Innovation & Cost Savings: Beacon by LabCorp


I recently attended a meeting and LabCorp Representative spoke about various services they offer.  Toni Spain is very knowledgeable and passionate about patient care and provider the tools to the physicians to be more efficient, cost effective for the provider and provide the best care to the patient.

Ms. Spain introduced Beacon, which is at no additional cost to a general LabCorp account!  Beacon is virtual access to lab results and providers up to 2 years of lab history for the patient, no matter who ordered previous tests on file.  This will save the payers money and provider the physicians the ability to make decisions and treatment recommendations quicker for better quality patient care.  The patients many times do not remember what kind of tests other physicians orders, the results, or which physician ordered it.

This is an innovative step for LabCorp right at the time when Medicare is trying to implement Accountable Care Organizations which is all about quality care for the least expense by managing medical costs.

Contact Toni Spain for more information on this product that will change your office.

Angela Miller of Medical Auditing Solutions LLC has been in health care compliance, auditing, billing, collections and HIPAA for over 18 years.  Ms. Miller has made it the  focus of the business to help providers run their businesses efficiently, collect money, and maintain compliance with federal and state regulations and coverage criteria through compliance program development, management and training.  Ms. Miller is very experienced with Medicare & Payer audits.  Ms. Miller ran a very successful compliance program for over 5 years for the largest private held HME/Pharmacy provider in the US at the time.  Ms. Miller  also works as a contract compliance officer to provide an avenue to compliance training to staff, implementation of policies, as well as handling anything that affects cash flow from the initial intake to back-end collections. You can visit our website at Medical Auditing Solutions LLC.

How to Connect with Medical Auditing Solutions LLC?


You can find a complete scope of services under my blog.  In short, I work with most types of health care providers to setup compliance programs and training and anything that impacts cash flow.

You can follow us through our blog by scrolling to bottom of this blog, click follow then enter your email address.

You may follow Angela Miller and Medical Auditing Solutions if you a a profile on any of the following:

Website: http://www.medicalauditingsolutions.com
Blog: http://www.angelamillermas.wordpress.com or via website
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/medicalauditingsolutions
Twitter: http://twitter.com/AngelaMillerMAS
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/MedicalAuditingSolutions

Those who have recently attended a speaking engagement, I am connecting you through my blog. If you want to connect on the other sites feel free. I do not send out many email blast and utilize my blog the most.

HIPAA Privacy Settlement – $1 Million


With all the new enforcement efforts for privacy violations, better read this and take note.  If you are not sure you are HIPAA compliant MAS can provide security as well as chart and process assessment to help you.  This article is so important, I couldn’t find the short link so recopied exact with all Ms. Stamers contact information as well.

Rite Aid Agrees to Pay $1 Million to Settle HIPAA Privacy Case As Office of Civil Rights Proposes Tighter HIPAA Privacy & Security Regulations

August 4, 2010 <!–Cynthia Marcotte Stamer–>

Stay Tuned To Solutions Law Press For More Details

One of the nation’s largest drug store chains, Rite Aid Corporation and its 40 affiliated entities (Rite Aid) will pay $1 million to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights announcement of the HIPAA resolution agreement with Rite Aid and the concurrent negotiation of a separate consent order of potential FTC Act violations between Rite Aid and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) follows HHS’ announcement of proposed changes to its HIPAA Privacy Rules and associated penalties in response to changes enacted under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (HITECH Act).  The Rite Aid settlement and the proposed Privacy Rule changes illustrate the growing penalty risks that health care providers, health plans, healthcare clearinghouses and their business associates (Covered Entities) face for violating the Privacy Rules.

Rite Aid Resolution Agreement

The Rite Aid resolution agreements settle charges that Rite Aid failed to appropriately safeguard the privacy of its customers when disposing of identifying information on pill bottle labels and other health information. The settlements apply to all of Rite Aid’s nearly 4,800 retail pharmacies and follow an extensive joint investigation by the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the FTC.

