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The Rheumatologist: July 2007
Handpicked Reviews of Contemporary Literature
July’s coding challenge
July’s coding answer
“To Err is Human,” published by the Institute of Medicine in 1999, set off a firestorm of quality initiatives when it announced that at least 44,000 to 98,000 people die in hospitals every year because of medical errors. The first quality initiatives, which were aimed at hospitals, have now trickled down to physician practices. For two years there have been reports of payors moving to a pay-for-performance system or value-based purchasing.
Shirley Enis of Jacksboro, Texas, has decided to get involved with “Within Our Reach” because the campaign has the capacity to improve RA patients’ quality of life, alleviate long-term effects of RA, and ultimately ensure that future generations can enjoy life without RA.
The ACR Research and Education Foundation (REF) “Within Our Reach” campaign awarded approximately $6 million to 15 recipients this month.
A recently identified autoimmune disorder, antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS) mainly affects young women between age 30 and 40. Those affected by APS may otherwise be healthy or have an underlying disease such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
In our challenging and cost-conscious healthcare environment, advocacy is an essential skill for all health professionals. As rheumatology health professionals, we advocate for our patients with insurers, institutional administrators, employers, and teachers. To bring about needed healthcare reforms, we must also learn to be effective political advocates.
Keeping current on changes to laboratory certifications for common lab tests can save your practice time—and money. Since the passage of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) in 1988, all health-assessment laboratory tests are ranked for complexity, and their complexity dictates which labs can process Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)–reimbursed tests. In accordance with CLIA, each laboratory facility must register with CMS to receive a CLIA certification. There are five certifications, each with differing degrees of complexity, listed from least to most complex: Certificate of Waiver, Certificate of Provider-Performed Microscopy Procedures, Certificate of Registration, Certificate of Compliance, and the Certificate of Accreditation.
Confused about how to code trigger-point injections? Here are some hints for correct coding.
Fair Medicare reimbursement is of great concern of physicians today. During the past few years, the SGR has called for damaging cuts to physician payments. Each year, however, Congress has placed a temporary fix on the scheduled cuts.
ACR Board of Directors members recently spent time in Washington, D.C., discussing rheumatology-related issues with members of Congress, including Sen. Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy (D-Mass.). The senior senator from Massachusetts is the chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which oversees health legislation that affects rheumatologists.
Feedback from our Readers
You wowed me with your gout suggestions—now let’s talk quality
All rheumatologists need to train and support the specialty’s next generation
The COR works to promote basic and clinical research in rheumatology
“Grandpapa’s Torments” was the Rodnan Commemorative Gout Print featured at the 2005 ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting.