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Facebook: Healthcare’s Social Media Menace

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced two days of grilling by Congress last week to address data misuse in the wake of revelations that millions of Facebook users had their private information given away to political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica in the run-up to the 2016 Presidential election. Zuckerberg testified before Congress that about 87 million users had their Facebook data taken without their permission. Of those users, many were healthcare professionals who inadvertently...


AHA Ordered to Fix the Medicare Appeal Backlog

Judge James E. Boasberg of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has ordered the American Hospital Association (AHA) to propose specific recommendations for reducing the Medicare appeals backlog of appeals at the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) level. Reporting this developing story is healthcare attorney Andrew Wachler, Esq., managing partner at Wachler and Associates. The episode rundown also includes: Monday Rounds: Hot Topics: Risky Business: Consumer...


Telemedicine: Significant Expansion, Followed by a Return to Normalcy

Telemedicine, considered to be an electronic lifeline for rural healthcare, is a rapidly growing sector of health care in the United States that has recently gone through a significant expansion. Returning to Monitor Mondays to provide an update to his October 2017 report on the CHRONIC Act and MedPac's report on Telemedicine, is attorney Dale C. Van Demark, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery in Washington, D.C. The episode rundown also includes: Monday Rounds: Hot Topics: Risky...


How to Predict the Likelihood of an Audit

Diving deep into the datasphere, senior healthcare analyst Frank Cohen comes up for air in order to report on a new approach he and his team of data experts have developed to predict the likelihood of an audit. While he claims that his team is not yet predicting billing errors, he does report that many of the variables being used to do so can also be used to forecast audits. During this episode Cohen, director of analytics and business intelligence for DoctorsManagement, reports on his...


Anthem BlueCross BlueShield and UnitedHealthcare: New Worries for Patients and Providers

Patients and providers are reeling in Ohio, given the new Anthem BlueCross BlueShield emergency department (ED) policy, allowing the payer to decline claims for non-emergency ED visits. Advocates caution that Ohio patients might not visit the ED, fearful of not having their visits covered. Former ED physician-turned healthcare consultant Erica Remer, herself an Ohioan, reports on this developing story. Another headline grabbing story is the reported lawsuit filed by Envision Healthcare...


Medicare and Medicaid RAC Audits: How Auditors Get It Wrong

RACmonitor was founded in 2008 to provide news and information for healthcare providers on the emergence of the government’s Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program. From a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) demonstration in that year, and continuing to the national rollout in 2010 (coincidentally, the year of Monitor Mondays’ national debut), we have been reporting on activities not only of the RACs, but also the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs), Zone Program...


Quelling the Confusion Over Modifier 25

"Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) was set to implement a new processing edit with regard to the use of Modifier 25, effective March 1, 2018, but things didn't go as planned," reports Shannon DeConda, founder and president of the National Alliance of Medical Auditing Specialists (NAMAS), as well as the president of coding and billing services and a partner at DoctorsManagement, LLC. During this episode DeConda explains why Anthem is rescinding the new policy. The episode rundown also...


Time to Junk the Peer-to-Peer Process?

"The peer-to-peer (P2P) process is a particularly abhorrent chore for physicians," reports Juliet Ugarte Hopkins, MD, a physician advisor for case management, utilization, and clinical documentation at ProHealth Care, Inc. in Wisconsin. "These phone conversations are generally offered by commercial and managed insurance plans when their clinical case manager or medical director does not feel that inpatient status is supported for a particular patient." During this episode of Monitor...


Total Knee or Total Consternation?

Should total knee replacements (TKRs) be performed as inpatient or outpatient procedures? Some facilities are admitting all of them as inpatient while other facilities take a more conservative approach to admission. How are TKRs being handled at your facility? Mary Beth Pace, vice president of care management at Trinity Health and the special guest on this edition of Monitor Mondays, frames the conundrum as a hypothetical patient/caregiver conversation: "we are going to do major surgery...


EMR and RAC Audits: Who Takes the Hit? Part II

Who bears the burden and blame of regulatory noncompliance when your facility relies on non-medical software companies that create electronic medical records? We will continue with the second part of this developing story during this episode of Monitor Mondays, when whistleblower attorney Mary Inman reports on an ongoing qui tam action under the federal False Claims Act through which a relator alleges that Bon Secours Health System, Inc. fraudulently billed Medicare and Medicaid millions...


EMR and RAC Audits: Who Takes the Hit?

On the rugged regulatory terrain, you might confront this issue: who bears the burden and blame of regulatory noncompliance when your facility relies on non-medical software companies that create electronic medical records? Many of these electronic records are self-populated. So, what happens if you undergo a Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) audit and are accused of wrongdoing? Offering insight into this issue during the next edition of Monitor Mondays will be healthcare attorney Knicole...


HEDIS Reviews: How to Avoid Payer Abrasion

Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) reviews, underway right now by commercial health plans and government payers, are expected to continue through mid-May. Also expected at that time is a massive number of medical record requests from payers as they seek to improve their Medicare Advantage plan quality measurements, called Star Ratings, which are ultimately published on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website. Explaining the rating systems as well...


Medicare Advantage: What’s the Advantage?

“We have been slammed with Medicare Advantage DRG audits,” wrote Sandra from Indiana during last week’s Monitor Mondays broadcast. We asked RACmonitor national correspondent J. Paul Spencer with DoctorsManagement to investigate this issue for this week's episode. Will there be more of these audits? Do these represent low-hanging fruit for auditors? Stay tuned. The broadcast rundown also will include: Monday Rounds: Hot Topics: Healthcare Cyber Report: Risky Business: OMHA Report:...


2018: Look Out, Look Ahead

Monitor Mondays host and RACmonitor Publisher Chuck Buck will have the following all-star lineup of experts on hand to tell you what to watch out for in 2018 during this edition of the weekly internet broadcast: 2018 is shaping up to be another tumultuous year in healthcare. Decisions being made in Washington will impact every practice, facility, and health system. With so many major changes taking place, you need to stay informed and alert. RACmonitor and Monitor Mondays will help you...


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