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May - June 2009 •
Volume 14, Issue 3

HBMA – The Industry’s Best Kept Secret
Message from the President
Randal Roat, CHBME
What an interesting year 2009 is shaping up to be. A global financial collapse, record unemployment, auto company bankruptcies, and a significant flu epidemic. What a backdrop for the coming year. Click for more

Who’s Being Stimulated?
How Federal Dollars Will Be Deployed for Healthcare
By Mark R. Anderson, FHIMSS, CPHIMS
On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) designed to stimulate the lagging U.S. economy. For the healthcare sector, ARRA included a health IT component labeled the HITECH Act. The 267 pages outline a plan for spending approximately $19.2 billion dollars to encourage healthcare organizations to adopt and effectively utilize electronic health records (EHR) and to establish health information exchange (HIE) networks at regional and local levels. Click for more

News from Around the World of HBMA
HBMA Creates State Representative Network; Call for Board Nominations. Click for more

The HBMA Finance Committee
Spotlight On...
By Jackie Willett, CHBME
The Finance Committee is pleased to report that HBMA is off to a solid financial start in 2009 and membership remains strong. During these economically challenging times, responsible stewardship and accounting for HBMA resources is critical. Click for more

2009 Spring Educational Conference
Conference Wrapup
By the time you read this, many of us will be back at the grindstone in our respective locations, American Idol will probably be down to the final two contestants, and Boca Raton will be a little less happening. For three days, though, the Boca Raton Resort & Club was full of life, medical-billing style. Click for more

Your Message... Your Voice... To Your Senators and Congressmen
HBMA’s Government Relations Committee
By Don Rodden, CHBME
The HBMA’s Government Relations Committee was formed in 2003 to formally organize HBMA’s efforts to draw closer to legislative and regulatory activity. There are many facets to the Committee’s agenda and work product each year. One of the initiatives that emerged in 2007 was the development of a Communications Subcommittee designed to encourage and promote communication with members of Congress and their healthcare legislative staff. Click for more

The Intergenerational Workplace
Five Steps to Solving the People Challenge of the Next Decade
By Haydn Shaw
Two business owners at an association convention in Las Vegas in March were taken by surprise at a session about generations in the workplace. “I thought the session was going to be about how to hand over your business to your kids,” said one. “So I was surprised when it was about how to lead an organization comprised of different generations. It really made me rethink my attitudes toward the Gen Xers and Millennials.” And said another: “I realized I am running this business the way my dad did. No wonder my kids don’t always like the business. I’m going to do things differently now.” Click for more

Hanging Tough
Six Steps to Focus Your Leadership in Difficult Times
By Samuel H. Steinberg, Ph.D., FACHE
A sinking economy can be a high-stress atmosphere for any business. But smart organizations see a difficult environment as an opportunity—a time to fine tune programs and services, sharpen policies and procedures, and take a fresh look at the company’s business plan. Click for more

Whom Can You Trust with Your Electronic Claims?
EHNAC Sets Standards for Security
By Renae D. Price CPA
It's the kind of story that makes compliance officers shudder: sixteen years of medical records covering 2.2 million patients—with 1.3 million social security numbers—stolen from a Salt Lake City hospital due to vendor neglect. Click for more

Red Flag Alert: Identity Theft
Seven Steps to Start Planning (if You Haven’t Already)
By James P. Trotter, III, CHBME
Billing companies have been required to comply with a multitude of regulations during the past decade and phrases such as “protected health information,” “accounting of disclosures,” and “requests for authorization” have become old, familiar melodies. The risks of noncompliance, however, have increased from simple audits and the occasional refund request to exclusion from government programs, loss of licensure, and criminal and civil litigation. And no rest for the weary! Click for more

Tricky Facet Joints
OIG Focuses On Overpayment for Facet Blocks
By Jackie Miller, RHIA, CCS-P, CPC, PCS
In September of 2008, the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) published the results of an audit of Medicare facet-joint injection claims. The audit was triggered by a 76% increase in Medicare payments for facet-joint injections from 2003 to 2006. The OIG’s auditors reviewed medical records and claims data for 646 injections performed in 2006. Click for more

Business as Unusual
If You’re Not Moving Forward, You’re Definitely Falling Behind
By David F. Jakielo, CHBME
One thing is apparent: healthcare is about to undergo some of the biggest changes we have seen in decades. The new administration in Washington is making healthcare one of its top priorities and it’s more than just lip service. Click for more

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