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Inside This Issue:

President’s Message

Happy New Year! I always enjoy the traditions, food, and company the Holiday Season brings.
A New Year and resolutions tend to go hand in hand in our culture.

With that being said, I would like to provide five New Year’s Resolutions for both personal and professional growth:
  1. Make a list of at least four people you would like to get to know better. This may be someone you know, or someone you’ve never had an opportunity to really talk in depth with. Strive to meet with one person per quarter—or be an over achiever and strive for more networking opportunities than four. You will need to think of a way to meet with the individuals—it could be an introduction through LinkedIn, a coffee invitation, a walk, a one on one meeting; the possibilities are endless.
  2. Read at least two books regarding your profession or an area you are interested in gaining growth. We are all busy with our everyday work lives, but it’s important to take a step back, learn, and foster growth to ensure we all stay knowledgeable in a changing environment.
  3. Set work limits for a healthy work-life balance. With technology, we seem to always be connected. If you’re not keeping an eye on your own needs, you could easily burn out. Set some guidelines such as: no work on Sundays, no work past 6:30pm. This especially applies to those who work from home.
  4. Stretch yourself outside your day-to-day comfort zone. Take on a cross-functional activity, which could be joining an employee resource group, going back to school, or even striving for a leadership role that may or not be at your current job.
  5. Volunteer with THIMA. You will be more connected to people in the profession and you will be inspired.
I hope you all had a safe and wonderful holiday season with friends and loved ones. I know 2017 is going to be a wonderful year, and I’m excited to share it with all of you!!!

Honor a Colleague!

There is still time to submit a nominee for a THIMA Award!  We can all think of colleagues, mentors, and friends who have helped us along our professional path. This is a grand opportunity to honor those special people. The deadline is February 10, 2017do it today!!

Problems with AHIMA Website

Late last year, AHIMA made several changes to their website particularly to improve MyAHIMA, the CEU Center, and the AHIMA Store. The upgrades resulted in unanticipated problems.

As a result, you may have experienced delays and/or functionality gaps when attempting to submit CEU hours and paying dues. The Customer Relations department has experienced a high volume of phone calls and e-mails, which has resulted in longer wait times than usual. AHIMA is working with their partners to resolve all of these issues.

Here are the new CEU Deadlines:
  • If your recertification cycle ends on December 31, 2016, you have until March 31, 2017, to report your CEUs without incurring a late fee.
  • If you are attempting to reinstate a revoked credential prior to the December 31, 2016, deadline, we have extended the deadline for reinstatement to January 31, 2017.
  • If you are a holder of an AHIMA coding credential (CCA, CCS, CSS-P), the 2016 coding self-review is now available and you will have until March 31, 2017, to complete the self-review.

If your membership renewal is due on December 31, 2016, you may renew at any time.

The problems are expected to be resolved by the end of the month. Everyone appreciates your patience. 

CMS Releases Final Standardized Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released the final version of the Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice (MOON) — a standardized form that hospitals must provide to Medicare beneficiaries who are being admitted as outpatients for observation and not as inpatients.

The notice, required under the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility Act of 2015, was included in CMS’ 2017 Inpatient Prospective Payment System final rule released in August 2016.

Under the rule, by March 8, hospitals must provide the MOON both verbally and in writing to Medicare beneficiaries who receive outpatient observation services in a hospital for longer than 24 hours. The notice must be delivered to patients within 36 hours of initiating observation services. The MOON is intended to give Medicare beneficiaries advance warning about the implications that their admission status may have on Medicare coverage and cost sharing. If a beneficiary is not admitted to a hospital as an inpatient for at least three days, Medicare will deny Part A payment for stays at post-acute care facilities. Because hospitals provide observation care on an outpatient basis, beneficiaries under observation status may be subject to higher copayments than patients admitted for inpatient services.

In addition to warning Medicare beneficiaries about the three-day minimum inpatient stay requirement for Part A reimbursement, the MOON also informs beneficiaries about CMS’ two-midnight rule. Under the two-midnight rule, which CMS implemented in 2013, inpatient status is generally not considered appropriate for hospital stays lasting less than two midnights unless a physician specifically orders inpatient status. A physician may order inpatient status for any hospital stay.​

CMS Releases Final Rule on Episode Payment Models

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released the Advancing Care Coordination through Episode Payment Models (EPMs) final rule. The rule establishes three new Medicare EPMs for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), and surgical hip/femur fracture treatment (SHFFT) procedures provided in designated geographic areas. The rule also includes provisions to finalize the cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) Incentive Payment program and integrate bundled payment programs into the Quality Payment Program (QPP).

Under the final rule, acute care hospitals that are paid under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System and are located in 98 CMS-designated metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) will be required to participate in retrospective EPMs for Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries receiving care during AMI and CABG episodes. The agency will implement the SHFFT model in 67 MSAs where the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement program already is in place. An AMI, CABG, or SHFFT model episode will begin with an inpatient admission and end 90 days after discharge. The episode of care will include the inpatient stay and related care covered under Medicare Parts A and B, including hospital care, post-acute care, and physician services, within 90 days of discharge. CMS will continue to pay participating hospitals, providers, and suppliers according to the current Medicare fee-for-service rates.

The AMI EPM, CABG EPM, and CR Incentive Payment program will be tested for five performance years—July 1, 2017, through December 31, 2021. CMS estimates that 1,120 acute care hospitals will participate in the AMI and CABG models, and 860 hospitals will participate in the SHFFT model.

OCR Releases FAQ on PHI Disclosure Policies under HIPAA Privacy Rule

As reported in Health IT Smart Brief

The HHS Office for Civil Rights released a Frequently Asked Questions document clarifying that "the potential recipients of information under the relevant permissive disclosure provisions of 45 CFR 164.510(b) are not limited by the sex or gender identity of the person" under the HIPAA Privacy Rule. Disclosure of protected health information is limited to HHS when it is conducting an enforcement action, a compliance review or investigation, and to individuals or their personal representatives when they specifically request access to their PHI or an accounting of disclosures, OCR said.
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