Healthcare Business Management Association - HBMA
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HBMA Billing

With Healthcare Reform becoming a reality and the ever evolving technology’s impact on the industry, this year’s HBMA Spring Conference will be more topical than ever. Check out our preview of what’s in store for those who will be in attendance.



Telecommuting
By Roxanne Smith-Kovac, CHBME

Our company is based in California which can be a very expensive place to live. Flexibility is the key to future success when it comes to attracting and retaining a competent staff. We all know the amount of time it takes to train a really good employee. When some of mine could not afford to buy houses here and were planning on moving out of state, I jumped on the teleworking bandwagon. We have an internet based software program that can be accessed from anywhere (I’m still trying to get someone to move to Hawaii) so the location of where they live has become a moot point. We also use a scanning program that has this same accessibility, so the logistics of how they access their work, has been solved electronically. No more shipping and tracking the hard copy.

We did find that the one thing we really missed was being able to see our employees. The solution for us was Skype. Skype has been made popular in the last few years by Oprah. She “Skypes” in people from all over the world with very little effort. We use Skype in our office to have that “face-to-face” time with the employee for special projects. We found in our company that seeing their facial reactions during a training session was invaluable to the communication. We could check to see that they were taking notes and paying attention. It is actually a very simple program to use and it is free!

We have access to information and each other faster and in more detail than ever before. You can surf the web, buy anything possible on Amazon and even Google your own mom...careful of what you may find. We have pushed technology forward enabling employees to do all their work from the comfort of their own homes, and still earn that paycheck!

Roxanne Smith-Kovac Principal, Precision Medical Management, Inc. roxannes@precisionmedical.com

SPRING 2010 CONFERENCE: PROGRAM UPDATE
 
On March 30, 2010, President Obama put the finishing touch on the year-long health care debate by signing the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010. HBMA has adjusted the conference program to address critical elements of this act and provide a first look at the impact of Health Care Reform on you and your business. Bill Finerfrock, our Legislative Analyst, jump-starts the conference on this subject in the Opening Session and continues discussion of this and other relevant issues in his second session on Thursday afternoon.

Third Party Medical Billing and EHR
By Ronald Sterling, CPA, MBA

Medical practices and healthcare organizations are reviewing electronic healthcare records (EHR) more carefully due to a wide range of factors, including stimulus money and patient interest in interacting with physicians over the Internet. The focus of technology used in the medical office is shifting from appointment scheduling and billing to patient service and elimination of paper records.

Third party billers (TPBs) can assume a role in this transformation by offering EHR services and products to their clients. Transitioning from a billing and financial reporting focus to supporting and complementing EHR technology in the clinical areas addresses the most pressing needs facing your clients over the next few years. Broadening the traditional TPB offering to include EHRs is the key to satisfying client needs and integrating our billing operations with the EHR infrastructures that will become a critical part of many practices and healthcare organizations in the next five years.

Ronald Sterling, President of Sterling Solutions, is a nationally recognized expert on medical billing and electronic healthcare record systems. He authored the HIMSS Book of the Year Award winning Keys to EMR Success. Ron.sterling.ssl@gmail.com


EHR Integrity Issues
By Cindy C. Parman, CPC, CPC-H, RCC

Some of the reported benefits of the electronic medical record are beginning to look like liabilities. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, at least 38 healthcare entities have reported a privacy breach affecting at least 500 covered individuals. Organizations involved include hospitals, physicians and health insurers. In most cases, the information was accessed via stolen computers, theft of portable electronic devices such as flash drives, hacking and unauthorized access to computer systems. While the electronic age has revolutionized the medical industry, it has also spawned a need to ensure safeguarding the patient’s confidentiality. The consequences for the victimized patient can range from having an illness or medical condition made public (especially problematic for public figures whose health issues can be sold to tabloid press) to identity theft.

Cindy C. Parman, CPC, CPC-H, RCC
Coding Strategies, Inc. cindy.parman@codingstrategies.com


Privacy/Security Compliance vs. Meaningful Use Mandates
By Lesley Berkeyheiser

While the presentation entitled “Privacy & Security Compliance as it Relates to Meaningful Use” will focus on the cross over between Privacy/Security and the steps a medical provider/group needs to take to meet Meaningful Use status, it will also address important changes in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009/Health Information Technology Education and Clinical Health Act (ARRA/HITECH). These changes impact medical providers/groups but they also greatly affect billing companies and other Business Associates who support the HIPAA covered provider entities. For example, every business associate will need to conduct an “accurate and thorough assessment of potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information” that the business associate handles on behalf of the HIPAA covered entity.”   

Lesley Berkeyheiser is affiliated with N-Tegrity Solutions Group. Lesley.berkheiser@n-tegritysolutions.com

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