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March - April 2015 •
Volume 20, Issue 2

Spring Brings Growth and Progress to HBMA
President's Message
By Curt Cvikota, CHBME, Chair
As I contemplate writing this issue's president's message, there is still snow on the ground, it is 20 degrees below 0, and I'm fighting to keep the pipes carrying water to our stables from freezing. While I have always been a big fan of winter's beauty and the activities we enjoy during this season, the challenges of winter sometimes make me look forward to warmer days. Click for more

Your Return on Investment
HBMA Membership
By Charles M. Barker III
I recently had a discussion with Andre Williams, HBMA's executive director, about the value of membership. Karen Linsteadt, our VP of operations, and I have been members since the group's inception in 1992, and we have spent more than $200,000 during that time on our HBMA membership. Williams asked a very interesting question: Did I think there had been adequate return on this investment over the 20-year period? Click for more

Results of the HBMA Reader Survey
Message from the Publications Committee Chair
By Cindy Groux, CHBME
The Publications Committee is committed to ensuring Billing is relevant and useful to all HBMA readers. Billing is a significant part of your membership benefits, and we take that seriously. Click for more

HBMA Members Sound Off on Hot Topics
By Billing Editors
Topic: The Publications Committee will be distributing a survey in 2015 to find out how the Affordable Care Act has impacted HBMA members. What questions would you like us to include in this survey? Click for more

Can Convenience Be Compliant?
Advances in Technology Create New Security Concerns
By Randy Johnston
Just about every business professional carries at least one mobile technology tool that stores or accesses important content. Because of HIPAA compliance, billing firms have more risk than a typical business. While smartphones, tablets, and portable computers provide a great convenience, what are the pitfalls and dangers of using mobile devices? Click for more

One Way to Improve ACA Collections
Proper Controls and Analytics Provide Structure and Insight
By Sumit Nijhawan
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had a more profound effect on healthcare in America than any single piece of legislation since Medicare. Among the many sweeping changes it brought, it made an additional 30 million Americans eligible for health insurance. Click for more

PQRS: Measuring Value Today and Tomorrow
Changes Your Clients Need to Know About
By Melody W. Mulaik, MSHS, CRA, FAHRA, RCC, CPC, CPC-H
Physician quality programs are expanding as the shift to collaborative care, outcome-based payment and new benefit designs transforms how healthcare is delivered and paid for. Billing companies must assist and guide their clients to ensure successful participation. If not, the client and the billing company will see financial consequences. Click for more

Performance Improvement Plans: Are They Worth the Effort?
Give Employees a Second Chance at Success
By Paul Schaber
Over the decades, I've dealt with employees who have run afoul of their organization for various reasons. For the most part, these issues revolve around one or more of the following problems... Click for more

The Psychology of ICD-10
How to Move from Denial to Action
By Dorothy Henslee, CHBME, CPC, RCC
When Congress delayed the implementation of ICD-10 in 2014, people had divergent responses. Whether you breathed a huge sigh of relief or vented frustration at the delay, your actions have since likely coalesced into the same result: inaction. Click for more

Redefining the Price Transparency Debate in Healthcare
Why You Should Set Payment Expectations for Consumers
By Bill Marvin
The prices of healthcare services and how they are displayed are hot topics of debate in healthcare, especially as consumer responsibility increases due to the shift to high-deductible health plans – leading to a demand for transparency in healthcare prices. Click for more

The Ins and Outs of HIPAA Transaction Compliance
AMA Perspective
Published with Permission of the American Medical Association (AMA)
The healthcare industry has increasingly moved from paper and telephone communications toward electronic interactions for the exchange of information. Designed to eliminate idiosyncratic health plan electronic communication methods and to reduce administrative burdens and financial waste in the industry, HIPAA created standard electronic transactions for use in the exchange of information between providers and health plans. Click for more

Use of Intelligent Medical Objects, SNOMED CT, and the Electronic Medical Record for Accurate Coding
By Valerie Fernandez, MBA, CPC, CPC-H, AHIMA ICD-10 Trainer
Intelligent Medical Objects (IMO) refers to utilizing specific medical terminology used by clinicians in their documentation to conduct searches within the electronic medical record or utilize associated code sets to link a medical term with a diagnosis. Click for more

2015 Evaluation and Management Code Changes
Coding Corner
By Jackie Miller, RHIA, CCS-P, CPC
The 2015 current procedural terminology (CPT) code set includes a number of new and revised codes and coding guidelines for evaluation and management (E/M) services, which are reviewed in this column. Click for more

Absolute vs. Relative References in Excel
By Nate Moore, CPA, MBA, CMPE
The ability to create one formula and copy it hundreds or thousands of times is a great feature of spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel. You can make copying those formulas even more powerful if you understand the difference between absolute and relative cell references in Excel. Click for more

Nobody Asked Me, But …
From the Road
By Dave Jakielo
You may think that in this day and age the process of collecting money for medical services would be simpler, but in reality, it is getting more complex. This is good news, because the need for the services of professional billing companies is greater than ever. Here are some thoughts I have gathered about what we are facing in the medical billing industry today and in the future. Click for more

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