Thursday, March 31, 2011

Opportunity to be a Grant Reviewer!

The Colorado Rural Health Care Grant Council is looking for volunteers to help review primary care infrastructure grants. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about grant writing, primary health needs and solutions in rural Colorado, and to participate in a community-based philanthropic process. For more information go to: please click here  

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

National Rural Health Resource Center

Greetings!
This edition of Rural Route contains the Flex State Profile for Arizona. If you have not yet completed your Flex State Profile, please do! If you have any questions, please contact Kate Stenehjem. We would like to have complete information for all states as soon as possible so information as a national Flex Program can be shared and your stories can be highlighted at the upcoming 2011 National Conference of State Flex Programs.
This edition includes a variety of new resources shared by State Flex Programs:
  • Health Information Technology (HIT) Consortium in Colorado
  • Diabetes Tele-Education Program in Virginia
  • Use of the Baldrige Framework to address Flex Program challenges in Nebraska
Also included in this edition: an updated HIT resource on the incentive programs and available resources; educational calls from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on registration for the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program; rural research on nurse staffing and performance improvement in rural hospitals; and book club book offerings.
 
 To read more from this edition : click here

Free, Competitive Technical Assistance Offer

Effective 3/23/2010, non-profit hospitals are required to conduct Community Health Needs Assessments at least once every three years to maintain tax-exempt status and avoid stiff excise tax penalties. While specifics regarding requirements have yet to be released by the federal government, the National Center for Rural Health Works has developed a template for these assessments that they believe will meet federal requirements. Three pilots will be conducted around the nation to test the model, with pilot counties selected on a competitive basis. Let’s make sure at least one Colorado county is among the three! For more information about bringing this valuable technical assistance to your county, click here .  We’re told the only expense for the counties chosen are associated with providing a meeting space and a lunch for the community meeting. If you have general questions about Community Health Needs Assessments, contact Clint Cresawn, Colorado STRIDES Program Manager at 800.851.6782, ext 255; 720.248.2745; or ccr@coruralhealth.org.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

MDS 3.0 Training Materials Update:

The following videos have been posted to YouTube and are also available for download:
  • Section M: Skin conditions;
  • Evening Experts Panel Discussion;
  • Dr. Deb Saliba's Introduction.
Please click on the appropriate YouTube Link under "Related Links Outside of CMS" by clicking here:  
 
 
Additional postings to be added as they are completed. You can also visit the "CMS YouTube Channel" here 

Monday, March 28, 2011

UDS Data & Graham Center Resources for Safety Net & Health Planning Workforce

Thursday, March 31, 2011 2:00 - 3:00 PM (Eastern Time)
 
WHAT –
  • Understand easily accessible UDS data resources to portray primary care resources in rural areas 
  • Utilize the UDS Mapper to visualize primary care resources and needs in rural areas
  •  Utilize the Med School Mapper to understand which medical schools in the state produce primary care doctors, doctors that serve in rural and underserved areas, and which medical schools nationally send the most doctors to each county
To register: click here

Important Information on the Timely Claims Filing Requirement

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would like to remind Medicare Fee-For-Service physicians, providers and suppliers submitting claims to Medicare for payment, as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), effective immediately, all claims for services furnished on or after Jan 1, 2010, must be filed with your Medicare contractor no later than one calendar year (12 months) from the date of service – or Medicare will deny them.

In general, the start date for determining the 1-year timely filing period is the date of service or “From” date on the claim. For institutional claims that include span dates of service (i.e., a “From” and “Through” date on the claim), the “Through” date on the claim is used for determining the date of service for claims filing timeliness. For claims submitted by physicians and other suppliers that include span dates of service, the line item “From” date is used for determining the date of service for claims filing timeliness.

For additional information about the new maximum period for claims submission filing dates, contact your Medicare contractor, or review the MLN Matters articles listed below related to this subject:

§ MM6960 – “Systems Changes Necessary to Implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) Section 6404 - Maximum Period for Submission of Medicare Claims Reduced to Not More Than 12 Months” – http://www.cms.gov/MLNMattersArticles/downloads/MM6960.pdf on the CMS website.

§ MM7080 – “Timely Claims Filing: Additional Instructions” – http://www.cms.gov/MLNMattersArticles/downloads/MM7080.pdf on the CMS website.

§ MM7270 – “Changes to the Time Limits for Filing Medicare Fee-for-Service Claims” – http://www.cms.gov/MLNMattersArticles/downloads/MM7270.pdf on the CMS website.



Friday, March 25, 2011

How Institutional Providers Will Pay the Medicare Enrollment Application Fee

Beginning Friday, March 25, 2011 Section 6401(a) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires the Secretary to impose a fee on each “institutional provider of medical or other items or services and suppliers.” The fee is to be used by the Secretary to cover the cost of program integrity efforts including the cost of screening associated with provider enrollment processes, including those under section 1866(j) and section 1128J of the Social Security Act. The application fee is $505 for CY2011; based upon provisions of the ACA this fee will vary from year-to-year based on adjustments made pursuant to the Consumer Price Index - All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). The application fee is to be imposed on institutional providers that are newly-enrolling, re-enrolling/re-validating, or adding a new practice location, for applications received on and after Friday, March 25, 2011. CMS has defined “institutional provider” to mean any provider or supplier that submits a paper Medicare enrollment application using the CMS-855A, CMS-855B (except physician and non-physician practitioner organizations), or CMS-855S forms or associated Internet-based PECOS enrollment application.

