Although the professional component of coding for evaluation and management services (“E&M Services”) has been scrutinized over the years, until recently, little attention has been given to coding practices for the facility component of these services—including emergency department facility services. In a September 24, 2012, letter written by Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); and Eric Holder, Jr., Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, to hospital leadership throughout the United States, HHS and the Justice Department expressed their concern that hospitals may be inappropriately coding E&M Services. Specifically, the letter notes that “CMS is initiating more extensive medical reviews to ensure that providers are coding evaluation and management services accurately.” In light of the recent attention on emergency department facility component coding practices, an area that so far has largely been overlooked by the regulators, any facility that has not reviewed its coding practices for the facility component of E&M Services may want to consider doing so at this time.
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‘Mobile health’ (mHealth), which is defined loosely as health care delivered wirelessly, is set to transform health care. A perfect example is the Ford Motor Company’s ‘Car That Cares,’ which it announced at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. The car’s in-vehicle health monitoring system was developed through a collaboration with Microsoft, BlueMetal Architects, and Healthrageous and is designed to support passengers’ personal health and disease management programs. The vehicle’s dashboard is equipped to collect real time biometric and other data, along with voice inputs, to help the passenger comply with his or her health and wellness program through digital coaching (“How much did you eat for breakfast? Did you take your pills?”). The system can also wirelessly connect to other health-related smartphone apps and portable medical devices such as a car seat that measures blood pressure, to alert the passenger to health changes. These apps and devices can then connect to the passenger’s health care provider and electronic health record. The Car That Cares is still in the research phase, giving the public and the regulators time to catch up with this new concept.
Continue reading My Doctor The Car – How Mobile Health (Mhealth) Technologies Are Radically Re-Envisioning Health Care