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January - February 2010 •
Volume 15, Issue 1

Change is Gonna Come
Message from the President
By Scott Everson, CHBME
We all heard a lot about change during the recent political season. With Obama supporters chanting “Change we can believe in” and McCain supporters responding with “Change is coming,” I couldn’t help but think of Robert Gallagher’s quip: “Change is inevitable—except from a vending a machine.” Click for more

Tribute to Katie (K.T.) Anders
HBMA Billing Editor
By Brad Lund, Executive Director
The HBMA has been honored to have had the pleasure and experience of working closely with K.T. Anders as she helped lead the HBMA’s editorial and publications programs for the past ten years. It is with great sorrow that we share that K.T. passed away on Christmas Day, after a long and valiant fight with cancer. Click for more

Committee Chairs 2010
Billing Editors
HBMA Committee Chairs for 2010 announced. Click for more

What’s on the Immediate Horizon?
By Bill Finerfrock, HBMA Washington Representative
Will Congress approve healthcare reform? If healthcare reform is approved, what will be in the reform package? These are perhaps the two most common questions I’ve been asked during the past 10 months. The reality is that no one knows for sure. In April, we were told that Congress could pass healthcare reform legislation by mid-summer and have it on the President’s desk by the August Congressional recess. Click for more

Healthcare Trends: Everything You Wanted to Know
The Year in Review—And Outlook for 2010
By Ted Stack
Last year was a historic year, both for our country and for the healthcare industry. The inauguration of Barack Obama as our 44th President and first African-American President was a time of great hope and promise. Unfortunately, the nation was knee-deep in the worst recession in more than 75 years. Click for more

Finding a Guilt-Free Life/Work Balance
By Ginger Ryder, CHBME
I am the typical working mother, at least that’s how I define myself. Like the majority of employed women with young children, I work out of necessity. However, I consider myself very fortunate to have a career within an industry that I love (most of the time). Still, I work too much, spend too little time with my children, and usually don’t have enough time for my dear friends. Click for more

CPR is Established at HBMA
Committee News
By Sherri Dumford, CHBME
In an ongoing effort to serve HBMA’s mission, the Board of Directors approved a request by Randy Roat, HBMA’s president during 2009, to establish the Commercial Payer Relations Committee (CPR). Click for more

5010 and ICD-10 Implementation Industry Perspectives
By Holly Louie, CHBME
HBMA was one of twenty six organizations asked to provide testimony to the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) Subcommittee on Standards in December 2009. The testimony from each of these organizations was eerily similar, as though we had copied each other’s papers. The testimony should also serve as a wake-up call and warning about possible 5010 and ICD-10 implementation business disruptions. Click for more

CMS Pulls the Plug on Consultations
Coding Corner
By Jackie Miller, RHIA, CCS-P, CPC
Understanding the distinction between consultations (reported with the CPT® consult codes) and referrals (reported with office visit or inpatient care codes) has long been problematic for physicians and their billing agents. Over the years, CMS and the AMA have made numerous changes to Medicare policy and CPT® guidelines in an attempt to clearly define the differences between these two types of services. Click for more

Risky Times for Risk Management
Compliance Issues
By J. Dennis Mock
Understanding the distinction between consultations (reported with the CPT® consult codes) and referrals (reported with office visit or inpatient care codes) has long been problematic for physicians and their billing agents. OIn the business world, every industry has some level of associated risk. Risk exposure typically falls into three categories: occurrences we know may happen, events we think may happen, and those that are unexpected - the ones that blind side us. Click for more

The Pursuit of Past President
Past President Project
By Bing Herald
In 2001, after being a loyal charter and active member of the HBMA (IABS/IBA) for eight years, I was asked to run for a Board of Directors seat by then President, Jean Campbell. At first I was hesitant, but after much persuasion I accepted the challenge. In fact, after some consideration, I felt I had a lot to offer and would relish the opportunity to serve in this meaningful capacity. Click for more

How Physicians Can Maintain the Health of Their Practice
Create Your Own Stimulus Package
By Dave Jakielo, CHBME
Have you ever wondered why sometimes there seems to be a cantankerous relationship between medical practices and their billing companies? If you have experienced the frustration of a deteriorated relationship with some of your clients, you are not alone. And in most cases, you are not at fault. In fact, usually this occurs when the billing company is producing excellent results. Click for more

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