OCR opened its investigation of Rite Aid after television media videotaped incidents in which pharmacies were shown to have disposed of prescriptions and labeled pill bottles containing individuals’ identifiable information in industrial trash containers that were accessible to the public in a variety of Rite Aid locations in cities across the United States.  OCR and FTC previously settled a similar case involving the national drug store chain CVS in February 2009.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule requires covered entities to safeguard the privacy of patient information and other “protected health information” including during its disposal.  In addition to the detailed requirements for protection and safeguarding of protected health information and electronic protected health information under the Privacy Rules, breach notification rules added to HIPAA under the HITECH Act also generally require that Covered Entities investigate and provide timely notification of breach to patients, OCR and in some cases the media when “unsecured protected heath information” is breached.  Meanwhile, the FTC Act and associated regulations require those retailers and certain other parties receiving personal financial information to comply with certain requirements for the protection and use of that information and to provide certain notifications of their privacy polices for protecting personal financial information.

The joint OCR and the FTC investigations raised concerns that:

  • Rite Aid failed to implement adequate policies and procedures to appropriately safeguard patient information during the disposal process;
  • Rite Aid failed to adequately train employees on how to dispose of such information properly; and
  • Rite Aid did not maintain a sanctions policy for members of its workforce who failed to properly dispose of patient information.

Under the HHS resolution agreement, Rite Aid agreed to pay a $1 million resolution amount to HHS and must implement a strong corrective action program under which Rite Aid agreed to:

  • Revise and distribute its policies and procedures regarding disposal of protected health information and sanctioning workers who do not follow them;
  • Train workforce members on these new requirements;
  • Conduct internal monitoring; and
  • Engage a qualified, independent third-party assessor to conduct compliance reviews and render reports to HHS.

In addition, under its FTC consent order, Rite Aid separately agreed to external, independent assessments of its pharmacy stores’ compliance with the FTC consent order.

The HHS corrective action plan will be in place for three years; the FTC order will be in place for 20 years.

Proposed Privacy Rule Changes

The Rite Aid resolution agreement and consent order follows the July 8, 2010 publication by OCR of proposed changes to its existing HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Rules in response to amendments enacted under the HITECH Act. Because of the lead time required to implement needed changes in policies, technology and training, Covered Entities need to begin preparations to adjust their health information privacy and data security policies and practices in anticipation of the finalization and implementation of these rules as well as to act quickly to submit their comments about the proposed changes.  .

The more than 220 page Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposes to revise the existing Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (Privacy Rule); the Security Standards for the Protection of Electronic Protected Health Information (Security Rule); and the rules pertaining to Compliance and Investigations, Imposition of Civil Money Penalties, and Procedures for Hearings (Enforcement Rule) issued under HIPAA.

The author of this update, attorney Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, has extensive experience advising and assisting health care providers and other health industry clients with HIPAA and other privacy and data security, reimbursement, compliance, public policy, regulatory, staffing, and other operations and risk management matters. Ms. Stamer also is regularly conducts training on HIPAA and other health industry compliance, management and operations matters.  You can get more information about her health industry experience here.  If you need assistance with these or other compliance concerns, wish to inquire about arranging for compliance audit or training, or need legal representation on other matters please contact Ms. Stamer at (469) 767-8872  or via e-mail here.  You may link to her on Plaxo and Linkedin as well where she posts she articles.

Your Duck is Dead


I seem to share bad and/or scary crazy news so thought I would share a laugh today. This is a cute joke that is clean and will make you laugh and you can share with patients.

Your Duck is Dead

A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird’s chest.

After a moment or two, the vet shook his head and sadly said, “I’m sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away.”

The distressed woman wailed, “Are you sure?”

“Yes, I am sure. Your duck is dead,” replied the vet..

“How can you be so sure?” she protested. “I mean you haven’t done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something.”

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck’s owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.

The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room. A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of
the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, “I’m sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck.”

The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman..

The duck’s owner, still in shock, took the bill. “$150!” she cried, “$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!”

The vet shrugged, “I’m sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it’s now $150.”

