The Combined Sections Meeting is right around the corner and industry professionals from all around the country will gather in San Antonio, Texas. The CSM offers an unparalleled opportunity to check out new products, make new connections and reconnect with colleagues. While the CSM is definitely an exciting time, if you’re like us, you’re just as excited to take in some of San Antonio’s must see attractions. If you don’t know where to start, we here at Cedaron have put together a short list of attractions that are each about a 20 minute walk from the convention center. Check them out below!
1. The Alamo
Just a 15 minute walk from the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, The Alamo tops Cedaron’s list of must see attractions. The Alamo served as a fortress for 187 men as they stood against 3,000 soldiers from the Mexican Army in an 1836 battle for Texan independence. After nearly two weeks of fighting, all 187 men fell, including historic figures Davey Crockett and Jim Bowie. The site was later declared a national monument and is remembered as a symbol of the fight for independence. According to thealamo.org, the national monument receives 2.5 million visitors each year.
2. The River Walk
The River walk runs right through the heart of the CSM. Follow it on foot for just 15 minutes and you’ll arrive at the center of the San Antonio River Walk. . The River Walk consists of more than 15 miles of sidewalks and paths that offer easy access to museums, hotels, and historic districts. Immediately recognized by the iconic colorful canopies, the heart of the River Walk is peppered with many shops and popular restaurants ranging from Italian to southern barbecue. Visitsanantonio.com touts the River Walk as the “largest urban ecosystem in the nation”.
3. The Tower of the Americas
The Tower of the Americas is a 750 foot tower located right outside of the CSM convention center. For those who aren’t afraid to look down, the tower offers an observation deck and revolving restaurant granting you access to the most exclusive views of San Antonio. You’ll be able to enjoy the spectacle of the tower right from the convention, but if you’d like to get up close and personal, the tower is just a short 10 minute walk from the convention center. While walking, you can wind right by the Mexican Cultural Institute and take in two sights on the same trip!
4. The San Fernando Cathedral
The beautiful San Fernando Cathedral is about a 20 minute walk from the CSM convention center and is rich with history. The Cathedral was built in San Antonio in 1731, predating the American war for independence by nearly 50 years. In 1836, the Cathedral was within eyesight of the men entrenched at the Alamo during the 13 day siege that eventually cost them all their lives. The ashes of the men who fought at the Alamo are said to have been placed in a small coffin at the San Fernando Cathedral. For historic figure Jim Bowie, the Cathedral was both the place he was wed and laid to rest.
5. The Majestic Theater
The Majestic Theater is a 20 minute walk from the CSM convention center. You can take the River Walk almost all the way there and swing by the Hard Rock Café as a bonus! The Majestic Theater is much younger than most sights you’ll find in San Antonio, having been built in 1929. Despite its young age, the theater’s importance as a beacon for the performing arts earned it a classification as a National Historic Landmark. The theater is known for its ornate Mediterranean style interior design and is currently home to the Broadway in San Antonio.
CSM is going to be a blast this year, and its central location makes checking out all of these sites a no brainer. Make sure to leave a comment and tell us how you’re planning to make the most out of this year’s meeting!
Just four new codes…seems easy, right? The truth is, this new evaluation code law for 2017 has a little more going on just below the surface. The standards of an evaluation will remain the same. The real curve-ball here is the newly added system to classify complexity. Physical therapists have four components to consider, and each level of complexity has criteria for elements from each. (Are you a Physical Therapist? Click here) Here’s a quick breakdown:
Just four new codes…seems easy, right? The truth is, this new evaluation code law for 2017 has a little more going on just below the surface. The standards of an evaluation will remain the same. The real curve-ball here is the newly added system to classify complexity. Physical therapists have four components to consider, and each level of complexity has criteria for elements from each. (Are you an Occupational Therapist? Click here) Here’s a quick breakdown:
1. Patient History
This includes comorbidities, their functioning level prior to what led them to seek care, relevant treatment approaches in the past, and various factors such as medications, work status, social history, and more. The key here is to only consider aspects of the patient’s history that directly impact the plan of care now.
Includes body structure and function, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. The last two might seem a little redundant, but there are subtle differences between them. The ICF defines activity limitations as “difficulties an individual may have in executing activities” and participation restrictions as “problems an individual may experience in involvement in life situations”. Here’s a post for reference on what the ICF is all about. Activities and participation include- but are not limited to- mobility, self-care, domestic life, interpersonal interactions and relationships, and civic life.
