Current Healthcare Issues

ISMA e-Reports

On Jan. 15, the ISMA requested permission from the Indiana Supreme Court to appear as an interested party in the case of Preferred Professional Insurance Company v. West.
Posted: January 21, 2015, 8:00 pm
Indiana's new opioid prescribing rule went into effect Nov. 6, 2014. As a reminder, tramadol (trade names include UltramR and UltracetR) is not yet addressed by the rule. Although tramadol became a federally scheduled drug on Aug. 18, 2014, the prescribing rule specifically states that tramadol has to be classified as a controlled substance under Indiana law before it will fall under the rule.
Posted: January 21, 2015, 8:00 pm
The ISMA extends all best wishes to ISMA Communications Director Adele Lash who retired Jan. 16 after 30 years of service to our physician organization. Adele's commitment and dedication in managing ISMA's convention, publications and media relations will be sorely missed by members, as well as her co-workers on staff.
Posted: January 21, 2015, 8:00 pm
The number of influenza deaths reported in Indiana this year has been higher than the total number of deaths reported for each of the past 10 years, and the flu season is only halfway through.
Posted: January 21, 2015, 8:00 pm
I'm seeing patient hospital stays referred to as "the customer experience." What do I need to know about patient satisfaction?
Posted: January 21, 2015, 8:00 pm
New data from the Indiana Department of Insurance indicate that payments from the Patient's Compensation Fund (PCF) increased from last year.
Posted: January 21, 2015, 8:00 pm
If you think of Hawaii as an ideal place to practice medicine, think again. A newly released report from Physicians Practice, an online practice management journal, lists the Aloha State as one of the worst for physicians to practice. New York, Maine, New Hampshire and Maryland also were among the worst.
Posted: January 21, 2015, 8:00 pm
Now is the time to consider your internal system design and test the reliability of your documentation and coding. Testing with vendors and getting timely feedback on the claims submitted are effective steps toward achieving success with your ICD-10 implementation goals.
Posted: January 21, 2015, 8:00 pm
Over the past year, the ISMA was busy protecting you from legal and regulatory pitfalls. Members tell us they rely on the state's largest physician organization to serve as their ally. And - yes - the ISMA has proven to be your friend and ally. Here are some examples from 2014 that demonstrate how important ISMA membership can be.
Posted: January 21, 2015, 8:00 pm
While you may not be interested in politics or public policy, you are interested in the well-being of your patients. The ISMA offers opportunities this time of year to preserve lives and improve health by talking to legislators about issues, just as members discussed epinephrine autoinjectors last session.
Posted: January 7, 2015, 8:00 pm
Every day, you make a difference in the lives of your patients and in the community in which you live. But as a volunteer for the Physician of the Day program at the Indiana Statehouse, you make a difference by increasing physician presence and influence among legislators.
Posted: January 7, 2015, 8:00 pm
Patients recovering from prescription and nonprescription drug abuse risk relapse when faced with surgery or other major medical procedures. In response, two physicians and a pain management clinician offer a tool to facilitate communication between the patient and physician.
Posted: January 7, 2015, 8:00 pm
If you are screening your patients for drug and alcohol use, make sure you include adolescents.
Posted: January 7, 2015, 8:00 pm
In February, Muncie orthopaedic surgeon Steven Herbst, M.D., will join a group of health care providers on a medical mission trip to Guatemala. They will teach local physicians while providing hip, knee, foot and ankle reconstruction for people suffering from joint disease.
Posted: January 7, 2015, 8:00 pm
Authors of a recent Annals of Internal Medicine article urge doctors to make the Triple Aim into a Quadruple Aim this year by first improving their own work life. "Health care is a relationship between those who provide care and those who seek care, a relationship that can only thrive if it is symbiotic, benefiting both parties," they said.
Posted: January 7, 2015, 8:00 pm
The Indiana Health Coverage Programs (IHCP) is changing how member cards for individuals enrolled in Hoosier Healthwise are issued. Each managed care entity (MCE) will assume responsibility for supplying Hoosier Healthwise member ID cards for newly eligible Hoosier Healthwise members enrolled under a health plan, with changes coming in phases.
