Welcome to the PracticeSuite weekly medical billing digest – the best round up of industry news from the past week:
Cloud Storage: How Should Providers Protect their Interests?
More and more providers are moving their applications and data to the cloud. This article notes that higher levels of managers getting involved with security thanks to HIPAA and press accounts of data breaches (see story below). It details three specific things providers should do when making the move: check the service’s references, have a solid contract, and make sure the vendor has a comprehensive set of security policies and procedures in place.
Lost Thumb Drive Leads to $150K Fine
A New England dermatology practice has been fined $150,000 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for privacy and security violations. APDerm neglected to report that an unencrypted thumb drive with protected health information (PHI) of 2,200 patients was stolen from the car of a staff member. In its investigation, HHS’s Office for Civil Rights determined that the practice had not conducted a thorough analysis of the potential risks to PHI and did not fully comply with the HITECH Breach Notification Rule. This is the first settlement with a covered entity for a HITECH violation.
OIG, CMS Release Final Rules for EHR Stark Exception, Anti-Kickback Safe Harbor
CMS and HHS’s Office of Inspector General have finalized the rules for the Stark Exception and the Anti-Kickback Safe Harbor, both of which permit EHR donations if certain safeguards are met. The rules were written to encourage implementation of EHRs, allowing small provider groups to accept gifts of EHR software. These rules will be in effect until December 31, 2021.
White Sulphur Springs Hospital Says Company Never Installed Health Records System
The Mountainview Medical Center is suing NextGen Healthcare Information Systems of Texas for failing to install a certified health record system by the agreed-upon deadline of June 13, 2013. After NextGen missed its extended deadline of October 1, the hospital filed suit. The system cost the center $441,000 and was intended to help it demonstrate Meaningful Use.
Determinants for Different Medical Billing and Coding Salary
What determines the salaries being paid to billing and coding staff? Well, geographical location, for one. Staffers in metropolitan areas are currently earning more than their counterparts in rural areas. The size of the organization is another important factor, with large nursing homes and hospitals paying more than solo practitioners. Experience also plays a role, since a staffer who rarely has to look up codes has a significantly higher productivity level.
Last Updated on January 4, 2014