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Coding Corner: ICD-10 unveils new diagnostic codes to report human trafficking

CPR’s “Coding Corner” focuses on coding, compliance, and documentation issues relating specifically to physician billing. This month’s tip comes from Brad Ericson, the director of publishing for AAPC, a training and credentialing association for the business side of health care. Effective for fiscal year 2019, ICD-10 will include new diagnostic codes to report confirmed and suspected cases of human trafficking. Additionally, new codes will be available for patient history of labor or sexual exploitation, encounters for examination and observation following sexual or labor exploitation, and to identify multiple perpetrators of ...

CA pharmacy board launched drug take-back database

The California Board of Pharmacy has launched an online drug take-back tool to help consumers looking for a place to safely dispose of unwanted or expired prescription drugs. The searchable online database includes pharmacies statewide offering drug take-back services authorized by the California State Board of Pharmacy. The drug take-back search tool is available at pharmacy.ca.gov. Users can enter a pharmacy name, city or zip code to easily find a nearby location for disposing of unused medications. Pharmacies operating take-back programs registered with the Board of Pharmacy may offer two types ...

CMA and AMA oppose CMS proposal to collapse E/M codes

More than 150 health care organizations, including the California Medical Association (CMA) and the American Medical Association (AMA), sent a joint letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), opposing the agency’s proposal to collapse evaluation and management (E/M) code and payment levels. The proposal was included in the draft 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and MACRA Quality Payment Program rule released earlier this summer. CMA and AMA appreciate CMS’s genuine desire to reduce documentation burdens on physicians to allow them to focus on patients over paperwork. Several ...

Senator Holly Mitchell to keynote 2018 NEPO Summit

Physicians for a Healthy California is thrilled to announce that California State Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) is joining the 2018 Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations (NEPO) Summit as keynote speaker. Senator Mitchell is a strong advocate for children, passionate defender of women’s rights and the environment, and fighter for equity and justice. She is also the founder and chair of the Senate Select Committee on Women and Inequality. The 2018 NEPO Summit will be held September 13-15 in Pasadena. This year's theme, Building the Best You: Celebrating the Joy ...

2018 NEPO Summit: Register by Aug. 27 and save $100

Act now to save $100 off registration for the 2018 Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations (NEPO) Summit, to be held September 13-15 in Pasadena. This year's theme, Building the Best You: Celebrating the Joy of Medicine, will address issues of physician burnout and provide solutions to create a culture of wellness and physician well-being. The three-day summit is an innovative educational event for physicians, public health professionals, health care advocates and community leaders that offers policy and best practices for reducing health disparities, building diversity in the workforce and increasing cultural ...

House votes to expand health savings accounts

On July 25, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills (H.R. 6199 and H.R. 6311) that would expand how health savings accounts (HSAs) and other tax-preferred accounts can be used on health care spending. HSAs, which are paired with high deductible health plans, allow people to contribute pre-tax earnings each year and save for medical expenses.  The first bill—H.R. 6199, which passed 277 to 142—would allow individuals with HSA-eligible high-deductible health plans to use up to $250 a year (or $500 a year for families) on services like primary ...

Health Officer issues smoke advisory from Holy Fire

San Bernardino County Health Officer Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare advises county residents with sensitive health conditions who live near areas affected by the Holy Fire to stay alert to changing smoke levels and be prepared to act accordingly. The Holy Fire is burning to the east of Trabuco Canyon near the border of Orange County and Riverside County within the Cleveland National Forest. Although the fire is burning in surrounding counties, conditions may bring smoke into portions of San Bernardino County. Smoky conditions can be hazardous for young children, the elderly, individuals ...

Join Molina Healthcare and San Bernardino County Medical Society in our diaper/adult briefs drive for those in need

Molina Healthcare and San Bernardino County Medical Society are teaming up to help families in need. Here's why: 5.3 million children under age 3 live in low-income households. 1 in 3 adults suffer from incontinence. Diapers/briefs cost $80 each month. Can we count on you to help Molina and San Bernardino County Medical Society reach our goal of 30,000 in 2018? Imagine you have just enough money to buy the diapers or adult briefs you desperately need, or to buy food--but ...

Medical board releases physician license alert app for patients

The Medical Board of California recently released its first mobile app, currently available on Apple iOS devices. The technology notifies patients about changes to their physician’s license status, rather than patients having to actively seek out that information. Physician profiles have long been available to the public on the board’s website.  The new app will notify users when their physician’s license is updated or there are changes to the physician’s address, practice status, specialty, disciplinary actions and much more. The California Medical Association (CMA) has long advocated for a comprehensive, effective ...

Coding Corner: NCCI Policy Manual updates: Part 2

CPR’s “Coding Corner” focuses on coding, compliance, and documentation issues relating specifically to physician billing. This month’s tip comes from G. John Verhovshek, the managing editor for AAPC, a training and credentialing association for the business side of health care. Each year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) releases an updated version of the National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) Policy Manual. The annual updates reflect changes to the CPT® and HCPCS code sets, as well as new and revised coding guidelines. This month, we’ll discuss the most significant, ...