Tag Archives: Allied Healthcare Documentation

Medicare Global Package Proposed Change

The 2015 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule, published in the July 11 Federal Register, includes a proposal (section II.B.4) to transition all CPT codes currently assigned a 10-day global period to a 0-day global period in 2017. Codes assigned a 90-day global period would transition to a 0-day global period in 2018.

The impact of this significant change could be broad and substantial in many ways. The reimbursement structure for surgical procedures will of course change altogether, with the surgeon foreseeably receiving less per procedure on the front end and creating more required billing processes during the post-op period. It could potentially change utilization by shifting post-op visits from the surgeon to other providers such as primary care providers.

This will certainly have an impact on RVU’s as the post-op follow up code of 99024 that currently has no RVU value associated with it will become obsolete. This should positively impact providers in regard to the RBRVU methodology.

Under Medicare Part B, patients may have out-of-pocket costs (20% co-insurance plus potential deductible) that they would not have incurred under the existing global package.

AHDPG will continue to monitor this proposed rule and offer insight as this change develops.

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.

Celebrate National Medical Transcription Week With Us! May 20-24, 2013

You are cordially invited to participate in this year’s online celebration honoring our combined team of Medical Transcription/HIM professionals.

Daily contests will include:

 Monday – Scavenger Hunt

Tuesday – Word Search

Wednesday – Popular/Unpopular Acronyms

Thursday – Cartoon Caption

Friday – Terminator

The winner of each contest be awarded a $50 AMEX gift card and the Grand Prize winner will receive a $200 AMEX gift card.  Rules and activities will be posted on our Facebook page on or before Monday, May 20th, 2013.

To participate, click here  or go directly to our Facebook page and like us! Don’t forget to click “get notifications” to receive regular contest updates!

 

Electronic Encoders: Friend or Foe?

In today’s day and age, everything seems to be about technology, instant gratification, quicker turn around as well as more for less.  I can say that I have seen and worked within the concept of “more for less” for many years and it just seems to be the nature of our society today, or so it would seem.  So as we look at the transition of health care and the migration of medical records to electronic health records, this has actually managed to create a new vein of career paths in the health care field within our environment, which is great.  Along these same lines now emerges electronic encoders.  It is the opinion of this blog writer that encoders are positive and negative in a few different ways in the coding world for the profession coder and I am going to share why.

Encoders are great tools to help increase production standards because you can save time searching for your codes by having the system do the work for you.  They have built in references that are wonderful to have at your fingertips and not have to leave your work station to locate or search the all mighty web.  Not all working environments give their employees access to the internet so the fact that the encoder programs could possibly provide medical dictionaries, CPT Assistants, drug listings, Coding Clinics, anatomy diagrams, ICD-9 guidelines, and GEM guidelines would be invaluable to the work flow for a coder.  Not to mention the space it would safe from having all of these references in the work space.  Some encoders also come with other administrative functions that assist us to conduct research on specific procedures as well as individual payer information.  So there are some real great benefits that come with an encoder software package, depending on what is purchased and implemented in the working environment.

So you probably are wondering then, why would I even be asking why an encoding product would be a Foe in the world of a coder?  Here is my reason why.  Coding is a skill that we work extremely hard to learn and perfect.  Hours, months and years of time go into learning what we know and how we do what we do in our line of work.  Encoders are a great tool but can also spoil and ruin us as coders, if we allow them to.  If a coder becomes too reliant on an encoder, this is a bad thing.  If a coder becomes to “comfortable” coding with an encoder, this is a bad thing.  A coder needs to use their skills that they have built or they lose these skills over time.  They may not lose them completely but they can become very rusty for sure.  It is good practice to still manually code from time to time.  It is good for the brain to keep your fingers in your coding references so you remember how your books work, where to find everything, keeping your skills fresh on crosswalks and modifiers.

Things to keep in mind is that even if your working environment is using an encoding product, not everything in the coding world is and remember that to maintain your coding certification, you have tom complete continuing education credits.  Many of these continuing education credits are manual coding exercises.  If you look to gain any additional certifications above the certifications you already carry, these will be manual coding exams.  Not to mention, it is really difficult to put your personal coding notes in an encoder program but you have the luxury to place them anywhere you would like in your personal coding reference.