AHI Newsletter September 2012

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We hope that you enjoyed a safe and fun filled Labor Day holiday weekend! We are excited to bring you this month’s newsletter, which is filled with useful information including the newly released requirements for Stage 2 of meaningful use, billing tips on how to utilize modifiers, as well as choosing the best browser for your practice. Thank you for taking the time to read this month’s newsletter!
Final Rules Released for Meaningful Use Stage 2

The final rule on Stage 2 for meaningful use was released on August 23, 2012. Participants can expect the new rule to take effect no sooner than 2014. The rules are part of the federal incentive program for Medicare and Medicaid physicians to adopt electronic health records and were co-written and issued in the Federal Register by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). The final rules will be published in the Federal Register on September 4, 2012.

A representative from the ONC explained that the newly released Stage 2 should be viewed as a continuation. He goes on to say, “Stage 1 was about collecting data, and moving toward using decision support” and that the main emphasis in Stage 2 is to “move beyond data collection to improving care”. The final rule contains 20 measures for physicians and 19 measures for hospitals.

We have recently updated our website with the newest information on Stage 2 of meaningful use. To learn more click here.

For the full article from Government Health IT click here.

Billing Tip: Modifiers Help Tell the Whole Story

A modifier is a two-digit character reported with a CPT or HCPCS code, when appropriate. They provide insurance companies with additional information needed to process claims. Modifiers indicate that the performed service or procedure has been altered in some way due to special circumstances, but does not change its definition. Coders and billers may need to use a modifier under the following circumstances:
The service or procedure performed has both a professional and technical component. The modifier 26 should be used to indicate the professional component. The modifier TC should be used to indicate the technical component.

The service or procedure was performed by more than one physician. The assistant surgeon should report the modifier 80 on his/her CPT codes.
The complexity or performance of the service or procedure performed was increased or decreased. The modifier 22 should be reported when the complexity or performance was increased. The modifier 52 should be reported when the complexity or performance was decreased.
The service or procedure was performed on identical anatomic sites, such as the kidney. The modifier LT should be reported on the CPTs related to the left kidney; modifier RT should be reported for the right kidney.

The above examples are just some of the special cases in which modifiers can make or break your claim for reimbursement. If you have any further questions regarding when to use or not to use modifiers, please feel free to contact us, as we would be happy to help!

User Tip: Importance of Choosing the Right Browser

“While all internet browsers will provide access to the internet, selecting a fast, simple, and secure one will ensure safe and enjoyable online browsing.” When choosing an internet browser it is important to take into account three factors: Security, Speed, and Simplicity.

Because EHR systems contain large amounts of precious personal data, security is crucial to keep in mind when choosing your browser. The browsers that consistently receives the highest marks in security are Google Chrome, Internet Explorer (version 9), and Mozilla Firefox.

An EHR system can only operate at its highest level when it is coupled with an equally fast browser. The speed of your browser has a direct impact on your practice’s workflow. On average, Google Chrome was the fastest overall, Internet Explorer came in second place, and Mozilla Firefox trailed 2 seconds behind Internet Explorer.

Finally, the simplicity and ease of use of a browser is essential when choosing which will work best for your needs. Again, Google Chrome received the highest marks in this department, with Internet Explorer coming in a close second, and Mozilla Firefox coming in third. It should also be noted that Internet Explorer offered the highest level of customer support.

We chose to review the three most widely used browsers, though there are many others.

At AHI, we encourage all of our clients to Google Chrome, as our programmers developed our software using Chrome. All Azalea products are cross-platform compatible, however clients will enjoy an optimal user experience when using Google Chrome.

TopTenReviews and Wikipedia were used as resources to write this article.

Other News:

- We are excited to announce our partnership with the Lowndes County Partnership for Health (LCPFH). AHI recently provided the LCPFH’s Partnership Health Center with our Azalea EHR as well as donated full training and implementation services from our experienced client relations team. To read the full press release click here.

- We are proud to be hosting the “Collaboration for Future Innovation” forum with Dr. William McKinney, Valdosta State University President and Dr. Ray Perren, President of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. Myrna Ballard, President of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce will be the moderator for the event to be held on September 21, 2012.

Upcoming Events:

- AHI hosting “Collaboration for Future Innovation” forum on September 21, 2012
-13th Annual Fall Conference presented by HomeTown Health at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA on November 7-9, 2012
-Florida Rural Health Association’s Annual Summit in Safety Harbor, FL on November 15, 2012
Current Job Openings at AHI: Come join our team!

- Business Development Specialist for the South West Georgia to the Central Florida area
- Business Development Specialist for the Carolinas to the Eastern Tennessee area
- Pre-Certification Specialist for the Savannah location.
- Part Time Office Assistant for Valdosta location

To learn more about all of these positions and to apply online click here.

Thank you!

Azalea Health Innovations, Inc.
105 West Central Avenue
Valdosta, GA 31601
Toll Free: 877-777-7686
Local: 229-269-4620
Toll Free Fax: 866-683-8679
Web: www.AzaleaHealth.com
Email: marketing@azaleahealth.com

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