Clinics Exempt from Red Flags Rule

December 21, 2010 · Posted in Industry News · Comment 

The President recently signed “red flags” legislation that makes doctors exempt from the anti-identity theft requirements and safeguards that banks and other creditors must follow.

This amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act is primarily a definition of the term “creditor.”  Confusion over the definition of “creditor” resulted in a Federal Trade Commission position that physician practices and other small professional service businesses would need to comply with the same regulation that calls for banks and creditors to have written procedures in place to prevent, identify and mitigate identity theft and to train staff to follow those plans.  With the new legislation and clarification, compliance is no longer necessary.

Revision to LCD for Outpatient Physical and Occupational Therapy (L26884)

In 2010, National Government Services received a request for reconsideration of the Outpatient Physical and Occupational Therapy local coverage determination (LCD) (L26884) to include International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification, 9th Revision (ICD-9-CM) codes V57.1-V57.89 as correct coding. Review of the ICD-9-CM manual indicated that the request was technically correct, and therefore the requirement was included in the May 2010 draft revision to the LCD. Numerous comments were received from all National Government Services jurisdictions that such coding was redundant and created additional burden for providers.

The National Government Services medical directors and policy staff agreed with these comments, and sought further guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) about whether these diagnosis codes needed to be included in the LCD. CMS has indicated that although the ICD-9-CM manual does include this recommendation, contractors did not have to include these diagnoses in the LCD.

Consequently, the LCD and supplemental instruction article (SIA) are revised, effective November 1, 2010, to delete coding instructions that required ICD-9-CM codes V57.1-V57.89 be included as the primary diagnosis on all therapy claims. Furthermore, National Government Services will not require these diagnosis codes as primary or subsequent codes. National Government Services does, however, note that such a recommendation does exist in the ICD-9-CM manual. If providers use these codes, they must also include the diagnosis code of the specific medical condition for which each therapy service was provided.

To see the document on the NGS website, click on www.NGSMedicare.com, select your Business Type and your Region and click “Go.” On the Provider Specific Portal Home Page, under News and Publications, click on What’s New from the drop down menu.

Source: Gawenda Seminars & Consulting

Electronic Therapy Documentation: Quicker than Paper

December 10, 2010 · Posted in Documentation, occupational therapy, physical therapy · Comment 

When documenting physical or occupational therapy visits on paper, much time and labor is spent getting the initial evaluation paperwork to the physicians’ offices.  Many therapists rely on dictation, transcription and snail mail to document patient treatment and then communicate with physician offices.  As our clients implement Chart Links Rehabilitation Software, we see them eliminating transcription costs by documenting electronically, and, we see them replacing snail mail or printing and faxing with an e-fax solution integrated into the electronic documentation software.  These automated processes allow the documentation to get to the physician offices quicker.

One of the biggest benefits immediately realized with electronic therapy documentation is reduced time it takes to document patient treatments.  Chart Links customers typically have desktop computers installed within private exam rooms and laptop carts in open gym spaces. Multi-discipline flow sheets easily track patients’ exercises and treatments from visit to visit, making data collection and entry easier than ever.  Most therapists complete the treatment notes during the patient visit so that the patient chart is complete soon after the patient leaves the facility.

If you’d like to learn more about Chart Links electronic therapy documentation, visit www.chartlinks.com.