Institutional providers applying to participate in the Medicare program must first submit a completed CMS-855 application. An enrollment application can be submitted in one of two ways:
Electronically, using Internet-based PECOS – Once you have completed and submitted your enrollment application using Internet-based PECOS, you should then promptly pay the application fee through http://www.pay.gov/. Once you are on Pay.gov, type ‘CMS’ in the search box under “Find Public Forms” and click the “GO” button. Click on the “CMS Medicare Application Fee” link. Complete the form and submit payment as directed. You will get a confirmation screen indicating that payment was successfully made. This confirmation screen is your receipt and should be printed for your records. We strongly recommend that this receipt be mailed to the Medicare contractor along with the Certification Statement for the enrollment application. CMS will notify the Medicare contractor that the application fee has been paid. The Medicare contractor will process the provider enrollment application in the order in which it was received. Normal processing timeframes apply to your provider enrollment application.
Complete the paper Medicare enrollment application (CMS-855) – Once you have completed filling out the CMS-855 paper application, you should promptly pay the application fee through http://www.pay.gov/. Once you are on Pay.gov, type ‘CMS’ in the search box under “Find Public Forms” and click the “GO” button. Click on the “CMS Medicare Application Fee” link. Complete the form and submit payment as directed. You will get a confirmation screen indicating your payment was successful. This confirmation screen is your receipt and should be printed for your records. We strongly recommend that this receipt be mailed to the Medicare contractor along with the completed CMS-855 application. CMS also notifies the Medicare contractor that your application fee has been paid. The Medicare Contractor will process your provider enrollment application in the order in which it was received. Normal processing timeframes apply to your provider enrollment application.

Pay.gov is operated by the US Department of the Treasury and is a web-based application that allows you to make online payments to government agencies by electronic check, credit card, or debit from your checking or savings account. Pay.gov accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Do not mail application fee payments. Pay.gov cannot accept payments by mail or phone. Please note that all fees must be paid via Pay.gov and that paper checks will not be accepted. Users need not worry about submitting the incorrect amount; CMS has pre-populated the field for the correct payment amount for the specific calendar year. Users may not make multiple payments in one transaction and must make separate payments for each application.

CMS has reviewed the security of Pay.gov and is confident in the measures used to protect its users. Pay.gov uses 128-bit SSL encryption to protect your transaction information while you're logged in to Pay.gov. In addition, any account numbers you set up in your profile are encrypted before being stored in our database. When you access your profile, any account numbers you have entered will be masked on-screen; each account number in your profile will be displayed as a group of asterisks followed by the last four digits of the account number.

Your Medicare application is processed by the Medicare contractor via the Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS). The application fee, paid electronically by check, debit card, or credit card, is processed through Pay.gov. Therefore, if you have problems submitting your application fee, you should use the Help Tools available on the Pay.gov site for questions specific to the payment processing. Other questions regarding payment policies and procedures may be sent to the Medicare provider and supplier enrollment email account at Dpse_admin@cms.hhs.gov.

For more information, please refer to the regulation published to the Federal Register at http://www.GPO.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-02-02/pdf/2011-1686.pdf. And for additional clarification, look out for an official MLN Matters Article that will be released on the subject in the near future.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Committed to Safety: Four New Case Studies

It has been just over a decade since the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued To Err Is Human, the landmark report that vividly documented the scope of patient safety problems within U.S. health care system. A series of Commonwealth Fund case studies released on the fifth anniversary of that report highlighted health care organizations that had taken promising steps toward creating an organizational culture of safety—one of the IOM's key recommendations.
In a follow-up to that earlier series, The Commonwealth Fund released today a new set of case studies exploring the progress made by four of these early leaders in patient safety:
Johns Hopkins Medicine, an academic medical center and nonprofit integrated health care system in Maryland that set a goal in 2002 of making its care the safest in the world.
Sentara Healthcare, an integrated system serving parts of Virginia and North Carolina that developed a systematic program to foster a culture of safety throughout its member hospitals.
OSF HealthCare, a system based in Illinois and Michigan that has promoted a collaborative approach to patient safety improvement.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which formed the National Center for Patient Safety to instill an organizational culture of safety within its nationwide network of hospitals and outpatient clinics.
Each of the cases describes the development of practical methods for training, coaching, and motivating staff to engage in patient safety work; the deployment of information systems, standardized clinical processes, and other tools to facilitate clear communication; and the systemwide adoption of safety as a chief priority.

"Keeping the commitment to patient safety has required a sustained focus on making safety a core organizational value," says Douglas McCarthy, the lead author of the series. "It demands a willingness to innovate and to apply learning about what works, and, perhaps above all, perseverance in staying the course."

