U.S. House Unveils New SGR Framework - Comments Welcome

From the AMA, April 3, 2013:  Today, the chairmen and health subcommittee chairmen of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee issued a second, more detailed draft of their framework for repealing and replacing the SGR.  Like the first draft circulated prior to the AMA’s National Advocacy Conference, the committees are inviting physician groups to provide feedback and respond to committee staff questions on the proposal.  The deadline for feedback is April

State Posts Enhanced Primary Care Rates for Medicaid

Late last week, the State of New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services published the enhanced Medicaid rates on its website - click here

Payment Reform – The Theory of Win-Win-Win

On Tuesday, March 26, 2013, the New Hampshire Medical Society, in collaboration with the New Hampshire Hospital Association and New Hampshire Citizens Health Initiative, sponsored an educational program on payment reform. 

JUA Excess Surplus Distributions - Phase I of II

February 21, 2013, Dr. Georgia Tuttle, one of the lead plaintiffs in the NH Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriters Association class action lawsuit, praised the efforts by all the plaintiffs, including Lakes Region General Hospital and Derry Medical Center.  Dr.

NHMS' Dr. Savage Testifies on HB573 - Use of Herbal Marijuana

There is no question that herbal marijuana contains potent pharmacologically active substances called “cannabinoids” that can relieve pain, reduce nausea and improve appetite. Two marijuana-derived medications, each containing a different cannabinoid, are approved for medical use in the United States. A third medication containing biologically active cannabinoids more closely mirroring marijuana is available in Europe and Canada. It is undergoing clinical trials in the United States and is expected to be approved for use soon.

Health Care Providers Should Prepare Now for the Version 5010/ICD-10 Transition

Will You Be Ready?

Are you prepared for the U.S. health care system’s change from ICD-9 to ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure codes? The switch to ICD-10 takes effect on October 1, 2013. Leading up to the October 1, 2013, compliance date, there are other important dates:

  • Beginning January 2011, providers should begin testing Version 5010 transaction standards with their trading partners
  • January 1, 2012, the date for Version 5010 compliance  

Prepare now to avoid potential reimbursement delays. If you do not use Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Version 5010 transaction standards starting January 1, 2012, and ICD-10 codes when submitting claims with dates of service on or after October 1, 2013, your claims may not be paid.

What’s Changing and Who Is Affected? 
Unlike ICD-9 codes, ICD-10 diagnosis codes are alphanumeric, have 3 to 7 digits, and are much more descriptive. ICD-10 will affect diagnosis and inpatient procedure coding for everyone covered by HIPAA, not just those who submit Medicare claims. This change does not affect Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) coding for outpatient procedures.

Newly inaugurated NHMS President Travis Harker to focus on 3 key Issues for 2014.

An excerpt from Dr. Travis Harker’s speech:

“In 1791, Josiah Bartlett and 23 other doctors came together to enjoy each other’s company and to be the vanguard for our sacred profession.  They spent much of the first century of our existence setting standards for professional conduct, scientific rigor and building membership. 

Perhaps most important to them was fellowship with other doctors, as evidenced by always meeting in taverns.  Seriously though, they were men of science and heavily invested in their library because as you might imagine, information was not so readily at their fingertips as it is for us today. 

They valued public health, as demonstrated by their work for clean water, disease and treatment registries. 

They believed in public advocacy and created the first legislative committee in the early 1800s. 

They believed in putting patients first, as shown in our seal depicting the Temple of Faith, Hope and Charity from which continuously flow comfort and compassion to all who seek the aid of the true physician.

These values were reaffirmed again and again over the past two centuries, as when in 1910 NHMS President Granville Conn stated in his presidential address, “The old-school doctor has gone because the conditions that have made him possible are gone as well. But their record of unselfish devotion, self-denying work and purity of life will never be effaced and will stimulate us all for years to come.”

And when earlier this year our president, Cindy Cooper, wrote in the Concord Monitor, “Expanding Medicaid to more low-income adults in New Hampshire is the proper and moral thing to do. Our health is our most important personal asset. I feel it is more important than the condition of the roads or even education … that “the poorest man would not part with health for money, but the richest would gladly part with all their money for health.”

One in three American adults have gone online to figure out a medical condition.

Thirty‐five percent of U.S. adults say that at one time or another they have gone online specifically to try to figure out what medical condition they or someone else might have.

These findings come from a national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. This report highlights findings for what Pew calls “online diagnosers.”

When asked if the information found online led them to think they needed the attention of a medical professional, 46% of online diagnosers say that was the case. Thirty‐eight percent of online diagnosers say it was something they could take care of at home and 11% say it was both or in‐between.

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