3. Clinical Presentation
The patient is stable and uncomplicated. This is your straightforward athlete with an ankle sprain- their ankle hurt the worst at time of injury, is getting better, and you can expect it to get better over time.
The patient has evolving clinical presentation with changing clinical characteristics. This patient could be someone who began treatment with neck and upper back pain and now also has numbness in the right arm and hand. The symptoms are evolving and definitely have the potential to get worse.
The patient has evolving clinical presentation with unstable and unpredictable characteristics. Take our back pain and hand numbness patient from a moment ago, and throw in orthostatic hypotension. There is a risk every time you have the patient change positions that their blood pressure can bottom out, ergo their blood pressure is unstable and unpredictable
4. Clinical Decision Making
The final piece of the puzzle. This is your judgement as a therapist based on the big picture of the patient regarding their treatment plan. It can be of low, moderate, or high complexity, and the decision must be made using a “standardized patient assessment instrument and/or measurable assessment of functional outcome”.
At Cedaron, we describe an interface as a handshake. Both sides must reach out and connect in order for the integration to be successful. This handshake is a crucial aspect for Hospital Outpatient Rehab Clinics to maximize productivity and efficiency. An Outpatient Rehab EMR that interfaces with the hospital ADT, Billing, and PCR is a vital tool for your organization- check it out:
1. ADT Interface
An ADT interface pulls all patient demographic information into the outpatient Rehab EMR, eliminating the need for your therapists to reenter all of this data and saving precious time. When John Doe is discharged from the hospital and coming into your clinic for rehab, you can automatically populate his name, DOB, address, ethnicity, MRN, Insurance and all other demographic information through this connection with the hospital ADT system. Save time and reduce entry errors with this automated process, and get right to the important stuff- treating your patient.
2. Billing Interface
Interfacing with billing is obviously a pretty important piece of the puzzle. This allows you to continue with business as usual with no disruptions to your work or billing cycle when implementing a Rehab EMR. Cedaron helps prevent denials as we create the entire bill based on Medicare Rules and other third party insurance rules. Make sure you see a winning track record before you trust a company to establish a connection between your Rehab EMR and current billing system.
3. Permanent Clinical Record Interface
PCR, or Permanent Clinical Record, integration streamlines the process of congregating all patient evaluations, health information, and reports in one place- a permanent health record. Printing, faxing, or walking documents to a records department is so 1990. Use a PCR interface to have these documents sent right from the record in your Hospitals EHR to the permanent record with the records department. Avoid mix-ups, lost records, and save yourself time with this valuable tool.
Make sure the Outpatient Rehab EMR you use is extending a hand for a firm shake. Other companies may talk the talk, but Cedaron walks the walk. We can successfully interface with any primary EHR, including but not limited to Epic, Meditech, Paragon, Cerner, McKesson and Siemens. You don’t have to compromise the quality of your documentation system in order to have a system that communicates effectively with the primary hospital EHR. Oh, and not to mention Cedaron is certified for Meaningful Use, meaning legislation like MIPS is no problem. You can have the most complete Rehab software solution and maintain that seamless communication.
Call Cedaron for a product that works best for the therapy practice and integrates with your hospital’s EHR.
New evaluation codes are not the only change right around the corner. CMS released the final 2017 Medicare and CHIP Reauthorization ACT (MACRA) in October, and the provision that should be on every therapists’ radar is the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Why is it relevant now when it doesn’t even apply to therapists yet? Take a look.
1. Your Rehab EMR may not be ready.
Is your Rehab EMR certified by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology? Not many are. In order to meet the criteria for the “Advancing Care Information” category of MIPS, which is replacing Meaningful Use, your EMR must be. Cedaron’s Connect Rehab EMR is the only Rehab Specialty Solution that has certification. This allows users to participate in MIPS during the 2017-2018 voluntary period (more on this later) as well as avoid penalties when this system becomes mandatory in 2019. Certification can be a time-consuming process- if your system is not certified now, they may not be ready for mandatory participation in 2019.
2. You should be submitting to a national registry.
While it isn’t mandatory, MIPS is certainly geared towards submitting your data to an outcomes database, and it may very well become required in the future. Submitting your data allows you to benchmark your clinic against others nationally, and gives the therapy profession a variety of information to create quality measures. Cedaron’s customers are eligible to participate in our NOD (National Outcomes Database) for free or the AOTA’s registry at an additional cost. Unlike other registries that will require a considerable length of time to gather substantial data for benchmarking, Cedaron’s NOD already has a half million episodes of care documented by current users.
