But in HCPCS 2013, Q2048 gets replaced by J9002. But in spite of this change, Q2049 will be used in 2013 for reporting imported Lipodox that will be used to lessen the shortage in Doxil.• In 2013 another new HCPCS code is J9019 that is used for the asparaginase drug in chemotherapy and is sold as Erwinaze. Also the definition for J9020 has been specified by HCPCS that will now state that it is "not otherwise specified" asparaginase.• 2013 HCPCS also adds a new specific code J9042 that is to be used for targeted antibody-drug conjugate Adcetris. Also, earlier outpatient facilities used to report this drug with the code C9287 but in 2013 it is no longer in use.• Cancer codes for mitomycin have also undergone changes, which is essential for treating various kinds of cancer like colon, rectal, lung, stomach, and pancreatic cancers. This antineoplastic antibiotic prevents cancer cell from multiplying. So the code J9280 gets revised and the "injection" term is added to it. Ensure you use code J9280 to keep your coding error-free.

• Although Immune globulin codes have undergone minor changes, code J1561 gets a deletion of Gamunex from its description and in code J1569 the term intravenous gets removed from Gammagard Liquid code.• Two human fibrinogen concentrate codes J1680 and Q2045 also get deleted and have been replaced by new code J7178.• This year there is also a new J code namely intravenous ibuprofen which has been removed from being a C-code for temporary hospital-outpatient into a J code. J 1741 has been added and C9279 has been deleted.• You also need to ensure that you watch the units for relistor. J 2212 is a new code that has been added to it which is mainly used for treating patients with opioid-induced constipation.With 234 HCPCS changes this year, your practice is bound to face challenges and being not aware of all the changes and revisions will further add to your woes and result in loss of pay! A quick, informative and user-friendly resource is all you need to keep your practice on track.

Are We the Cause of High Healthcare Costs?

Everyone agrees that we should reduce healthcare costs in America. However, how we do it is another matter. Some believe that it is people taking advantage of the system and running to the hospital for a hang nail. Others believe that the insurance companies and hospitals should lower their costs. Still others believe that healthcare providers are overcharging their patients. All may have some validity, but the bottom line is we must all make a fundamental change in how we view our healthcare.We have created an entire system that focuses on just treating the symptoms of our problems. Our medical schools teach doctors, nurses, and therapists to stop the pain through medications, braces, and even surgery. We have trained the patients to only be concerned with stopping the pain or discomfort with no regard for what really caused it. I don't think anyone actually cares what the causes are, but in order to cure anything we must know what caused the problem.Here is what I mean. We know that eating bad food creates problem for people like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Yet when physicians, dietitians, or therapists talk about our diets we, the people, tend to not listen and ask for a pill, a brace, or surgery instead. I just heard a cardiologist say that if every American ate properly we could reduce heart disease by 80%. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. How much would that save us each year just by learning how to eat properly. Yes it takes a little work from us and no we do not need the government to outlaw bad food. What we need to do is make better choices when we buy our food. We can do this by educating ourselves about which foods actually do harm to us. Great books to read are "Grain Brain, Wheat Belly, and The Story of the Human Body," to helps us reverse bad eating habits and see clearly how to eat in a way to help our bodies recuperate from a lifetime of bad habits.

This requires changing your brains not just joining another diet fad. Ever notice that with all diets out there obesity seems to be on the rise? Just changing your diet doesn't work. I know, I lost 105lbs in 18 months. I was on no diet, except to re-focus my mind to understand clearly what was good and what was bad for me.Trust me when I tell you this, when we start only buying foods that are good for us, corporate America will only sell foods that are good for us. Corporate America is not stupid, they only sell what we buy. No laws are needed, only common sense from you and I. We, the people, decide how our system will be run. If all you want is a system that allows you to take no responsibility for your health, then continue doing what you are doing. But if you are ready to take an active role in the quality of your life, then now is the time to change how you think and decide to take responsibility for your healthcare and do something about it!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Immediate Medical Attention: ER or Urgent Care?

When pain is distracting you, and you are unable to function normally, waiting for an appointment with your physician may not be an option. Even if your healthcare provider can offer same-day appointments, immediate care may be necessary to avoid costly sick days and missed pay if you fall ill after business hours.If you are like many, when you need medical care quickly you will look for the nearest emergency room. Visits to the ER are at an all-time high, but this is often an unnecessary visit. Wait times can be excessive, and unless you have a true medical emergency, you can receive adequate care elsewhere. Other options are often cheaper, quicker, and more appropriate for average medical needs.So, what are these other care settings, and how do you determine which is best?Options Beyond ER CareUnless you have a true medical emergency, you will get quicker service and possibly more attention in another setting, such as an urgent care center, walk-in doctor's office, or health clinic. These options often have longer hours, holiday hours, and relatively low wait times. In addition, they often cost about the same as a traditional doctor's visit, unlike the emergency room, which can cost about five times more.• Urgent care center: These clinics can handle problems that need immediate attention, such as sprains or x-rays, but do not require true emergency care.
• Walk-in doctor's office: A standard office setting with no appointment necessary; this is a good option if you need simple attention for colds or asthma quickly.
• Retail health clinic: Walk-in clinics that are located at major pharmacies and retail chains. Great for routine care, such as flu shots and care for colds and minor ailments.

If you have a health plan, they may have a 24/7 line available to help you determine what kind of care you need to receive.Where Should I Go?Of course, the desire to circumvent the emergency room waiting time is foolish if you have an actual emergency. Avoidance of the expensive emergency room should never stop you from seeking the appropriate medical care. But, how can you know when to visit an ER and when to seek other options? Although this is ultimately a personal decision, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind when deciding what care to seek.Visit an Emergency Room if:
• Signs of a heart attack or stroke
• High fever with stiff neck, disorientation, or fainting
• High-impact collisions
• Fall from more than five feet
• Wounds that bleed excessively and/or complete or partial amputations
• Coughing up or vomiting blood
• Head trauma
• Sudden and severe abdominal painChoose an Urgent Care Center for:
• Stitches
• X-rays
• Strains or sprains
• Eye irritation or swelling
• Minor headaches, nausea, vomiting/diarrhea, general malaise
• Minor allergic reactions and asthma attacks
• Ear or sinus pain
• VaccinationsPlan AheadReview this information with your primary care physician and discuss options in your area for urgent medical care. You should also check to see which care options are covered under your healthcare plan.