Know Your Readmission Risk Score

This article by HealthLeaders Media discusses a tool being tested by a hospital system in Dallas that uses both clinical and physiological factors as well as social and environmental factors to generate a readmission risk score for congestive heart failure patients. To access the article, click here

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

National Web-Based Teleconference 'Putting the Patient back in Patient-Centered Care '

March 30, 2011 1:00 – 3:30 p.m., EST
This free 90-minute teleconference will explore the use of health IT applications to improve patient involvement in the management of their health and health care.
Sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) National Resource Center for Health IT
Presenters:
  • Paul Tang, M.D., M.S., is an Internist and Vice President, Chief Innovation and Technology Officer at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), and is Consulting Associate Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. Dr. Tang directs the David Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation and also oversees PAMF’s electronic health record (EHR) system and its integrated personal health record (PHR) system, PAMFOnline. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and his M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Tang is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and serves on its Health Care Services Board. He is a past chair of the Board for the American Medical Informatics Association. Dr. Tang is Vice Chair of the federal Health Information Technology Policy committee, and Chair of its Meaningful Use workgroup. He is also a member of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS), and co-chairs the NCVHS Quality Subcommittee. He received the 2009 AMIA Don E. Detmer Award for Health Policy Contributions in Informatics.
  • Elizabeth A. Chrischilles, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Epidemiology, holds the Marvin A. and Rose Lee Pomerantz Chair in Public Health in the University of Iowa College of Public Health. Dr. Chrischilles is Principal Investigator of two research centers funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ): the University of Iowa Older Adults Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (Iowa CERT) and the Iowa Developing Evidence to Inform Decisions about Effectiveness Center (Iowa DEcIDE-2 Center). Dr. Chrischilles is also Principal Investigator for an AHRQ grant about the role of personal health records for improving medication use quality. This grant began with physician focus groups within a practice-based research network to determine the value and uses of a personal health record for their patients and was followed by multidisciplinary participatory design to build an internet-based personal health record (PHR) focusing on older adults. The project is now in the midst of a randomized controlled trial of the PHR. The grant was supported through AHRQ #5 R18 HS017034. Dr. Chrischilles received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D in Pharmacy from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy.
  • Silke von Esenwein, Ph.D. is an assistant research professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, and collaborates with Benjamin Druss MD, MPH on several federally funded projects. These projects aim to develop and test new evidence-based strategies to integrate services and improve health in persons with serious mental illnesses. She also works closely with the Carter Center Mental Health Program, which seeks to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses and to increase public awareness about mental health, and with the Jane Fonda Center, which is exploring the need to alter current sex education frameworks to intersect more dynamically and meaningfully with the future. She has a longstanding commitment to improving the lives of persons with mental disorders, particularly those in poor underserved communities. Dr. von Esenwein received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Animal Behavior from Emory University in 2005.
Dr. Tang will begin the webinar with an overview of a tool designed to assist diabetic patients manage their condition via an online tool. Dr. von Esenwein will then transition the discussion to the use of personal health records among patients with a serious mental illness and chronic condition. Lastly, Dr. Chrischilles will share her AHRQ funded research examining the improvement of medication management in older adults using a free standing online personal health record with a decision evaluation component.
Learning Objectives:
Outline the types of patient tools being developed for self management and decision making. 
Describe how the use of these tools can improve patient outcomes.
Physicians will be able to describe how health information technology can be used to improve health care quality.
Physicians will be able to identify health information technology strategies to implement in their practice to improve health care decision making, support patient-centered care, and improve the quality and safety of medication management.
To register for the teleconference, please visit:

Attn: Colorado Cancer Coalition Members – Colorado Cancer Summit!!!

April 25-26, 2011
We look forward to your participation at this year’s Colorado Cancer Summit to be held at the Red Lion Hotel Denver Central, 4040 Quebec St., Denver. We have exceptional speakers lined up to follow the theme of Past, Present and Future. There are opportunities to learn about building healthy communities, utilize social media, implement the Cancer Plan and network with colleagues. Please share this information with others who might be interested. We don’t want anyone to miss attending the Summit!
Registration
  • Early Bird - before April 4, 2011: $99
  • Regular Registration after April 4, 2011: $120
A block of rooms have been reserved at the Red Lion Hotel Denver Central for those wishing to stay at the hotel.
You may access the registration form via the link below or on also on the home page of the Coalition’s website by clicking here.
Thanks to our sponsors:
  • Colorado Foundation for Public Health and the Environment
  • DHHS Office on Women’s Health
  • Poudre Valley Health System
  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure – Denver Metropolitan
Also, thanks to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for their support.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Updates in Primary Care" Conference

October 17-18, 2011
We are looking for faculty to present at our conference, and wanted to discuss your area of expertise. We are looking for topics in osteoporosis, risk management, prescribing issues, cardiac care, stress management, womens health in contraception, and care of children.