3. Therapists are getting a trial period.
While MIPS is mandatory for physicians, physicians’ assistants, nurse practitioners, and others in 2017, it will not be mandatory for therapists. However, therapists are being given the opportunity to voluntarily report- basically, two years of practice before facing potential penalties in 2019. Like most things, there is likely to be a learning curve when beginning to use these new measures, and those that are eligible to participate in the voluntary period will have an unprecedented advantage when reporting is required. One more thing- the bonuses. While penalties on the sliding scale may be as much as 9% by 2022, the bonuses may be as much as 3 times the maximum penalty. Cedaron’s Rehab EMR is ready for MIPS today. Customers can participate in MIPS without facing penalty, face significantly less denials in 2019 because they have gained experience, and even qualify for substantial bonuses.
Be prepared for all of the changes facing our evolving healthcare system- new evaluation codes, MIPS, and anything else that might get thrown your way in the future. Cedaron always thinks two steps ahead, and with our Rehab EMR you can be confident that you will transition toward value-based care with a system prepared for anything.
When it Comes to Compliance…. not all EMRs are created equal. In fact, most — despite their claims — lack the robust technology and tools needed to effortlessly manage today’s growing payee regulations.
Since many first-time technology adopters “don’t know what they don’t know,” we’ve listed some of the must-have technologies that your clinic will want to ensure compliance.
1. Regulatory Alerts
Notify users when a record requires a report, modifier, question, authorization, or certification. These vital alerts should include:
- Progress Report Alerts
- Authorization and Re-Certification Alerts
- Unanswered Pain Question Alerts
- Modifier Alerts
2. G-Code Alerts
Automatically appear when needed for a particular visit, reducing G-code-related denials and streamlining manual processes. Alerts should also notify users when they come close to 60 days or any other issues that might compromise prompt payment.
3. A Medicare Therapy Fee Cap
Calculator tracks the therapy fee cap at the Patient Dashboard and Therapist Dashboard level. Users instantly know when they need to add a modifier or submit for a Medical Necessity, drastically increasing compliance and revenue cycles with the ultimate goal of reducing denials.
4. Medicare Compliant Multi-Discipline Billing
Automatically transfers charges properly and ensures assignment of primary G-code so multi-discipline bills are not denied.
5. Automatic Goal Builders
Generate goal templates if using the ICF to choose the functional limitation of the patient to ensure compliance and flexibility.
6. Document Management Lists and Alerts
Indicate what required documents are missing based upon pre-determined rules for specific types of patients or insurance companies. This eliminates the manual process of checking each patient file to make sure all documents have been completed.
7. ICD 10 Functionality
As clinicians enter diagnostic information during the encounter – using simple, standard clinical terms – the number of available ICD-10 codes is narrowed, making code choices easy and accurate.
8. New Evaluation Codes Based on Patient Complexity
Required beginning Jan, 1st 2017. Be confident that your EMR is equipped with automatic alerts to keep you compliant and denials at bay.
If compliance counts in your clinic be sure to closely compare tools and features before rushing into a solution that looks like a value but could cost you thousands of dollars down the road.
Many systems are available today but none meet the extensive customization, adherence to regulations and documentation needs of a larger outpatient rehabilitation facility.
Investigate for yourself: Checkout our EMR system and see how it can keep your practice compliant, reduce denials, increase reimbursements, streamline workflow, and ultimately increase your bottom line!
By now, you’ve probably heard the news. January 1, 2017 marks the end of physical therapy evaluation codes 97001 and 97002, and the beginning of brand new evaluation codes based on patient complexity. The two old codes, established in 1998, are being replaced by four new codes: 97161 for low complexity evaluation, 97162 for moderate complexity evaluation, 97163 for high complexity evaluation, and 97164 for re-evaluation. For the first time, physical therapists will have a coding system that reflects on the variation in the treatment provided for a patient based on how complex the patient’s needs are. There will be new Occupational Therapy evaluation codes as well following the same design, however the codes themselves and the relative values differ.
As we become more and more advanced, sometimes it is necessary to take a step back and return to the basics. Without a strong foundation, the whole building comes down. This can be widely applied to nearly every profession, sport, science, and everything in between. That being said, what are the basics of coding for patient documentation? If you practice in the US, you would most likely tell me ICD-10. Across the pond, however, they probably would default to the ICF. What’s the difference between the two?