Angela Miller of Medical Auditing Solutions LLC has been in health care compliance, auditing, billing, collections and HIPAA for over 18 years.  Ms. Miller has made it the  focus of the business to help providers run their businesses efficiently, collect money, and maintain compliance with federal and state regulations and coverage criteria through compliance program development, management and training.  Ms. Miller is very experienced with Medicare & Payer audits.  Ms. Miller ran a very successful compliance program for over 5 years for the largest private held HME/Pharmacy provider in the US at the time.  Ms. Miller  also works as a contract compliance officer to provide an avenue to compliance training to staff, implementation of policies, as well as handling anything that affects cash flow from the initial intake to back-end collections. You can visit our website at Medical Auditing Solutions LLC.

PECOS: Uncover the mystery! Extended 1/3/2011


**NEWS FLASH** Found at least one gov’t contract with an extension notice of Jan 3, 2011 posted!

What is PECOS? Basically, this is an online 855 application process which is also linked to NPPES (NPI database).  The official name  is Medicare Provider Enrollment Chain and Ownership System.

Where did the info in PECOS come from? They uploaded (in some fashion) from the fiscal intermediary that processes your 855 paper enroll applications.

Why do I need to bother if they have the information from 855? The information in many circumstances is inaccurate and it can stop your cash flow reimbursement.  My guess is, as with any software or data conversion, exceptions to eliminate terminated data were not built in sufficiently.  So, with that said, it is very possible information is incorrect which can result in revoked provider number. For example I recently worked on a provider’s PECOS records that showed locations that have been closed for several months. If the Medicare contractors visit locations or call a phone number that is no longer valid including an invalid area code, they can suspend or revoke the provider number.

You must register in PECOS.  This means you must obtain a username and password in PECOS to review and validate all your information.  Before you begin view and print (save to complete) the 855 they show. You may need copies of your previously submitted 855’s. If you did not keep a copy, do so for all applications in the future.  You can save the information and go back to finish if need be.   Do not click “begin submission” until you are 100% certain you are finished.  Any changes will require a “submission” then you must print out the certification documents for signature to submit hard copy to the address that prints on confirmations.

Do not let incorrect information or failure to register in PECOS stop your PESOS (Cash Flow).  Register deadline for PECOS by UPDATED**7/6/2010 or 1/1/2011 (depending on what article you read) will stop your Medicare payments also.   ADDED**This is the latest note I found on CMS’ website “July 6: Please read the news release found at the following location http://www.cms.gov/apps/media/press/release.asp?Counter=3774 , the January 2011 deadline was superseded by a statutorily established deadline in the Affordable care act. As soon as a firm enforcement date of the regulations has been determined we will announce it.”

This is not going away.  It will take 1-1.5 hours to gather corporate and provider documents.  It will take about 2 hours per provider record to review documents, data, make corrections, make necessary copies of documents, sign and mail.

I have provided a list of numerous documents that you should have available for this as well as site visits.  I recommend maintaining all the important records in a three ring binder to be handy for site inspectors.

If you need help getting this done, we can help with this project.  We will register you, save all log in data for you, save the existing PECOS record, make necessary updates based on the documents provided, save revised document, print all certification forms to PDF.  All documents will be password protected and returned to you by email for $289.00 per provider number.  We can overnight the certification pages and a CD with all documents back to you for an extra $30.00 for all provider records being returned.  Please contact us so that we may sign a confidentiality contract.

PECOS  CHECKLIST

  • Sale purchase agreement, if applicable
    • Asset acquisitions require a new provider number
    • Also note, Home Health Agencies with a provider number less than 36 months old will require a new provider number also
    • Were the state and local agencies informed of the acquisition?
  • State Licensure such as pharmacy license, DME/HME License, typically health care business line specific, if applicable
  • Local- state licenses such as occupancy or business licenses
  • Copy accredit certificate (DME, HHA,
  • IRS 147C letter
  • NPI letter/email
  • Any Adverse Action
  • Director of Nursing/Administrator license
  • Medical MalPractice Insurance Certificate
  • Liability Insurance Certificate must have correct location address on it for minimum $300K
  • HHA: Documentation to demonstrate capitalization requirements
  • Board of Directors, Owners with 5% or more, Manager (w-2), clinical provider Information:
    • Full Name
    • Social Security Number
    • Date of Birth
    • In some states, like FL &CA, finger print cards are required for the mentioned
  • If owned by another company or venture capital company:
    • Need the company(ies) TID#
    • Corporate Business Address
  • If complex ownership, please provide an organizational chart of ownership even if handwritten.