This continuing nursing education activity was approved by the New York State Nurses Association, an accredited approved by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation for 10.5 contact hours. It has been assigned approval code 864JBJ-10

For more information please contact:
Judy D'Angelo, RN, MS, ANP
(585) 473-7804

MCPSS Feedback for Part A/B Claims

The official results of the 2010 Medicare Contractor Provider Satisfaction Survey (MCPSS) have been received. TrailBlazer representatives have reviewed the results and will use this information to enhance our customer service and provider education tools. The results indicate providers were satisfied with TrailBlazer’s overall performance, and some of the positive comments are included below. Areas of concern are also addressed, including information and resources to assist providers with these concerns. TrailBlazer thanks all participants for taking the time to complete the survey and give us their feedback. To view feedback results please click here

Webinar: What Shapes Health? Presented by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Thursday, March 24, 2011, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET
Panel Discussion With Experts on Social Determinants of Health Moderated by David Williams, Ph.D.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation invites you to join experts on the social determinants of health to explore the topic ‘What shapes health?’
Despite an abundance of information about healthy lifestyles and the most advanced medical care in the world, millions of Americans experience needlessly poor health and don't practice healthy behaviors. For many, the path to a healthy or unhealthy life is influenced by factors largely beyond their control, like the neighborhoods they grew up in, their parents’ income and level of education, and the stress they've experienced in their daily lives. The costs of poor health are borne not only by individuals but by their families and, ultimately, by all Americans.
Moderator David Williams, Ph.D., professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard University, will lead the panel of additional experts on the social determinants of health, including:
  • Paula Braveman, M.D., M.P.H., University of California, San Francisco
  • Susan Egerter, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
  • Jack P, M.D., from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University
This webinar is the first in a three-part series exploring how conditions where we live, learn, work and play affect our health. In this session, the panelists will provide insights on how, from early childhood on, social factors influence our health.
More information: If you have questions or if you would like additional information regarding the webinar, please contact Morgan e-mail at (301) 652-1558 or via email at mwarners@burnesscommunications.com

Monday, March 21, 2011

Physician Compare Initiative Web page now available!

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is pleased to announce that the Physician Compare Initiative Web page is now available.
The Physician Compare Initiative Web page is a resource related to the Physician Compare Website specifically for physicians and eligible professionals. The web page will contain information that is deemed of interest to the healthcare professional community, including CMS sponsored forums and links to other applicable resources.
The Physician Compare Website was launched December 30, 2010, to meet requirements set forth by Section 10331 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. For more information on the Physician Compare Website visit http://www.medicare.gov/find-a-doctor/provider-search.aspx on the internet.

For more information on the Physician Compare Initiative, visit http://www.cms.gov/physician-compare-initiative/01_overview.asp on the CMS website.

New Information Now Available on the ICD-10 MS-DRG Conversion Project Website

The ICD-10 Medicare Code Editor v27 and a text version of the ICD-10-CM/PCS MS-DRGv28 Definitions Manual are now posted on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website at http://www.cms.gov/ICD10/17_ICD10_MS_DRG_Conversion_Project.asp in the “Downloads” section. There are also links to order the MS Grouper with Medicare Code Editor ICD-10 Pilot Software Version 28 on CD-ROM from National Technical Information Service (NTIS) in the “Related Links Outside CMS” section of the web page.

This update is part of the ICD-10 MS-DRG Conversion Project. In the Conversion Project, CMS is using the General Equivalence Mappings (GEMs) to convert CMS payment systems. CMS is sharing information learned from this project with other organizations facing similar conversion projects. Please note that the final ICD-10 MS-DRGs will be subject to formal rulemaking.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Kaiser IHI Travel Support Program

Through a generous grant from Kaiser Permanente, CRHC is pleased to offer funding to help clinic leaders attend Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) conferences and seminars. IHI, world-renowned for their work to improve healthcare and patient safety, helps accelerate improvement by cultivating concepts for improving patient care, and helping health care facilities put those ideas into action. For more information about the Kaiser IHI Travel Support Program, contact jd@coruralhealth.org.

CRHC Regional CAH Quality Improvement Workshops – Register Now!

April 7 – Craig, CO
April 12 – Yuma, CO
April 14 – Walsenburg, CO
Join CRHC for our 2011 Regional CAH Quality Improvement Workshops. These sessions, geared towards CAH Quality Directors and staff will provide an opportunity for participants to learn about quality and performance improvement activities in an interactive educational setting that they can then take back and implement in their own CAHs. There is no charge for Colorado CAH staff to attend. Additionally, CRHC will be offering mileage reimbursement up to $150 per Colorado CAH. For more information and to register, click here.

New Article Authored by CAPS Research Team Patient Safety

Published in Qualitative Health Research JournalPatient Safety:
A Consumer’s Perspective
In this article we provide a re-conceptualization of patient-centered health care practice through a collaborative person-centered model for enhanced patient safety. Twenty-one participants were selected and interviewed from the internationally diverse population of individuals attending the Chicago Patient Safety Workshop (CPSW) sponsored by Consumers Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS). Analysis of the participant transcripts revealed three findings related to patient experience: the impact and meaning of communication and relationship within the health care setting, trust and expectation for the patient and family with the health care provider, and the meaning and application of patient- centeredness. Researchers concluded that successful planning toward enhanced patient-centered care requires multiple perspectives, including the voices of the patient and family members who have experienced the trauma of preventable medical error. Collaborative initiatives such as the CPSW and CAPS offer a positive way forward for enhanced patient safety and quality of care. To read article click here

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Forum 2011 Essential Perspectives for Safety Net Providers

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - Thursday, April 21, 2011, Red Lion Hotel  in Aurora, CO
The Forum is a two-day conference that will bring together participants from all over Colorado and the surrounding states. It serves as an essential educational, training, and networking event for all safety net clinics, members of the clinic team, and other interested parties. The Colorado Rural Health Center and ClinicNET have partnered to present this event. Opportunities for sponsorships are now available.
For more information and to register please click here

