CMS has proposed to rescind the requirement for signatures on all lab requisitions, according to the "Medicare Program; Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule: Signature on Requisition" proposed rule published in the Federal Register June 30. The 2011 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, published last November, requires a physician's or nonphysician practitioner's (NPP) signature on lab requisitions for tests paid under the clinical lab fee schedule, regardless of whether there is a signed order. This is the opposite of prior CMS rulings that indicated signatures were not required on requisitions, although written and signed orders were required.
The Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report (PEPPER), distributed either quarterly or annually depending on the type of facility, contains large amounts of data on how a facility compares to others in the same state, the same jurisdiction (i.e., the same Medicare Administrative Contractor), and nationwide in terms of coding and medical necessity target areas. (Find out more at www.pepperresources.org.)PEPPER identifies when facilities are outliers in their reporting of multiple risk areas. For coding, those areas are:
Editor's note: MRB is celebrating its 25th year in 2011, and each month we're bringing you special content. This month we've reached out to our editorial advisory board members and columnists for their advice on topics such as ICD-10, EHRs, and department management. We received so much information that we're putting together a compilation to release at the AHIMA annual convention in October in Salt Lake City-be sure to find us in the exhibit hall for your free copy. We'll also make it downloadable for all MRB subscribers after the conference. In the meantime, read on for a taste of what the board members had to say.
Don't let the new patient-centered communication standards catch you up short. These standards, which took effect January 2011 and begin affecting survey findings January 2012, cover not only the Rights of the Individual chapter, but the Provision of Care; Human Resources; and Record of Care, Treatment, and Services chapters as well.
According to a survey on coder productivity published in the May edition of MRB, 83% of those with remote coding programs reported that coder productivity either remained the same or increased after a remote coding program was implemented at their facility. That's great news for those considering establishing a remote coding program. And there are many reasons to do so, both for your coding staff and for your hospital.