Angela Miller of Medical Auditing Solutions LLC has been in health care compliance, auditing, billing, collections and HIPAA for over 18 years.  Ms. Miller has made it the  focus of the business to help providers run their businesses efficiently, collect money, and maintain compliance with federal and state regulations and coverage criteria through compliance program development, management and training.  Ms. Miller is very experienced with Medicare & Payer audits.  Ms. Miller ran a very successful compliance program for over 5 years for the largest private held HME/Pharmacy provider in the US at the time.  Ms. Miller  also works as a contract compliance officer to provide an avenue to compliance training to staff, implementation of policies, as well as handling anything that affects cash flow from the initial intake to back-end collections. You can visit our website at Medical Auditing Solutions LLC.

Patient Visits: Changes, Increase Revenue, & Ordered Services


“15 MINUTE THOUGHT”

New Patient Visit Requirements: Increase Your Revenue

MAS is pioneering an informational program that you can listen to over a cup of coffee while you organize your day or on your drive to work. The name of the program is “15 Minute Thought”.  These calls will be free and informative.  Our focus is to give you a new thought once per month to help improve your business during these tough regulatory times.  The call participation should be maintained although CME/CEUs are not attached, it documentation of education efforts.

We will discuss health care reform changes that impact the requirements for patient visits, date last seen, and chart documentation.  We will discuss how to make lemonade out these lemons!  We need to cease the opportunity to increase revenues out of these changes.  Spend 15 minutes and learn about changes that can stop your payments as well as how to increase your revenue.

Program your Phone and Calendar:

The 2nd* and 3rd Wednesday Every Month

July 21, 2010  at 8:30am-8:45am CST

Speaker:          Angela Miller, CHC, Compliance & Billing Expert & Edward Vishnevetsky of Thompson Coe

MAS Conference Call Dial-in#:         218-862-1300

Conference Code:                               622911

MAS Office number:                          972-459-1508

Who should call in?

All health care provider, Health care business owner or manager, Physicians, Home Health, DME, HME, Attorneys, Compliance Officer, and Office Managers

Follow MAS Blog for Schedule & Updates.  You can “follow” MAS on all social media and new blog links are published.  We only publish useful information and breaking news.

Blog:  http://www.angelamillermas.wordpress.com or via website
Linkedin:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/medicalauditingsolutions
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/AngelaMiller.MAS

Edward L. Vishnevetsky has extensive experience in the area of health law and commercial litigation. He routinely argues before state and federal courts in areas of health law, employment law, and complex commercial litigation, and also represents hospitals, physicians, durable medical equipment (DME) providers and manufacturers before various state and federal regulatory agencies. Edward advises health care clients on operational matters, liability exposure, privacy issues, federal and state health care regulatory compliance, health care reimbursement disputes, as well as risk management issues. He has represented individuals, physician groups, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, sleep laboratories, dialysis clinics, independent diagnostic testing facilities, and DME suppliers.

Angela Miller of Medical Auditing Solutions LLC has been in health care compliance, auditing, billing, collections and HIPAA for over 18 years.  Ms. Miller has made it the  focus of the business to help providers run their businesses efficiently, collect money, and maintain compliance with federal and state regulations and coverage criteria through compliance program development, management and training.  Ms. Miller is very experienced with Medicare & Payer audits.  Ms. Miller ran a very successful compliance program for over 5 years for the largest private held HME/Pharmacy provider in the US at the time.  Ms. Miller  also works as a contract compliance officer to provide an avenue to compliance training to staff, implementation of policies, as well as handling anything that affects cash flow from the initial intake to back-end collections. You can visit our website at Medical Auditing Solutions LLC.