Despite the continuing outcry for a delay in the start date, Stage 2 of Meaningful Use may be less than a week away for some providers. Eligible hospitals may begin their ninety (90) day reporting period as early as October 1, 2013, while eligible professionals may begin as early as January 1, 2014.
Meaningful Use, PQRS reporting, and Core Measures: each one of these causes an increased documentation burden upon healthcare providers, as each program brings its own set of documentation requirements. Now, add to the mix ICD-10 compliance. With a looming compliance deadline of October 1, 2014, how are physicians going to shoulder this additional documentation burden? Scribes might be the answer.
Since 2002 (the year the first national program to survey patients was adopted), patient satisfaction has become one of the primary, day-to-day concerns of a treating physician. One of the original initiatives behind the survey mandate was to publish patient satisfaction results, thereby improving physician accountability and arming patients with information to make more educated decisions with regard to their own health care.
Let’s talk about HIPAA privacy and security as it relates to scribes. The very nature of the scribe job description requires access to Protected Health Information (PHI); scribes enter information into the patient’s record at the direction of a provider and retrieve patient information from various sources on behalf of the provider. For this reason, it is imperative that HIPAA compliance is made a top priority during scribe training and continually monitored from a management perspective.
For the purposes of this blog post, we are going to focus on two main aspects of HIPAA compliance with regard to scribes: proper training and proper access.
As the end of 2012 draws near, eligible professionals who have not already begun reporting PQRS measures will soon decide whether or not they will begin in 2013. As you know, the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) was launched in 2006 (originally named the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative or PQRI) in order to provide a financial incentive to eligible professionals for voluntarily reporting data on designated quality measures with regard to Medicare patients. For 2012, eligible professionals who satisfactorily report on at least three (3) measures could receive an incentive payment of 0.5% of their total estimated allowed charges for Medicare Part B Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) covered services provided during the reporting period. The same incentive payment will be available to eligible professionals (which includes physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners, among others) for 2013 and 2014.
Topics: Healthcare Reform
Today, CMS has released the final rule for Stage 2 of the federal EHR incentive program known as "Meaningful Use." As a companion rule, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has also released its final rule on certification criteria, standards, and implementation specifications for certified EHR technology. You can find each of the rules below:
As you may know, Medicare claims submitted to CMS for reimbursement are processed by Medicare Administrative Contractors (or MACs). MACs are private companies with whom CMS has contracted to administer all Medicare Part A and B claims within certain jurisdictions. (Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital services, among others; Medicare Part B covers physician services, outpatient care, and other medically necessary services).
Two weeks after the release of the revised Joint Commission FAQ, groups are still celebrating the decision to allow physician assistants and nurse practitioners to use scribes. Amidst the excitement, it is important to note one additional change to the FAQ: the statement that the Joint Commission does not support scribes being utilized to enter orders on behalf of physicians or other providers. While this language makes it clear that scribe order entry is not supported, the FAQ does not expressly prohibit this process either.
Topics: Joint Commission (TJC)
On July 12, 2012, the Joint Commission released a revised FAQ on the Use of Unlicensed Persons Acting as Scribes to now permit the use of scribes by Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants. Find the updated FAQ here.
In a landmark decision made yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate, with limitations on the Medicaid expansion provision (find the full opinion here). In a 5-4 decision, Chief Justice Roberts wrote the majority opinion which rested on three main holdings: