There’s truly never a dull moment when it comes to news that impacts today’s hospitals. Here are five newsworthy developments that should be on your radar this month:
Widespread effects of India’s proposed Personal Data Protection Bill remain unclear
Proposed legislation in India would give residents more control over their online data, though it’s unclear whether that control will be undermined by the fact that the government would have far fewer restrictions to access and use that data. The New York Times reports that Facebook and Amazon, for example, would need to seek explicit permission for most uses of an individual’s personal data. On the other hand, the government would be able to direct any company to provide it with any personal data (including anonymized or other non-personal data) so it can better target the delivery of services or formulate of evidence-based policies. The bill is currently with a joint committee of parliament.
This legislation raises an important question: If U.S.-based hospitals choose to outsource coding and revenue cycle functions, will the India government automatically have access to U.S. protected health information, and if so, to what degree? And what might the government do with that data if anything? These are important considerations for any CFO weighing the pros and cons of revenue cycle outsourcing.
Diagnosis codes help providers address an emerging healthcare crisis: Human trafficking
The Washington Post reports that providers are using several relatively new ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes to capture suspected and confirmed cases of human trafficking. More specifically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added new T codes to report for cases of suspected and confirmed forced labor and sexual exploitation as well as Z codes for the examination and observation of human trafficking victimization. This development speaks to the power of medical codes. Does your facility take advantage of these codes to understand and address challenges within your population?
Tumor registrars are making headlines, collecting critical data for research
The Washington Times recently profiled a tumor registrar working at Mississippi-based Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle. The story, which focuses on the registrar’s daily responsibilities, highlights the importance of sending accurate data to state and national cancer registries. This data is ultimately used for research and to improve patient care. Most important takeaway point? Cancer registrars play a critical role in improving outcomes under value-based care.
Financial forecasting analytics are widely underutilized, according to Black Book survey
A recent Black Book survey found that among health system CFOs with implemented analytics and decision support programs, only 15% say they use the technology for financial forecasting and strategic planning. As the industry relies more frequently on this technology, there will always be a need for data integrity. Without accurate and comprehensive coded data, CFOs won’t be able to rely on these analytics with confidence.
AMA publishes a checklist to help providers prepare for major E/M overhaul
Significant changes are coming in 2021, but the time to prepare is now. The American Medical Association published a checklist as well as a variety of other resources to help physicians understand the changes and what they’ll mean in terms of documentation and code assignment. Work with your coding vendor to prepare for these changes and begin proactive physician education.