The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) Program

With the government shut down, The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) Program, was also at a standstill. Since the government shut down is now over, you can begin to apply for your benefits again. It make take several days for MyCAA to receive full funding again but hang in there and keep checking the MyCAA website for full updates.

Does Turmoil at the Top of the Medical Transcription Industry Signal a Decrease in Patient Care on the Front Lines?

The recent news coming out of the largest providers of medical transcription services to U.S. hospitals paints a clear picture of the turmoil going on behind the scenes at these organizations.

M*Modal Shakes Up Leadership, Names New CEO

Moody’s Downgrades M*Modal; Outlook Negative

Nuance Forecasts Weak Profit on Higher Costs, Lower Margins

Carl Icahn Increases Nuance Stake, May Seek Board Seat

But what does this mean to the individual healthcare provider or the 5,500 hospitals scattered across the U.S and most importantly, the patients they serve? If these two organizations are responsible for creating a significant portion of the healthcare documentation created today, could turmoil at the top be a precursor to:

  • An increase in poor quality healthcare documentation on the front lines?
  • Non-compliance with desired/needed turnaround times?
  • Reduced customer service and responsiveness to client inquiries?
  • Increased physician re-work at a time physicians are already being pulled in multiple directions?
  • Decrease in physician productivity and satisfaction?
  • And ultimately, increased legal exposure for physicians and hospitals?

How could this not ultimately impact the level of patient care being provided in our hospitals nationwide?

At a time when the healthcare industry is spending billions of dollars to implement electronic medical records, move to a new coding system (transitioning from ICD-9 to ICD-10) and otherwise position themselves for the launch of ObamaCare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), maybe, just maybe, it’s time to get back to basics?

In the not too distant past many healthcare entities leveraged the services of a contingent of medium sized medical transcription services organizations who pride themselves on providing:

  • Premium level clinical documentation services;
  • Leveraging well-trained U.S. based labor resources;
  • With flexible, scalable solutions and/or the flexibility to use the hospitals internal systems;
  • Functioning on a variety of platforms including 3M, MModal, Nuance/Dictaphone/eScription, Dolbey, Infraware, Arrendale, McKesson, Meditech, Epic, etc.
  • With a single point of contact between the client and those able to effectively respond to client inquiries/needs without having to navigate multiple layers of an organization;
  • A well-defined and documented Quality Assurance program;
  • A proven proved track record with reference-able client sites; and
  • A commitment to pricing transparency and pricing competitiveness.

With turmoil at the top and patient care hanging in the balance…maybe it’s time to consider moving your business back to a medium-sized provider of medical transcription services.

For a list of medium-sized service providers leveraging strictly U.S.based labor resources, please feel free to contact us at 1.800.407.1186, extension 803 or email us at sales@ahdpg.com.

Windows XP End of Life and HITECH/HIPAA Compliance

Windows XP was released August 24, 2001 (yeah a long, long time ago) and has been widely adopted by both home users and corporate users alike. On April 8, 2014, Microsoft will discontinue support and not release any security patches for Windows XP, which will effectively make it non-compliant with HIPAA / HITECH. After April 8, 2014, users running Windows XP Service Pack (SP) 3  or earlier will become vulnerable to attacks as hackers work to reverse engineer the last security patches. This includes both security and “non-security” hot fixes, free or paid support options and online technical content updates.

I am sure there are a lot of users in our industry who still run the old trusted and familiar OS but the time for its replacement is now. The biggest issue will be the vendor support of the various transcription applications and their ability to work with the newer versions of Windows. The majority should now will work with Windows 7 but as most of you know by now Windows 8 is the current version of Windows available. (I wrote about this some time ago so feel free to read that post as well). Application vendors should be hard at work updating their applications to work properly with newer versions of Windows and the included web browsers.

The upgrade process is typically painless and Windows will update itself with the new version when you purchase the upgrade version of the OS.  It  will update itself and keep your applications and data intact. Of course this could be a great excuse to finally get that fast new PC you have been wanting for a while too!

I would recommend any Windows XP users out there start looking to upgrade now and get with the appropriate application vendors or your company IT departments to inquire about the availability of application updates that will work with the new Windows (7 or 8) and get ahead of the curve before it happens. IT departments will be busy in the coming months getting this issue addressed within their organizations to maintain compliance. So the sooner you are ready for this coming change the better.

 

Rebranding the AHDI Credentialing Exams

If you have not heard, there are going to be some changes for the RMT and CMT certifications.    New credentials will be  RHDS or CHDS.  Below is the article from AHDI -
In late 2013, the current Medical Transcriptionist (RMT) and Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) exams will be rebranded and renamed to Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS) and Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist (CHDS). Please visit this webpage for updates and the most current information on the changes.

All new candidates taking and passing the credentialing exam offered through our current testing provider Kryterion, will receive their RHDS and CHDS upon the official release.

The transition for individuals who currently hold the RMT and CMT will vary based on when the credential was earned and personal preference. The options are detailed below

  • RMTs and CMTs who credentialed under the current exams (this includes those who passed the 2010 beta test) will automatically be changed to an RHDS or CHDS. A new certificate will be sent to reflect this designation when the rebrand takes place. You can begin using that designation upon receipt of their new certificate.
  • CMTs who earned their credential before the release of the current exam blue prints (before January 2011, with the exception of those who took the beta exam in fall of 2010), will have two options:
    • CMTs may choose to keep their transcription-specific credentials. AHDI will continue to service the CMT through the established recredentialing program. The CMT exam will no longer be offered to new candidates.
    • CMTs may choose to bridge over to the CHDS by taking an online continuing education course and quiz. The online course will cover the new areas introduced in the current exam blue prints. The online bridge course will be available only to current CMTs and will be optional. If the course is not successfully completed, the individual will retain their CMT and may take the online bridge course again after a 6 month waiting period. The pricing and details for the bridge course are not available yet.
  • RMTs who earned their credential before the release of the current exam blue prints (before January 2011, with the exception of those who took the beta exam in fall of 2010), will transition automatically to the RHDS designation through a revised recredentialing course.  The current RMT recredentialing course is being updated to include the additional blue print domains not previously covered as part of the course. Two options will be available:
    • RMTs can opt to take the recredentialing course as soon as it is released or at any time during their credentialing cycle. Successful completion of that updated recredentialing course will earn the RMT their new RHDS designation and trigger a new 3-year cycle.
    • RMTs can choose to wait until end of cycle to take the recredentialing course to recertify and earn their new RHDS credential.  Successful completion of that updated recredentialing course will earn the RMT their new RHDS designation and their new 3-year cycle will begin.

AHDI’s recredentialing program and policies will apply to all four credentials: RMT, RHDS, CMT, and CHDS. The information, policies, and guidelines will be updated and posted online when the rebranding is implemented.