Here's What You May or May Not Have Missed This Week:
• ICD-10, the new diagnostic classification system that introduces approximately 58,000 additional diagnosis codes, officially went into effect this week for patient encounters starting on Oct. 1. After three government delays that pushed the implementation back four years, most health care organizations have had ample time to prepare. There have been no reported major problems in the first 24 hours of the new coding system. Source
• A new report by the Department of Health and Human Services found that nursing homes are over-treating patients for therapy services and receiving more in Medicare payments than it costs to provide the care. The study results showed that in recent years, nursing homes have been classifying more and more patients as needing the highest level of therapy and providing just the exact amount required to bill for higher payments. Medicaid typically pays nursing homes much less than their costs and Medicaid patients often constitute the majority of the nursing home patients. Source
• Two Washington D.C. hospitals are being sued by patients who say there were forced to pay excessive and illegal charges to obtain copies of their electronic medical records. Georgetown University Hospital and George Washington University Hospital allegedly charged patients hundreds to thousands of dollars to obtain electronic copies. One patient's final bill was nearly $2,500, including per-page charges, a “basic fee”, a handling fee, and an electronic delivery fee. The patients are seeking class-action status on behalf of all patients who obtained medical records for the hospitals. Source
On The Front Lines:
One week after Apple released its new iPhone 6s, it gained a whopping 0.19 percent of pMD's charge capture physician users, putting them back up over the 90 percent mark against Android in mobile device usage. Meanwhile, Tim Cook has been hitting the interview circuit to talk all things Apple.
Each Friday, Signor Goat reports the latest from the week in health care alongside the front lines of the iOS-Android wars among pMD's physician charge capture users. Check back next Friday for your dose of our little medical corner of health care news.