Possible Government Shutdown Won’t Delay Oct. 1 Launch Of Revised Medical Coding System
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have contingency plans in place for managing the transition to ICD-10. In other medical practice news, physician groups oppose draft language aimed at curbing "surprise" billing. And telemedicine usage is on the rise.
ICD-10 Transition To Proceed Even If Government Shuts Down
A nationwide changeover to a new set of medical billing codes will proceed on Oct. 1 even if Congress triggers a partial government shutdown that day by missing an appropriations deadline, according to a top federal official. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services already is establishing contingency plans for managing the transition to ICD-10 codes against the potential disruption of a shutdown, said Patrick H. Conway, principal deputy administrator of the agency, on a Thursday call with reporters. Managing the switch from the older ICD-9 codes is among the top priorities for the agency, and CMS has some flexibility in its staffing that can be used to keep the work on track in case of a shutdown, he said. (Young, 9/24)
Docs Battle Proposal To Curb 'Surprise' Medical Bills
A contentious fight over “surprise” medical bills is complicating an effort to revise a longstanding model state law on health care provider networks. The American Medical Association and other physician groups are pushing the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to drop draft language addressing what happens when patients visit facilities that are in their insurance networks but receive treatment from out-of-network providers. (Demko, 9/24)
Telemedicine Holds Promise Of Cheaper, Wider Medical Care
Samantha Cunningham was halfway through a five-hour road trip to a music festival in Bradley, Calif., when she realized she'd left her asthma inhaler back home in Sacramento. Her options seemed limited: go back, pick it up and be late for the concert; pay a $100 minimum fee to get a new prescription at a walk-in clinic; "or go without the inhaler and hope that they had a rescue machine at the festival on the off chance I had an asthma attack, which, of course, wasn't a very inviting prospect," Cunningham said. (Pugh, 9/24)