Health & Human Svcs LogoCMS has released the PQRS specifications for the 2014 reporting period and as expected, they are full of changes. Since inception, the Physician Quality Reporting System, has greatly changed the coding and documentation landscape for Eligible Professionals and Group Practices. Reporting on quality measures has become a way of life for the practicing physician.

AFFORDABLE CARE ACTThe current problems with the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges should not deter doctors and medical practices from creating marketing strategies that focus specifically on the newly insured. These new and soon-to-be insured consumers differ in some fundamental ways from those currently covered, and these differences will be reflected in how their doctors and care providers are chosen.

January is the time most insurance companies restart the calculation of annual deductibles for their members. This resetting of annualJan 2014 calendar2 deductibles can mean a significant increase in patient responsibility for many practices.

In a blog posted 12/10/13 on, Marion K. Jenkins, PhD, FHIMSS, explains what cloud hosting for web based electronic health record solutions is, how it evolved and why it is right for healthcare. Chances are, you've heard about cloud computing but may not know much about it and how it relates to HIPAA. Here, Dr. Jenkins answers a few key questions about cloud services.

Cloud hosting — what is it?

HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices, Understanding Required Changes By: Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esquire K_K_logoEffective as of September 23, 2013, your practice (whether hospital based or private) was and is required to have adopted changes to your current HIPAA policies and procedures.

medicare-logo-png_76289_20130416-356On November 19th we reported on notices having been received by United Healthcare Medicare Advantage physicians in several states informing them they were to be dropped from the Medicare Advantage network.

dollar signMost practices today are barely getting by financially. With declining reimbursement from government and private payors and increasing operating expenses associated with new mandates such as Meaningful Use and ICD-10, many practices are seeing profitability - and sometimes their own salaries - decline dramatically. Collecting every last dollar earned is critical to their future survival and success.

UHCGrouplogoBeginning in October, notices have been mailed to physicians by United Healthcare (UHC) providing a 90 day notice of termination from their Medicare Advantage (MA) networks in at least 10 states. Physicians have 30 days to appeal the termination and instructions are included with the letters.

Checkup ImageBusy healthcare practitioners are often asked to create and maintain database profiles related to credentialing which are in turn made available to consumers or plans. The list is growing.  With an increase in e-signing and check-box attestations, providers may be skipping some fine print.

Doctor with PatientAs rising healthcare costs push more Americans into high deductible plans, patient access professionals are tasked with navigating these patients through an unfamiliar landscape: the actual cost of healthcare service delivery.