Special Open Door Forum Part A & B

Tuesday March 22, 2-3:30 p.m. ET

Special Open Door Forum (ODF): Furnishing and Billing for the Technical Component of Advanced Diagnostic Imaging, The purpose of this Special ODF is to review the accreditation requirements for all physician offices that bill for the technical component of advanced diagnostic imaging. All those suppliers responsible for any aspect of this program would benefit from this ODF. If you wish to participate, dial (800) 837-1935 and enter conference ID 44761133. Please see the full participation announcement in the “Downloads” section.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rural Counties and Health Reform: Community Health Needs Assessments

Thursday, March 24, 2011, 12:00-1:15MSTCounty officials and local health departments can be actively engaged in community health needs assessments, which the Affordable Care Act requires nonprofit hospitals to conduct to demonstrate they are taking on uncompensated care in their communities. In the webinar by the National Association of Counties, participants will learn the basic principles of community health needs assessments, how to ensure that the local health care safety net burden is shared and about a new template designed specifically for rural areas to meet the law’s requirements. For more information and to register, click here

340B Drug Pricing Program Resource

This reference sheet, developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration, provides information on 340B Drug Pricing Program eligibility, enrollment, and participation by critical access hospitals. Please click here to view the reference sheet.
More information on the 340B Drug Pricing Program can be found by contacting the Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA) or the Pharmacy Services Support Center (PSSC) at (800) 628-6297.

March is National Nutrition Month

More than 16.8-million Americans, 65 years or older, are diagnosed with diabetes or renal disease. Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) that is provided by a registered dietitian or nutrition professional may result in improved diabetes and renal disease management, along with other health outcomes that may help delay these diseases. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reminds healthcare professionals that March is National Nutrition Month®, focusing on the importance of making informed food choices, developing sound eating and physical activity habits in order to promote a healthy lifestyle and improve good health.

Medicare Coverage – Medicare provides MNT-coverage for beneficiaries diagnosed with diabetes and/or renal disease (except for those receiving dialysis) and post-renal transplant when referred by the treating physician and provided by a registered dietitian or nutrition professional. (The treating physician must indicate a diagnosis of diabetes or renal disease in order to receive this benefit.) Medicare provides coverage for 3 hours of MNT in the first year and 2 hours in subsequent years, and additional hours in certain situations.
Note that, for the purpose of this benefit, renal disease means chronic renal insufficiency or the medical condition of a beneficiary who has been discharged from the hospital after a successful renal transplant for up to 36 months post transplant. Chronic renal insufficiency means a reduction in renal function not severe enough to require dialysis or transplantation (Glomerular Filtration Rate 13-50 ml/min/1.73m2).

What Can You Do? – CMS needs your help to ensure that all eligible people with Medicare take full advantage of the MNT benefit. MNT provided by a registered dietitian or nutrition professional can be an integral component of diabetes and renal disease management, which may result in improved health outcomes and delay in disease progression. Talk with your eligible Medicare patients about the benefits of managing diabetes and renal disease through MNT. As the treating physician, provide a written referral and encourage them to make an appointment with a registered dietitian or nutrition professional.
And for more information:
Diabetes-Related Services Brochure – This resource provides healthcare professionals with an overview of Medicare's coverage of diabetes screening tests, diabetes self-management training, MNT, and supplies and other diabetes-related services. Read Brochure..
The CMS MNT Website – Provides healthcare professionals with information about Medicare coverage of MNT provided by a registered dietitian or nutrition professional. Read Medical Nutrition Therapy
The Guide to Medicare Preventive Services for Physicians, Providers, Suppliers, and Other Health Care Professionals – This comprehensive resource provides coverage and coding information on the array of preventive services and screenings that Medicare covers, including MNT and other services for Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes. Click here Medicare Preventative Services and go to MLN Products Catalog. Scroll down to guides and click on Medicare Physician Guide.

National Nutrition Month® – Visit the American Dietetic Association’s website at http://www.EatRight.org/NNM to learn more about National Nutrition Month 2011.





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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

CAH Swing Bed Webinar Series

Please join CRHC for this 2-part webinar series covering information about CAH Swing Beds. During the series, experts from the Joffit Group will discuss Medicare regulations pertaining to CAH Swing Beds including benefits and eligibility criteria, clinical care and documentation requirements, staff/physician/patient information, case studies, and more. To cost to participate in each webinar is:
  • Colorado CAH and CRHC Member: No charge
  • Colorado CAH and Not Member of CRHC: $75
  • All other hospitals: $99
For more information and to register, click on the dates below.
CAH Swing Bed Webinar Part II – March 25, 1:00-2:30PM MST

Please join the Rural Assistance Center for a Free Webinar

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 2:00-3:00 CST
ACA and You - How to Anticipate Changes in Rural Places
Featured Speaker: Keith Mueller, Chair of the RUPRI Rural Health Panel
Description: What impact will health care reform have on rural communities? This webinar discusses the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and how it could affect rural residents, providers and their communities. From changes in the insurance market and health care access, to changes in how provider payments are made, new approaches to organizing and financing services will be needed. Since many of these changes will be driven by decisions at state and local levels, this discussion can help communities influence those decisions in a way that benefits rural areas.

