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APMA News Brief
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March 26, 2015 In This Issue
National News
What PATIENTS Are Reading
National News
Hospitals’ uncompensated care costs declined by approximately $7.4 billion in 2014 as a result of expanding healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Click here to continue reading.

Editor's note: See APMA’s Medicaid resources at APMA.org.
 
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) should develop a comprehensive plan to address fraud vulnerabilities in electronic health records (EHRs), according to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Click here to continue reading.

Editor’s note: Watch APMA’s CAC-PIAC video, "Inside OIG Fraud Case."
 
The transition to ICD-10 is a needed one – not for the reasons that the folks who have dollars and time invested into it worry about, but for the needs of patient care. In order for it to be a worthwhile change, mistakes from ICD-9 have to be corrected in ICD-10.
 
A recent guide from the Coalition for ICD-10 walks physician practices through the basics of converting to the new code set, explains why nearly 70,000 new codes aren’t so scary, and gives seven reasons why the cost of conversion doesn’t have to be high.
 
Electronic health-record interoperability is at the heart of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's half of a two-pronged federal rule-making effort announced.
 
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What Patients are Reading
An analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows taxpayers whose income is higher than what they projected when applying to receive subsidies could be required to repay all or a portion of the credit.
 
In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that states could choose whether to expand their Medicaid programs. In January 2014, about half the states expanded and about half did not. This created a natural experiment — an opportunity to compare the impact of Medicaid programs on diabetes care.
 
University of B.C. scientists appear to be one step closer to reversing diabetes using stem cell therapy. The latest study, published last week in the journal Stem Cell Reports, found that Type 2 diabetes can be eliminated in mice using a combination of conventional diabetes drugs and specially cultured stem cells.
 
Balance can be a big problem for seniors. If you're not steady on your feet, you're at greater risk of falling. The American Podiatric Medical Association offers these guidelines for shoe shopping.
 
We all get sore feet from running, but what should you do when an ache turns to lingering pain?
 
An ingrown toenail, with the side edge of your nail growing into the skin, can make you painfully aware of a toe you don’t normally notice. As the nail continues to dig into the skin, it irritates it, causing pain.
 
Diabetics are spending more on their treatment, and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts says a new class of diabetes drugs is to blame.
 
Nail salons may be in the business of beauty, but there can be an ugly side to all that pampering: some products contain toxic chemicals.
 
Meaningful use of electronic health records (EHR) was presented to us back in 2009 as part of a stimulus bill to help the crashed economy and to improve the quality and affordability of health care services for all Americans.
 
This week Congress is expected to work out details on legislation to repeal the contentious sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula that will automatically cut physicians’ pay by 21.2 percent. Click here to continue reading.

Editor’s note: Don’t miss APMA’s latest reporting on the SGR Repeal.
 
Should your practice outsource its revenue cycle management? According to new white paper from CareCloud, here are three reasons a growing number of practices are outsourcing certain business functions to external experts.
 
Five years after employers were considering terminating health coverage due to costs and other issues related to the Affordable Care Act, companies have largely changed their tune as fears have not been realized, according to a new analysis.
 
In today’s digital era, a modern hospital deemed the absence of an electronic medical record system to be a premier selling point. Click here to continue reading.

Editor’s note: Don’t miss APMA’s Health IT resources on APMA.org.
 
A heavy workload caused by the Affordable Care Act, government technology limits and staff shortages are causing unusually long delays in filling public records requests, federal health officials say.
 
Provider organizations and physicians continue to prepare for the ICD-10’s unknown revenue impact as the Oct. 1, 2015 looms nearer and providers seek to actively protect revenue stream. Click here to continue reading.

Editor’s note: APMA’s ICD-10 Resources will help you prepare for the transition to happen Oct. 1, 2015.
 
Among the predictions for 2015, one that has received a lot of attention is the growth of telehealth.
 
More than $3 billion was returned to the Medicare Trust Fund in 2014 from individuals and companies attempting to defraud federal health programs, according to an announcement by HHS.
 
Electronic health-record systems are doing a poor job graphing lab-test results, conclude the authors of an article published online in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
 
 

 

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