H. Ralph Schumacher, Jr., MD, has a zest for research
The Rheumatologist: January 2010
Information on New Approvals and Medication Safety
How much time and money do you spend trying to find information about your patients? Are you frustrated by the difficulties in obtaining patient medical records, test results, lab reports, radiology results, and insurance eligibility from organizations across state lines, down the street, or even across the hall? Do you ever order redundant tests simply because you are unable to access the results of tests ordered by another member of the care team?
When counseling or coordination of care dominates the encounter between the physician and the patient and his or her family, time may be considered the controlling factor to qualify for a particular level of E/M coding.
As of January 1, physicians can no longer bill the inpatient/outpatient consultation evaluation and management (E/M) codes for Medicare patients. E/M codes for new or established patients should be used as appropriate.
The ARHP is the premier professional organization for rheumatology health professionals primarily because of the talent and energy of its volunteers.
Has your practice ever experienced the disappointment of being downcoded because of lack of supporting documentation?
January’s Coding Answer
January’s Coding Challenge
The ACR is committed to advocating on behalf of its members. This could be on Capitol Hill, by working with insurance providers, or by working with the media to promote the work of rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals and advance the issues affecting them.
In 1998, the ACR Research and Education Foundation (REF) funded a total of $500,000 in grants. This year, the REF funded more than $4.6 million in grants through its core portfolio, which is an increase of over $4 million in funding capabilities in just 10 years. The REF also achieved the distinction of becoming the second largest funding source—just behind the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—of rheumatology research and training programs in the United States and was recently awarded the prestigious four-star rating from Charity Navigator. These achievements could not have been realized without the generous financial support of REF donors.
The 2009 Interim Meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates was held November 7–10, 2009, in Houston. AMA Delegate Gary Bryant, MD, and AMA Alternate Delegate Eileen Moynihan, MD, represented the ACR.
One more prescribing rule [See “Rheuminations,” September 2009, p. 6], honored mainly in the breach, in our overspending climate: don’t prescribe an expensive brand when generics are as good or better, especially Nexium (which I have never prescribed) versus omeprazole, Lipitor versus simvastatin (which now costs the VA three cents a pill), and—for rheumatologists who are writing 80% Uloric—allopurinol except for the 10% who might need Uloric.
City of Brotherly Love displays many facets of the healthcare debate
The ACR is your source for online education
Helping rheumatology patients with limited English skills
Understanding the genetic basis of errors of the immune system may provide new opportunities for therapy
A perspective on B cell–targeted therapies in autoimmune disease