To register please click here Please note, there are a limited number of seats available. This webinar is free. A phone connection and high-speed internet are required to participate. Connection details will be emailed to you prior to the event.

If you have questions or problems with the registration process, please contact Elaine King at elaine.king@med.und.edu or 701.777.2094.

CMS Issues Draft ICD-10 Definitions

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued draft ICD-10 definitions for the Medicare-Severity Diagnosis Related Groups for FY2011, and abbreviated titles for the ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS code descriptions. These draft definitions are subject to rule making. Hospitals must use ICD-10 codes beginning October 1, 2013.
For more information, please click here.

The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan

A new health coverage option, created by the Affordable Care Act, which is getting results today for people who:
  • are citizens of the United States or reside here legally,
  • have been uninsured for at least 6 months, and
  • have a pre-existing condition or have been denied insurance coverage because of a medical condition
  • are citizens of the United States or reside here legally,
  • have been uninsured for at least 6 months, and have a pre-existing condition or have been denied insurance coverage because of a medical condition.
To learn more about this program and how to apply in your state click here

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rural Counties and Health Reform: Community Health Needs Assessments

Thursday, March 24, 2011, 12:00-1:15MST
County officials and local health departments can be actively engaged in community health needs assessments, which the Affordable Care Act requires nonprofit hospitals to conduct to demonstrate they are taking on uncompensated care in their communities. In the webinar by the National Association of Counties, participants will learn the basic principles of community health needs assessments, how to ensure that the local health care safety net burden is shared and about a new template designed specifically for rural areas to meet the law’s requirements. For more information and to register, click here

Stroudwater Associates webinar invitation: Top Ten Revenue Cycle and Charge Capture Issues - Part Two

Part Two of Top Ten:  Revenue Cycle & Charge Capture Issues
Each year hospitals lose millions upon millions of dollars and unnecessarily expose themselves to compliance risks as a result of simple process issues.
This presentation identifies the remaining five issues which impact financial viability from both revenue and compliance perspectives. Participants will learn how to identify the issues that affect their facility and create a consistent, compliant revenue cycle.
The target audience is CEO, CFO, Coding, Business Office and Departmental leadership.
April - Hospital Affliation Options Development
May - Developing a Community Wide Neuro Medical Institute
June - Capitol Planning Best Practices
Sept - Community Hospital Replacement Study
For more information on Stroudwater Associates or to register for these webinars please click here and visit the webinars tab.

Medicare Updates - Please Review

This week Medicare posted updates on several of their policies, sevices and current issues. Please click on the following links for more information.
MM7012 – Waiver of Coinsurance and Deductible for Preventive Services
MM7049 – Expansion of Medicare Telehealth Services for CY 2011
Bone Mass Measurement, Also Known as a Bone Density Study
MM7115 – Incentive Payment Program for Primary Care Services, Payment to a Critical Access Hospital Paid Under the Optional Method
DDE DRG Pricer/Grouper Inquiry Function Issue

The Part A Claims Processing/Payment Issues have been updated: Please visit the following links for more information.
Reason Code 32816 (Location SMFPLH).
Reason Code E51#R (Location SMFPL2).

Internet-Based PECOS Even More User-Friendly

Healthcare providers who use or plan to use the Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS) to file and track their Medicare enrollment record and specialty status have even more reason to enjoy the convenience of internet-based PECOS. The internet-based system received a series of enhancements during the month of January, including an improved submission process, including simpler directions for signing up and a clearer process for follow-up; a tracking bar for the application process indicating progress through the system; and a new application status module on the website for checking whether enrollment applications have been; received by the MAC (Medicare Administrative Contractor), reviewed by the MAC, returned for additional information, approved or rejected.  Additionally, providers now have 15 days to submit signed paperwork required to complete the enrollment process.
To access internet-based PECOS, click here To learn more about Medicare enrollment for providers and suppliers, click here; additional informative factsheets from the Medicare Learning Network about internet-based PECOS are available for physicians and non-physician practitioners, provider and supplier organizations, and DMEPOS suppliers.

Friday, March 11, 2011

CMS MLN Matters Article: Correctly Coding Place of Service

On March 9, CMS released a special edition MLN Matters article that highlights the importance of correctly coding the place of service by physicians and their billing agents. To access the article, click here

CMS/HRSA Low Income Health Open Door Forum

Date: Wednesday, March 16 , 2011 , 2:00 PM- 3:00 PM Eastern Time (ET) The Forum addresses the concerns of the beneficiary advocates, providers, and information intermediaries throughout the country interested in improving access to Medicare and Medicaid for lower income Americans. Generally, CMS addresses new guidance or initiatives in programs for people with low-incomes, such as the Medicaid and SCHIP programs; information on the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, as well as the low-income subsidy. Services settings such as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Community Health Centers (CHCs) and 340(b) Hospitals and other providers are also often discussed. CMS and HRSA co-host this forum.
Open Door Forum AgendaI. Opening Remarks
  • Co-Chair - Patti Unruh, CMS Intergo
  • Co-Chair - Alex Ross, HRSA
II. Announcements & Updates
  • Grants for States to Prevent Chronic Disease, CMS
  • Community First Choice State Plan Option, CMS
  • CHIPRA Update: The Oral Health Locator - James Resnick (HRSA), Nancy Getchous (CMS)
  • Introduction, overview and resource material for Health Centers on future ICD-10 & 5010 implementation -Quyen Ngo-Metzger (HRSA); Pat Brooks (CMS); Angie Bartlett (CMS)
III. Open Q&A
**This Agenda is Subject to Change**

Open Door Participation Instructions:
This call will be Conference Call Only.
To participate by phone:
Dial: 1-800-837-1935 & Reference Conference ID: 39102861
Please dial-in at least 15 minutes before call start time.
Persons participating by phone do not need to RSVP.

