Recent Releases

June 24, 2011
MGMA Offers Books on Practice Management Englewood, Colo.-based Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) has rolled out four books addressing

MGMA Offers Books on Practice Management

Englewood, Colo.-based Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) has rolled out four books addressing practice leadership issues.

The books cover a variety of topics including clinical and business operations, financial management, governance and organizational dynamics, and information management.

A compilation of the top 101 most-frequently asked questions by MGMA members, "Experts Answer 101 Tough Practice Management Questions" covers issues from general practice administration to current issues and emerging trends. "Star-Studded Service: 6 Steps to Winning Patient Satisfaction" addresses meeting service expectations, and includes recommendations for benchmarking. "HR Policies & Procedures Manual for Medical Practices," 4th edition, is a reference that covers employment laws and hiring practices, managing performance, enforcing discipline, and ensuring patient satisfaction and safety. "Operating Policies & Procedures Manual for Medical Practices," 3rd edition, covers more than 100 management issues.

Patient Safety Book Hits Shelves

Oak Brook, Ill-based Joint Commission Resources (JCR) — a not-for-profit affiliate of The Joint Commission — has released a book for those interested in improving the level of quality and patient safety at their hospitals.

"Getting the Board on Board: What Your Board Needs to Know about Quality and Patient Safety," explains how board members can play a leading role in improving the quality and safety of the care, treatment and services provided at their organizations, according to JCR. The book also addresses growing demands for the boards to take responsibility not just for the organization's financial integrity but for quality and patient safety.

The book is available for $50 using order code EBQS-061, or five copies for $199 using order code EBQS-06. To order, call JCR customer service at (877) 223-6866 or visit

New Book Explains EHR for HIM professionals

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) has put out a book explaining the new technologies emerging in the field of healthcare informatics.

The book, entitled, "Healthcare Code Sets, Clinical Terminologies, and Classification Systems" outlines key components of EHR infrastructure for health information management (HIM) professionals. AHIMA states that authors go beyond the standard diagnosis and procedure code sets, and explains how they interaction with data standards.

Readers can earn continuing education credits by taking the online quiz associated with the book.

The book is edited by Kathy Giannangelo, RHIA, CCS, AHIMA (2006). To order, visit; $62.85 ($73.90 for non-members).

AHIMA & MGMA Testify for Data

In a major push for data collection and reporting, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) testified recently before the American Health Information Community Quality Workgroup on industry challenges.

The testimony was based on findings from "Collecting and Reporting Data for Performance Measurement: Moving Toward Alignment," an AHIMA and MGMA joint report urging for a standardized set of core performance measurements to resolve data collection, aggregation, and reporting issues.

"The healthcare community acknowledges the importance of standardizing performance measures to improve healthcare quality and efficiency. However, little attention has been devoted to the specific problems surrounding how the data for these measures are to be acquired, by whom, and at what cost," said William Jessee, M.D., MGMA president and CEO.

CCHIT Approves Ambulatory Testing Criteria

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) unanimously approved new 2007 criteria for ambulatory EHRs. The final criteria, test scripts, and associated documents are posted on the CCHIT Web site.

Among a number of new requirements this year, systems must be able to send prescriptions and refills to pharmacies electronically. In addition, vendors must demonstrate the product's ability to electronically receive standards-based lab result messages. Included with the criteria is a roadmap forecasting additional requirements for 2008 and 2009.

CMS Extends NPI Deadline

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is extending for 12 months a deadline, originally slated for May 23, for covered entities (other than small health plans) to begin using their National Provider Identifier.

"The enforcement guidance clarifies that covered entities that have been making a good faith effort to comply with the NPI provisions may, for up to 12 months, implement contingency plans that could include accepting legacy provider numbers on HIPAA transactions in order to maintain operations and cash flows." said CMS Acting Administrator Leslie Norwalk.

CMS stated that it extended the deadline after it became apparent many covered entities would not be able to fully comply.

The NPI is an identifier that will be used by covered entities to identify healthcare providers, eliminating the current need for multiple identifiers for the same provider. The NPI replaces all "legacy" identifiers that are currently being used, such as Medicaid provider IDs, individual plan provider IDs, UPINs, etc., and will be required for use on healthcare claims and other HIPAA transactions.

CMS encourages health care providers that have not yet obtained NPIs to do so immediately by visiting the National Plan/Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) Web site, and to use their NPIs in HIPAA transactions as soon as possible. Further information concerning this issue is available on the CMS Web site.

CMS Collaborative in California

As part of an effort to produce more accurate, comprehensive measure of the quality of service at the provider level, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a California collaborative as its newest participant.

Through the Better Quality Information to Improve Care for Medicare Beneficiaries (BQI) project, the California Cooperative Health Care Reporting Initiative (CCHRI) will combine its claims data or clinical information with that of Medicare to provide consistent measures of the quality of provider services.

Currently, the BQI project is being implemented in four regional collaboratives around the country.

HIBCC and Partners Healthcare Set Standard

Phoenix, Ariz.-based Health Industry Business Communications Council (HIBCC), an ANSI-accredited standards development organization, has teamed up with Boston-based Partners HealthCare System to develop a data standard to enhance providers patient safety systems.

According to HIBCC, the standard, entitled "Positive Identification for Patient Safety; Part 1: Medication Delivery" defines the processes and technologies involved with the safe administration and management of medication.

HIBCC claims the new standard is being developed from work initiated by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a hospital within the Partners HealthCare System. According to MGH, it began the project to define and develop a safer system for the administration of medication in 2004. MGH's results led the organization to seek formal standardization of the process, so that it could be uniformly implemented by other providers.

Is Telemedicine the Key to Reducing Cost?

In a new report, "Telemedicine in the Ambulatory Setting: Trends, Opportunities and Challenges," Alpharetta, Ga.-based First Consulting Group says that telemedicine can help expand providers' patient capacity and cut costs for both patients and providers.

Currently there are approximately 90 million Americans suffering from chronic diseases, and new research suggests that telehealth may be part of the solution for dealing with the astronomic cost in terms of finances and resources, according to FCG.

The white paper's findings address such topics as who will pay for telehealth, the need to efficiently manage patients with chronic diseases, and the value of empowering patients.

HCI Gives Away C-Class Mercedes

After a busy week at HIMSS, Craig Roth, vice president/publishing director of the Vendome Group (owner of Healthcare Informatics), awarded Kelly Lucas a C-Class Mercedes as part of Healthcare Informatics "Driven to Succeed Car Contest."

Lucas, network administrator at Clinton, N.C.-based Sampson Regional Medical Center, planned to drive his prize home after the show. Following the drawing, Lucas was congratulated by HCI's car sponsors, CliniComp, Emergis, and The SSI Group.

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