The United States is experiencing an epidemic of drug overdose deaths. According to the CDC, since 2000 the rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137%, including a 200% increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids (opioid pain relievers and heroin). The proliferation of the epidemic is leading some states to rethink legislation governing opioid prescriptions.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services gave the green light to add just over 5,500 new ICD-10 codes for FY 2017 during an ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee meeting last week. The coding update will be implemented on Oct. 1, 2016, exactly one year after ICD-10’s transition deadline, and will include 3,651 ICD-10 hospital inpatient procedure codes and about 1,900 ICD-10 diagnosis codes

A new survey by Accenture found that the divide between patients and doctors who believe that patients should have full access to their own electronic health records is growing. Patients are now five times as likely as doctors to believe that patients should have full access to their records.

According to the Medical Group Management Association, practices should spend 1-3% of revenue on marketing their practice. That could mean anything from newspaper ads to online marketing to paying someone to manage your web presence and social media activities.

Preparation, planning, a focus on the customer, collaboration, clear accountability, and metrics have enabled a smooth transition for the healthcare industry from ICD-9 to ICD-10, according to Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Many physicians are interested in providing group medical visits. Whether the drop-in group medical appointment (DIGMA), chronic care health clinic (CCHC) or other model is delivered, the coding and billing of these services raise questions about codes and payment policies.

The Electronic Health Record Association (EHRA) has released an updated version of its EHR Developer Code of Conduct. The Code focuses on: general business practices, patient safety, usability, interoperability and data portability, clinical and billing documentation, privacy and security and patient engagement.

When it comes to insurance coding, hitting your target, is the key to successful reimbursement. However, many practices are undercoding or overcoding skewing the reimbursement opportunity. Undercoding occurs when the code billed does not adequately reflect the full extent of the services performed by the physician. Undercoding means potential revenue is left on the table because you didn’t accurately code the procedure performed and missed out on reimbursement.

In an interview with Medical Economics, health policy expert, Robert A. Berenson, MD, said the administrative burdens of the new merit-based incentive payment program (MIPS) could drive many small, independent practices out of business. MIPS, which was introduced when Congress signed into law the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), combines previous quality reporting programs PQRS, Meaningful Use and the value-based modifier programs into one super-sized performance-based program. 

Group visits, also known as shared medical appointments, are an innovative way of generating a new revenue stream for your practice. Group visits allow you to grow your patient volume without having to extend your schedule or bring on additional staff. So how does it work?