Social media in healthcare, revenue integrity, HIM advocacy, and 2017 CPT updates were among the many topics discussed at the Rhode Island chapter of AHIMA’s winter meeting held January 20 in Warwick. Approximately 30 people attended the four-hour event.
2017 CPT updates take effect
Barbara Japhet, BS, CCS, manager of coding education and health information manager at Rhode Island Hospital, kicked off the meeting with an overview of CPT changes for 2017, including the nearly 500 code revisions primarily due to the unbundling of conscious sedation.
Though Japhet focused mostly on hospital-based CPT codes, she did highlight several changes that may be of interest to ambulatory-based providers. Two examples included the following:
- A new code for cognitive impairment assessment and testing (G0505). She said that physicians may bill this code in addition to chronic care management and transitional care management when certain requirements are met.
- The addition of low-, moderate-, or high-complexity descriptors for physical therapy and occupational therapy evaluation codes. More detailed codes will help CMS examine utilization more closely, she added.
Social media and healthcare: Can the two coexist?
Angela Carr, JD, partner at Barton Gilman, gave a very interesting presentation about the impact of social media on healthcare privacy and security. In particular, she said hospitals increasing rely on social media for the following purposes:
- Attract and engage patients
- Improve Google hits
- Recruit patients for clinical trials
- Attract employees
However, she urged organizations to think about the implications of social media on patient privacy, adding that an internal social media policy for employees is paramount. Such a policy should include the following components, she said:
- Definition of social media (including websites that fall under this category)
- Who can access social media, and why
- Fines for violating HIPAA
- Examples of what is considered a HIPAA breach
- Specific consequences for non-compliance
- Contact information of someone who can answer questions about the policy and its application
Note: Massachusetts General Hospital provides an employee social media policy that you can view here. Carr cited this policy as an example to which other organizations can refer when developing their own guidelines.
Provide an in-service to explain the policy, and apply it consistently to all employees, she added. Remind employees that even the most well-intentioned individuals can inadvertently breach confidential patient information. She provided this example: An employee takes a picture of herself eating birthday cake at her desk and posts it on Facebook. The employee doesn’t realize that five patient records are visible on her desk. This ‘background information’ is what many people fail to think about, she says.
She also urged organizations to create a social media policy for external users. This policy basically sets the ground rules for interacting with the organization’s social media sites. It should include clear terms of participation, the purpose of the organization’s social media presence, the prohibition of abusive terms, and more. Click here to view an example of Massachusetts General Hospital’s social media guidelines for individuals who wish to interact with the hospital through social media.
Creating a revenue integrity program
Bettyann Carroll, director of revenue integrity (RI) at South Shore Hospital, spoke about how she created an RI program from the ground up commensurate with the hospital’s new EHR and billing system. She said those working on the RI team have tackled many projects, a few of which include the following, :
- Incorporating clinical providers into the process for obtaining ABNs
- Performing chargemaster review and validation in each hospital department
- Creating consistent processes to ensure revenue and documentation integrity when new service lines are added
“You don’t want to be reactive–you want to be proactive in revenue integrity,” she added.
Raising awareness of HIM
Michele Mahan-Smith, RHIA, CCS, director of inpatient/observation coding at Rhode Island Hospital, and Kelly Doyle, RHIA, manager of HIM operations at Rhode Island Hospital, both reiterated the importance of promoting HIM internally as well as within the community.
For example, if you haven’t done so already, consider developing an HIM elevator speech. Also refer to the AHIMA website for more tips and tools to help raise awareness of the HIM profession–a profession that continues to grow and expand in an electronic environment.