AT News April 2012
From the President
By Therese Walden, AuD
Let Me Hear from You: March Madness
I’m not talking about college hoops, but the National Football League. This should be the off-season but it appears that the NFL has taken leave of its senses: Tim Tebow has moved to the Jets after helping to turn the Denver Broncos around—thank you very much. Peyton Manning is no longer a Colt but now a Bronco—so much for taking off all that time to heal! What does this have to do with us? The unexpected and change. All year we have dealt with the unexpected and have had to deal with change in the field. Read more…
In the News
hi HealthInnovations Provides Additional Resources for Online Hearing Test/Hearing Device Purchase
hi HealthInnovations has provided two additional resources regarding their online hearing test/online hearing aid purchase benefit for use by members of the Academy. The Academy received these documents from hi HealthInnovations staff and we are making them available in an effort to keep you informed of the changes/additions/updates available in the hi HealthInnovations hearing device benefit. Provision of this information to our membership is informational only and does not imply endorsement of this delivery model. We share this information so that you can better serve your patients as they come to your practice facility to engage your professional care.
The first resource serves as an overview of the benefit and outlines the referral process. The second resource provided to the Academy by hi HealthInnovations is a Frequently Asked Questions document. The FAQs cover the benefit in greater detail and outline the reimbursement structure, programming and fitting aspects, as well as featured technology, among other items. For more information and to view these new resources, click here
Scholarship Application Deadline Approaching
The AAA Foundation offers several scholarships for audiology students (AuD, PhD, AuD/PhD) and encourages qualified individuals to apply. Application deadline is April 30, 2012, for the 2012–2013 academic year. Read more…
Didn't Attend AudiologyNOW! 2012? Free Viewing of Two Educational Sessions Now Available On-Demand
Don't miss your chance to view this year's Marion Downs Lecture in Pediatric Audiology, The Dilemma of Dizziness in Children (.15 CEUs), presented by Linda Luxon, CBE, BSc, FRCP, and the Improving Patient Care through Innovation in Workplace Management Lecture, Influencer: How to Create Change in Your Audiology Workplace (.3 CEUs, Tier 1 credits available), presented by Candace Bertotti, MPA, PMP. Free on-demand viewing is made possible by generous funding from The Oticon Foundation (Marion Downs Lecture) and Phonak Hearing Systems (Workplace Management Lecture).
Practice Management Tip of the Month: Take Advantage of Electronic Organization
Many e-mail clients (including Outlook and Google) provide free online calendars that can be easily viewed by your entire office staff. Meetings, office events, vacations, tasks, and other important reminders can be easily updated. The calendar can either be managed by a delegated staff member or everyone can have open access. This is a great tool to increase efficiency and keep your entire staff on track. Read more…
ABA Specialty Examination Applications for October Due August 13
Earning the specialty in cochlear implants or pediatric audiology verifies experience to prospective employers and provides consumers with a method of identifying audiologists with expertise in a specialized area. Applications for the October 13, 2012, examinations to be held in Denver, Colorado, are due August 13, 2012. Read more…
Coding, Reimbursement, and Compliance
Academy Meets with CMS to Advocate for Increased Reimbursement for OAE CodesOn Tuesday, March 13, 2012, Academy staff, Practice Policy Advisory Council (PPAC) members Paul Pessis, AuD, and Brad Stach, PhD, and invited representatives from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association met face-to-face with regulators from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the agency's central office in Baltimore, Maryland. The Academy successfully secured this meeting after hearing from members that the professional work values assigned to otoacoustic emissions (OAE) codes used by audiologists were set arbitrarily low. Read More…
CPT Codes for Central Auditory Evaluation 92620 and 92621 Subject to NCCI EditAudiologists should be aware that CMS began enforcing an edit on certain audiology services provided on April 1, 2012, and forward. This means that certain codes that are reported together will be flagged by CMS for review as improper. The edits prevent a provider from billing any or all of these three codes (92571, 92572, 92576) in conjunction with CPT codes 92620/92621 on the same date of service. Read More…
ICD-10: Compliance Date of October 1, 2013, DelayedOn February 16, 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a press release, which announced a planned delay in ICD-10 compliance. The transition to ICD-10 was scheduled to occur on October 1, 2013. The release states that "As part of President Obama's commitment to reducing regulatory burden, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen G. Sebelius today announced that HHS will initiate a process to postpone the date by which certain health care entities have to comply with International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition diagnosis and procedure codes (ICD-10)." As CMS releases further information, the Academy will continue to inform members on how this delay will impact audiologists, when the new date of compliance is issued, and other updates as this coding system process transitions.
HIPAA 5010: Enforcement Date of March 31, 2012, DelayedThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of E-Health Standards and Services (OESS) has announced that it will not initiate enforcement action for an additional three months, through June 30, 2012, against any covered entity that is required to comply with the updated transaction standards adopted under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA): ASC X12 Version 5010 and NCPDP Versions D.0 and 3.0.
While the enforcement date has been pushed back, the original date for provider compliance remains January 1, 2012.
First Enforcement Action of HITECH Act-Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee HITECH to Pay $1.5 Million for Security Violations
As a result of the first enforcement action in violation of the breach notification rule of the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee (BCBCT) has agreed to pay $1.5 million to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a result of the theft of 57 hard drives from BCBST, which contained unencrypted information that included over one million subscriber names, Social Security numbers, dates-of-birth and health-care plan ID numbers.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is responsible for the enforcement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 privacy and security rules. Their investigation concluded that BCBST failed to fulfill the administrative and physical safeguards required by HIPAA.
The impact to health care providers, including audiologists, addresses the consequences of non-compliance of HIPAA and HITECH rules, affirmed when OCR's Director Leon Rodriguez stated "this settlement sends an important message that OCR expects health plans and health care providers to have in place a carefully designed, delivered, and monitored HIPAA compliance program."
For more details, read the full HHS Press Release.
Browse audiology jobs and post your resume for free at www.HEARCareers.org.
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