The AMA’s 2013 CPT procedural code book just arrived in the Vālant offices, after a summer’s worth of anticipation around the hints and murmurs of the coding changes on the way for behavioral healthcare providers. You have probably been thinking “What 2013 CPT code changes apply to my psychiatric practice?” It’s not uncommon for hundreds of coding deletions and new additions to appear from year to year in the official CPT guide; however, when your historic pool of coding options has been represented by a few dozen codes, any changes to the coding guidelines for your specialty of care are a big deal and require your careful review and consideration. For mental health practitioners, 2013 is the year.
On Thursday 6/28, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to uphold the Affordable Care Act. The major impact on behavioral health care providers can be divided in to 3 categories:
Conferences can serve a number of important functions for those involved within the practice of behavioral healthcare. They allow practitioners to learn about pertinent research, network with other healthcare professionals, and learn about important advances in technology that impact the field. With 2012 just around the corner, we have created a list of ten important conferences to attend, listed in order of when they will occur.
The Push to Attest is On, Are you Prepared?
Searching for an Electronic Medical/Health Record (EMR/EHR) can resemble the painstaking task of shopping for a new car. You need to be sure you make the right decision; it not only meets your needs but comes with a positive recommendations, boasts of reliability, and fits conveniently within your budget. It can be rather difficult to set aside time in your busy schedule to make this decision, but if you are able to answer these following questions, your EMR search may end more swiftly and successfully.
In July, we wrote about the speculation that Stage 2 of the Medicare incentive program was to be delayed until 2014. On November 30th, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius confirmed that this would indeed be the case.
Last week it was announced that CMS, the governing body for the new HIPAA version 5010 transaction standards, has extended the compliance deadline to March 31, 2012. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Office of E-Health Standards and Services (OESS) is delaying enforcing compliance in order to allow more offices the opportunity to implement this new billing coding standard, without incurring penalties. The 90-day delay does not affect the implementation date for the coding systems, which remains January 1, 2012 (January 1, 2013 for small health plans). Industry feedback played a major role in the decision to push back the compliance date. It was found that many covered entities are still awaiting software updates and were unable to meet the short deadline.
As you know, Quality Measures were primarily designed for general practitioners and hospitals, not for psychiatrists. As a result many of the existing quality measures will not apply to your practice. Over time, we expect NQF, the body that creates quality measures, to add more measures that are relevant to an outpatient psychiatric practice. As this occurs, we’ll shift our focus to supporting those measures.
HIPAA is an acronym that most clinicians are familiar with, but there is another term that every clinician should familiarize themselves with as they consider taking patient data into the digital age-HITECH. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), was signed into law on February 17, 2009, to encourage the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology. An Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is the most common form of health information technology implemented by behavioral health care providers. When considering adopting an EMR it’s very important to consider the security of your data. Below are a few tips to maintaining the security of your patient data when using an EMR to comply with the enhanced security recommendations set forth in the HITECH act.
Though it might be enticing to use your pet’s name or your street name, you may be making your accounts more susceptible to a potential security breech. In order to maintain the privacy of patient data particularly when using an EMR, I have compiled a list of items to help you have the strongest possible password.