Author Archive

New 2013 Coordination of Care Benefits to Increase Payments to Family Physicians

The 2013 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule adds new payments for care coordination services when transferring patients to skilled nursing facilities.  The new Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes (99495 and 99496) are the result of efforts by the AMA to get CMS to adopt new coverage for transitional care management services, such as discussing a care

The New Healthcare Requires Collaboration

Highly specialized medicine and increasing patient mobility have brought about an unprecedented interdependence in healthcare. Today’s patients are cared for by multiple specialists and any one doctor’s treatment will most certainly affect another’s domain.  For the very sake of patient safety, doctors across specialties are now expected, if not required, to share information about their

A Good Primer on Accountable Care Organizations

In anticipation of MTBC’s upcoming webinar on Accountable Care Organizations, I’d highly recommend reviewing Health Capital’s “Accountable Care Organization Series: Why Do We Need ACOs.” The series does a nice job explaining the history and basic principles of the concept. Accountable care organizations (ACOs) – in which health care providers take responsibility for a defined

Grandfathered Plans under the Affordable Care Act

One of the more important and popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act is the expansion of access to certain recommended preventive care services – including flu shots – for patients at no additional charge to them. However, many health plans that existed on the day the ACA was enacted, March 23, 2010, known as

HHS Says Doctors are Satisfied with their EHR Technology

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service recently issued a press release reporting the results of a national survey of office-based physicians. According to the survey, 55 percent of responding physicians in 2011 said they have adopted at least some EHR technology in their practices. In addition, 85 percent of physicians who have adopted

Are House Calls making a Comeback?

Several factors suggest that the old-fashioned practice is returning, thanks in part to an aging population and the many advances in healthcare technology. An Aging Population of baby boomers seems to be creating a growing need for physicians who make house calls. According to the Journal of the American Medical association, house calls to Medicare

U.S. Supreme Court Opens New Term with Health Care Storm Looming Overhead

The U.S. Supreme Court term opened today with expectations that the Justices will rule on the numerous legal questions surrounding the federal health care reform. Although not formally on the docket, most experts believe that the constitutional challenge to President Obama’s health care overhaul almost certainly will be decided this term. Since the Affordable Care

UN To Hold First Summit on Non-communicable Diseases

As the General Assembly gathers in New York this September 19-20, 2011, at the United Nations, the first ever summit on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) will be held.  The summit, officially called the “High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases” will bring together global health leaders to

Where GOP Presidential Hopefuls Stand On Health Care

Kaiser Health News has assembled a helpful chart detailing where five of the declared candidates for the Republican presidential nomination – Bachmann, Hutsman, Paul, Perry and Romney – currently stand on major health care issues.  The chart is sorted by issue and will be updated as the candidates continue to develop their platform. Definitely worth

New EHR-sharing plan introduced by Highmark

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (8/20, Nixon) reports that Pennslyvania’s largest health insurer, Highmark Inc., “is developing its own network to allow doctors and hospitals across Pennsylvania to easily share electronic health records.” Although Highmark “is not ready to release details of the network, known as a health information exchange, such as cost or the hospital systems