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.
An additional possibility for the usage of evaluation and management codes in psychiatry is the consideration of coordination of care and/or medical counseling (not psychotherapy). Psychiatrists who are providing medically complex patient care for clients may find that a significant amount of face-to-face time is spent in providing coordination of care on behalf of the client. If more than 50 percent of your face-to-face time with your client and/or your client’s family is used in coordination of care or medical counseling, you may bill your services using an E&M code based upon the total length of time of the appointment. The face time element is used in outpatient or office settings, while inpatient care includes this consideration in addition to time spent at the patient’s bedside or in the patient’s hospital unit. The Medicare Learning Network (MLN) has a E&M publication for providers called the Evaluation and Management Services Guide, which you can view here.
Page 22 provides further explanation of the coordination of care consideration. The publication also contains the 1995 and 1997 Documentation Guidelines for Evaluation and Management Services, two of three main parts of your E&M resource base.
So you have made the decision to join the wonderful world of electronic medical records (EMRs), also known as electronic health records (EHRs). Great! Now the question is how to go about choosing the right EMR for your psychiatric practice. To point you in the right direction, we have outlined five of the most important factors to consider when picking out a psychiatric EMR.
There is plenty of talk about ePrescribing these days, but do you feel informed? To kick off our blog, we thought we would bring you a simple, straightforward overview of electronic prescribing - including its benefits and financial incentives, and options you have should you choose this paperless route.