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Federal health officials are using an administrative simplification rule to propose delaying by one year the implementation of new diagnosis coding sets used for billing medical services.
ICD-10 diagnosis codes would be required for billing physician services starting on Oct. 1, 2014, according to the April 9 proposed rule from the Dept. of Health and Human Services. Currently, doctors and hospitals use the ICD-9 standard, which contains far fewer individual codes but also permits less specificity when making diagnoses. The proposed rule is expected to be finalized this year after a 30-day comment period.
The American Medical Association led the movement to push off the ICD-10 implementation deadline, citing concerns about doctors’ ability to be compliant by Oct. 1, 2013. The substantial number of new codes that must be learned, combined with initial problems with implementing the new 5010 electronic transaction standards that are a prerequisite for taking on the new code sets, ...
The nation’s health probably would improve if primary care and public health were better integrated, says an Institute of Medicine report.
Such integration should include health professionals sharing and collaboratively using data, asking the community to help define its medical needs and pursuing a shared goal of improving the population’s health, said the report, issued on March 28.
“While integrating fields that have long operated separately may seem like a daunting endeavor, our nation has undertaken many major initiatives. ... It’s time we did the same for primary care and public health, which together form the foundation of our population’s overall well-being,” said IOM committee Chair Paul J. Wallace, MD. He is senior vice president and director of the Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research, which works to improve patient health outcomes and health care delivery.
Chronic disease prevention and treatment, which increasingly are becoming the focus of pr ...
A report by the New York Civil Liberties Union examining health information exchanges in the state questioned the legalities of the patient privacy policies in place and criticized the exchanges for not doing enough to protect patients.
The findings are applicable to health information exchanges across the country, the report’s author says, because there are no established best practices for the sharing of data through HIE organizations. New York is often viewed as a leader in such exchanges, as it had some of the first ones in the nation.
Corrine Carey, assistant legislative director of the NYCLU and author of the report, said because information can be uploaded to an HIE without patient consent, the NYCLU and other patient privacy groups have argued that these policies are not consistent with state law, which requires physicians to get consent from a patient before transferring records to a third party. Patients do, however, have to give consent before those files can be acce ...