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Reiterating that ICD-10 is an essential component to tracking more detailed healthcare data and strengthening a national health information infrastructure, Denise Buenning, MsM, Deputy Director of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Office of E-Health Standards and Services, again stated Wednesday that the October 1, 2014 ICD-10 compliance date remains in place. “CMS is dedicated to the transition to ICD-10,” said Buenning at the ICD-10 CM/PCS and CAC Summit sponsored by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). “Given that ICD-10 is essential to greater interoperability, information sharing and ultimately providing better patient care and lowering healthcare costs, we are continuing to move forward with our ICD-10 implementation efforts in full anticipation of the October 1, 2014 compliance date.” ICD-10 is an integral part of CMS’ E-Health initiative, which includes meaningful use, electronic quality measures and payment reform. Buenning said that ICD-10 implementation will make clinical records come alive, adding that the increased detail from the ICD-10 codes will provide a more accurate assessment of population health. “As the ICD-10 compliance date moves closer, AHIMA will remain focused on helping organizations prepare for implementation,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA. “HIM professionals recognize the importance of ICD-10 in sharing accurate and robust information as well as managing that information to ensure it is used effectively.” Pointing to CMS’ comprehensive implementation plan, Buenning added that the Medicare implementation of ICD-10 is on track for the October 2014 compliance date, but will continue to work in partnership with industry to assist all health care segments, and especially small providers, with making a successful transition to ICD-10. Source:  AHIMA

In her first post-HIMSS interview, the ONC’s Deputy National Coordinator for Programs & Policy shares her perspectives on this year’s HIMSS Conference, on Stages 2 and 3 of meaningful use, and on her current passion—patient engagement, with HCI’s Editor-in-Chief Mark Hagland Senior officials from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) had a higher-profile presence at the HIMSS Conference this year (held last month at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans) than ever before. read more

By Jonathan Blum, Acting Principal Deputy Administrator   and Director, Center for Medicare Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new, lower Medicare prices that will go into effect this July in a major expansion of the DME Competitive Bidding Program from nine areas to 91 areas. The CMS Office of the Actuary estimates that the program will save the Medicare Part B Trust Fund $25.7 billion and beneficiaries $17.1 billion between 2013 and 2022. Medicare beneficiaries in these 91 major metropolitan areas will save an average of 45 percent for certain DME items scheduled to begin on July 1, 2013. To reduce costs and the fraud resulting from excessive prices, CMS introduced a competitive bidding program in nine areas of the country in 2011. Under the DME competitive bidding program, Medicare beneficiaries with Original Medicare who live in competitive bidding areas will pay less for certain items and services such as wheelchairs, oxygen, mail order diabetic supplies, and more. Competitive bidding for DME is proven to save money for taxpayers and Medicare beneficiaries while maintaining access to quality items and services. Additionally, Medicare beneficiaries across the country will save an average of 72 percent on diabetic testing supplies under a national mail-order program starting at the same time. Medicare thoroughly vets all suppliers before awarding them contracts in the program. Suppliers must be accredited and meet stringent quality standards to ensure good customer service and high quality items. We have also monitored the program areas extensively, and real-time monitoring data have shown successful implementation with very few beneficiary complaints and no negative impact on beneficiary health status based on measures such as hospitalizations, length of hospital stay, and number of emergency room visits compared to non-competitive bidding areas.  CMS will employ the same aggressive monitoring for the MSAs added in Round 2. A full list of the new prices and included items is available at www.dmecompetitivebid.com . Filed under: Uncategorized

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