March Flu Shot Reminder

It’s Not too Late to Give and Get the Flu Vaccine. Take advantage of each office visit and continue to protect your patients against the seasonal flu. Medicare will continue to pay for the seasonal flu vaccine and its administration for all Medicare beneficiaries through the entire flu season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that patients, health care workers and caregivers be vaccinated against the seasonal flu. Protect your patients. Protect your family. Protect yourself. Get Your Flu Vaccine - Not the Flu.
Remember – Influenza vaccine plus its administration are covered Part B benefits. Note that influenza vaccine is NOT a Part D covered drug. For information about Medicare’s coverage of the influenza vaccine and its administration, as well as related educational resources for health care professionals and their staff, please visit the following CMS websites by : clicking here and for more information on adult immunizations please click here

Free Webinar for CEU Credit ICD-10 and 5010

Thursday March 24, 2011 1:00pm EDT
To be prepared for the imminent changes associated with the ICD-10 and 5010 transitions, practices must fully understand what these transitions will entail, including potential challenges. In this complimentary webinar, sponsored by Navicure, learn the distinctions between 5010 and ICD-10 as well as the impact they're going to have on your practice.
During this hour, you'll hear industry expert, Kim Reid, CPC, approved PMCC instructor for the American Academy of Professional Coders and Northeast Regional Director for AAPC Physician Services, discuss:
5010 and ICD-10: What they are, when they will take effect, why they will take effect--and the benefits they will enable.
  • Potential challenges that you should be prepared for throughout both the 5010 and ICD-10 transition process.
  • The key steps you should take for each transition, including a review of where your practice should be right now.
  • Where to find definitive source requirements and resources that can be leveraged for additional information.
Don't be caught unprepared. Make sure that you understand the ICD-10 and 5010 changes and how they will impact your practice.
Participants can earn 1.0 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) from the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) by attending.
For more information and to register click here

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Regional CAH QI Workshops

April 7 – Craig, CO
April 12 – Yuma, CO
April 14 – Walsenburg, CO

As part of CRHC’s ongoing quality management coaching and training series for Colorado CAHs, these sessions provide an opportunity for participants to learn about quality and performance improvement activities in an interactive educational setting that they can then take back and implement in their own CAHs. These workshops, geared towards CAH Quality Directors and their staff, will provide education, updates, and a forum for networking and sharing QI strategies. For more information and to register, click here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Quality Health Indicators Benchmarking Tool – Back to Basics Webinar

April 13, 2011, 1:00-2:00 MST
Quality Health Indicators (QHi) is a benchmarking tool geared towards CAHs and rural hospitals under 50 beds. QHi will hold its next Back to Basics Webinar on April 13. This webinar will provide a program overview and walk through the basics of using the system. QHi is available to all Colorado CAHs at no charge. For more information, contact Jen Dunn at jd@coruralhealth.org.

TrailBlazer Computer-Based Training: Documentation Signature Requirements

The Documentation Signature Requirements Computer-Based Training (CBT) has been created for Part A and Part B providers as an additional tool for learning CMS’ requirements for documenting the medical record with the signature of the person who provided the service. The CBT includes:
  • Basic signature requirements.
  • Handwritten and electronic signature requirements.
  • Examples.
  • Exceptions to the signature requirements.
The CBT is offered as an accredited CBT for professional coders, but anyone is eligible to take it. For more information, click here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Agrisafe Webinar: Pesticides and Farm Worker Health

March 23, 2011; 12:00-1:00 PM CDT
Participants attending this session will be able to: Explain the toxicological mechanism of important groups of pesticides; identify the barriers that limit clinical testing for pesticide overexposure; organize clinical observations that help confirm pesticide overexposure; list factors that make pesticide poisoning diagnosis and management more challenging in immigrant farm workers; and name existing antidotal approaches to pesticide induced illnesses. To join the webinar, click here . Enter your name in the guest login box and click on 'Enter Room'.

CAH Swing Bed Webinar Series

Please join CRHC for this 2-part webinar series covering information about CAH Swing Beds. During the series, experts from the Joffit Group will discuss Medicare regulations pertaining to CAH Swing Beds including benefits and eligibility criteria, clinical care and documentation requirements, staff/physician/patient information, case studies, and more. To cost to participate in each webinar is:
  • Colorado CAH and CRHC Member: No charge
  • Colorado CAH and CRHC Non-Member: $75
  • All other hospitals: $99
For more information and to register, click on the dates below:

Monday, March 7, 2011

The CMS Sponsored ICD-10 Teleconferences Web Page has a New Search Feature

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently launched a new CMS Sponsored ICD-10 Teleconferences web page at http://www.cms.gov/ICD10/Tel10 with improved search capabilities. This web page provides information on upcoming and previous CMS national provider ICD-10 teleconferences, including registration, presentation materials, written transcripts, and audio recordings.
Check back soon for registration information on two upcoming ICD-10 teleconferences scheduled for May 18 and August 3.

New Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about ICD-10 Implementation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted two new frequently asked questions (FAQs) about ICD-10 national provider teleconferences and the partial code freeze.
To access these FAQs, please visit the CMS ICD-10 web page by clicking here , select the Medicare Fee-for-Service Provider Resources link on the left side of the page, scroll down the page to the “Related Links Inside CMS” section, and select “ICD-10 FAQs”.

Please check the ICD-10 FAQ section regularly for newly posted or updated ICD-10 FAQs.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Epidemiology and Prevention of Meningitis

Thursday, March 17, 2011, Noon - 1 p.m.
This webinar, hosted by the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians and the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition will explain the epidemiology and clinical features of meningitis as well as important recommendations for vaccinating vulnerable populations. Featured Speaker: Robert Brayden, M.D. Professor of Pediatrics, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center; Pediatrician, The Child Health Clinic at The Children's Hospital. For more information and to register, click here.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

USDA Rural Development Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy Grants Available

March 10, 2011, 12:00 – 4:00 p.m., Frisco, CO
USDA funding is now available for rural businesses for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Eligible applicants are limited to Rural Small Businesses (populations under 50,000 which includes Grand Junction) and farmers and ranchers. Non-profits and government entities are not eligible for this program.
Eligible purposes include energy efficiency improvements to commercial buildings, or installation of renewable energy for commercial purposes. Residential is NOT eligible.
The website where an application template and documents may be found is:http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ia/rbcs_RE-EE_Section_9006.html
A training for this grant is available in Frisco:
March 10, 2011, 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Frisco Town Hall – Council Chambers
1 W. Main Street
Frisco, CO 80443
Space is limited! RSVP 970.874.5735 ext. 136

New DORA Requirement

The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) for Colorado is requiring that surgical assistants, surgical technologists and operating room scrub technicians be registered with DORA to practice on or after April 1, 2011. For more information about this new requirement and to begin the application process, please reference DORA’s website: http://www.dora.state.co.us/Registrations/. If you are currently licensed as another healthcare professional (i.e. RN, APN, PA), you may not need to apply for this registration, as your current license may cover this scope of practice. However, you should verify your personal circumstances with DORA directly. For more information, click here.

Subject Matter Experts in Rural Nursing Needed for Online Publication

An online medical, trade publication is looking for one or two subject matter experts in the field of nursing for an upcoming article: The Pros and Cons of Rural Practice. They are looking for information on: What is the primary benefit of rural practice for a nurse?; What is the primary challenge or negative of engaging in rural practice?; What are the primary differences between rural practice and urban, or suburban nursing practices? For more information, please contact Jennifer Leeper at 816.516.9039 or jel7769@gmail.com.

Webinar: InstructOnline – CAH Compliance and CoP’s

March 10, 2011; 12:00-1:30MST;
Registration $225
Join Instruct Online for this webinar reviewing the CAH CoP’s. For more information and to register click here or call (319) 626-3295.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

CAH Quality Network

March 17, 2011, 11:00-12:00
The next bi-monthly CAH Quality Network webinar will be on March 17 from 11:00-12:00. These bi-monthly webinars, geared towards CAH Quality Directors, provide a forum for education, updates, questions, and sharing best practices. Webinar information will be sent out to CAH Quality contacts prior to the webinar. For more information contact jd@coruralhealth.org.

CMS Delays Medicaid RAC implementation

CMS has delayed the proposed April 1 deadline for states to implement their Medicaid RAC program, per a February 1 bulletin. States will not be required to implement their RAC program by the proposed implementation date of April 1, 2011 out of consideration for state operational issues and to ensure that states comply with the provisions of the final rule. CMS expects to indicate a new implementation deadline with the final rule is published later this year. To view the CMS bulletin, click here

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sample Internal Peer Chart Review Form

This sample tool from Christus St. Patrick Hospital is posted on HCPro’s website and can be modified to adapt it to the internal peer review indicators various hospitals use, as well as the conclusions the individual hospital uses regarding a specific case. To access the template, click here.

CRHC CAH Swing Bed Webinars

Part I - March 18, 2011: 1:00-2:30 MST
Part II - March 25, 2011; 1:00-2:30 MST
CRHC is offering a 2-part webinar series covering information about CAH Swing Beds. During the webinars, experts from the Joffit Group will discuss Medicare regulations pertaining to CAH Swing Beds including benefits and eligibility criteria, clinical care and documentation requirements, staff/physician/patient information, case studies, and more. For more information about pricing and to register, click on the dates above.

COO Position Now Available at CRHC

CRHC is currently hiring a Chief Operating Officer. Click here to view a detailed job description. Interested candidates should send their resume and cover letter, with salary requirements, to info@coruralhealth.org.