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HBMA Has Strong Voice in Washington

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11/08/2012

Healthcare Billing and Management Association meets with political leaders


LAGUNA BEACH, California – November 8, 2012 -- The Healthcare Billing and Management Association (HBMA) Fall Conference, recently held in the Washington D.C. area, confirmed the strong presence HBMA and its members have with the regulatory and legislative bodies of the federal government. Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, presented the opening keynote on healthcare reform, Dr. David Cutler addressed “The Future of Healthcare” as the ending keynote, and various HBMA members held more than 100 meetings with their individual congressional and senatorial representatives to present HBMA’s position on a variety of healthcare financing issues.

Individual meetings between government agency/legislative officials and HBMA members focused on two key issues facing the medical community: 1.) Medicare reimbursement: the strong possibility of a 27 percent cut in Medicare reimbursement effective January 1 due to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) index as a payment foundation, and 2.) the need for Administrative Simplification as indicated by the duplication of the credentialing and enrollment processes.

During Speaker Gingrich’s opening keynote address, he spoke about the need for “intelligent innovation,” going to the people outside of Washington with the most knowledge in a given area. Speaker Gingrich stressed the importance of trying out new ideas, experimenting, and the need of having citizens bring answers to Washington rather than looking to Washington for answers. He said, “I always believe you walk in with solutions. Washington can implement solutions rather than address problems; there are always too many issues at hand with no time to find answers.”

In addition to the panel discussion on “The New World of Healthcare Reform” among key industry leaders, Dr. David Cutler addressed major healthcare changes in the next decade including exchanges through Medicaid and private insurances. David Cutler holds a Ph.D. degree from MIT, and served on the Council of Economic Advisors and the National Economic Council during the Clinton Administration. Dr. Cutler suggested there are pathways for almost every area in healthcare to achieve higher quality outcomes.

Additional sessions included a presentation by Bill Rogers, MD, from the Office of the Administrator Director, Physician Regulatory Improvement Team at CMS. He addressed excessive spending and the unhealthy state of this country (number one in obesity). The driver of these costs is defensive medicine. Dr. Rogers also addressed quality reporting initiatives by CMS along with other healthcare reforms.

Concurrent sessions included discussion on evolving client models, whether electronic health records (EHR) increase liability, Stage 2 Meaningful Use, consolidation of revenue cycle management, the ICD-10 update, and process improvement with EHRs. There were two preconference sessions on Compliance Topics and Operational EHR Opportunities for the Medical Biller, and the always much anticipated Washington Update was given by Bill Finerfrock.

In lieu of gifts to the speakers, a donation was made by HBMA to SOME (some.org), a non-profit organization that provides services to the homeless and poor.

HBMA’s next conference will celebrate its 20th anniversary in Orlando, Florida. The Spring Educational Conference will be held from April 17–19, 2013 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. For more information, please go to www.hbma.org or call 877.640.4262.

About HBMA

A non-profit, member-led trade association celebrating its twentieth anniversary in 2013, the Healthcare Billing & Management Association (HBMA) represents more than 30,000 employees at well over 700 third-party medical billing firms. Annually, HBMA companies submit more than 350 million initial claims on behalf of hospital-based physicians, office-based physicians and other allied healthcare providers. Founded in 1993, HBMA and its members foster personal development, advocate on the behalf of the profession, and promote cooperation through a wide range of business resources, educational events, networking opportunities, certification programs and adherence to the Medical Biller’s Code of Ethics. As the only trade association representing the interests of medical billers in Washington D.C., HBMA works with legislative stakeholders and federal agencies to improve the business of medical billing and the practice of healthcare. Learn more about how HBMA is elevating the medical billing profession at www.hbma.org.

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Press contact information:

Fran Cashen, HBMA Public Relations, 949.735.5641
fran@hbma.org

Brad Lund, Executive Director, HBMA, 877-640-4262
brad@hbma.org

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