A new presidential administration took office in January 2017. Although no one truly knows what directions our government and economy will take, one projection is that healthcare regulatory and insurance coverage policies will change, possibly dramatically. In a time of uncertainty, rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals can turn to the ACR/ARHP for support, guidance and resources to continue their valuable work.
ACR/ARHP volunteers and staff are closely watching developments in Washington, D.C., and are ready to respond to any healthcare policy changes by providing appropriate advocacy, resources and support for you—so you can continue to focus on clinical practice, research, training and other work.
I have worked in a busy rheumatology private practice in Dallas since 1987. Over the years, I have seen many dramatic changes: more work required for each patient encounter, more frustrating prior authorizations, pressure to invest time and money in expensive technology at a time of decreasing reimbursement, etc. The list is long. The ACR’s mission is to Advance Rheumatology!, and we can do that only if we ensure that every member can do their work effectively.
The ACR has many volunteer committees and subcommittees, supported by a large professional staff, that focus on particular areas of rheumatology practice. These individuals and committees work to identify members’ needs and refine our programs so the ACR can provide our members with truly useful, easy-to-access resources. Reach out to the ACR staff or the volunteers on committees and subcommittees if you have any question or problem and need help. We shall Advance Rheumatology! only by engaging with each other, learning from each other and solving challenges together. We want to hear from you so we know your needs and concerns.
Practice Management Support
Thanks to ACR volunteers and staff, practicing rheumatologists and their staff adapted to ICD-10 in the past year without major issues—although one may have had an occasional challenge when dealing with a more complex coding system. The ACR has certified coders available to answer your questions on correct coding guidelines on all rheumatology diagnoses and procedures.
You may not know that the ACR also has certified auditors available to offer members free chart reviews so you can identify potential problems and fix them. The ACR also offers coding/auditing education nationwide for a fee with as few as 10 individuals participating. If you can attend the ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting, you can take advantage of hands-on coding and practice compliance workshops. Be sure to check out Coding Corner in every issue of The Rheumatologist (one of several member benefits) to quiz yourself on coding challenges, catch up on practice management trends and changing regulations, and look at actual chart assessments.
Insurance is a hot topic in the news these days, including possible repeal or significant revision of the Affordable Care Act. Rheumatologists and their staff members must deal with insurance issues every day, from time-consuming prior authorizations to wondering if our patients can stay on their treatments due to formulary or insurance changes. The ACR and ARHP are here to help you.