Posted: January 7, 2015, 8:00 pm
A little-known provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) offers good news for your patients who want to quit smoking. Under the ACA, non-grandfathered private health plans are required to cover tobacco-cessation counseling and intervention.
Posted: January 7, 2015, 8:00 pm
The ISMA Commission on Sports Medicine presented Fort Wayne physician Eric Jenkinson, M.D., the 17th annual Team Physician of the Year award. The presentation was made in Indianapolis during the Athletic Trainers Association banquet.
Posted: January 7, 2015, 8:00 pm
Consider giving back to your community by donating time in one day to help high school athletes during sectionals.
Posted: January 7, 2015, 8:00 pm
High school students (junior, senior levels) and college undergrads interested in hands-on experiences in cancer research are invited to apply for the 2015 Summer Research Program at IU's Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center.
Posted: January 7, 2015, 8:00 pm
Some Anthem-insured patients and their doctors faced serious issues during October and early November. Maybe your practice is among those that contacted the ISMA for assistance.
Posted: December 10, 2014, 8:00 pm
Starting in 2015, the ISMA Medicare/Medicaid Coalition will move to an annual meeting format, instead of every other month. The meeting will now occur during the ISMA Coding Symposium held each spring.
Posted: December 10, 2014, 8:00 pm
You can begin today to offer your uninsured and underinsured patients up to 75 percent off the retail price for FDA-approved brand and generic prescription medications. As residents of Indiana, your patients have access to a statewide Prescription Assistance Program, started in 2009, called the Indiana Drug Card.
Posted: December 10, 2014, 8:00 pm
The AMA held its 2014 interim meeting in November and among the 46 resolutions considered by the AMA House of Delegates were five submitted by the ISMA.
Posted: December 10, 2014, 8:00 pm
In the U.S., 259 million prescriptions were written in 2012 for pain medications, and 99 percent of the world's use of hydrocodone was here in our nation. In addition, diagnoses of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome increased three-fold from 2002 to 2009.
Posted: December 10, 2014, 8:00 pm
Q. What is the best way to avoid a billing dispute?
Posted: December 10, 2014, 8:00 pm
The next step in ICD-10 planning is understanding risk management and what it means for your practice. What is risk management?
Posted: December 10, 2014, 8:00 pm
The 2015 legislative session will soon be underway with opportunities for YOU to be the face of Indiana medicine - for one day.
Posted: December 10, 2014, 8:00 pm
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) announced Nov. 26 that future care for the state's aged, blind and disabled will be serviced by three Medicaid contractors: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, MDwise and Managed Health Services of Indiana. The entities will begin coordinating care starting next year for approximately 84,000 Medicaid recipients who qualify for the new Hoosier Care Connect (HCC) program.
Posted: December 10, 2014, 8:00 pm
An estimated 26 million Americans suffer from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), including at least 16 percent of teens. The ISMA, in response to Res. 14-16, adopted by the House of Delegates, offers a link to a fact sheet that can help you and your patients understand the causes of hearing loss and how to prevent it.
Posted: December 10, 2014, 8:00 pm
The last issue introduced you to ISMA member physicians who are practicing in a way that is different from traditional fee-for-service medicine.
Posted: November 12, 2014, 8:00 pm
The Medicare Physician Fee-for-Service final rules are in the Nov. 13 Federal Register. Read more about these items of note.
Posted: November 12, 2014, 8:00 pm
Copiers, especially newer ones, often have memories. Nancy Lorey, C.P.C., applications specialist with Bloomington's HealthLINC, advised that copiers are not the mindless devices you might have assumed they were.
Posted: November 12, 2014, 8:00 pm
Enrollment for federally facilitated Health Insurance Marketplace plans began Nov. 15. Insurers operating in Indiana jumped from four last year to nine this year; the number of plans the combined insurers offer has grown from 278 to 975. However, not every plan will be available in every county.
Posted: November 12, 2014, 8:00 pm
The transition to ICD-10 will affect nearly every part of your practice. You can let an impact assessment guide you down the path to ICD-10 by first identifying where you currently use ICD-9.
Posted: November 12, 2014, 8:00 pm
While vaccines are generally safe and well-tolerated, some patients may experience side effects. In such cases, the Indiana State Department of Health reminds you that under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, adverse events must be reported in the national Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
Posted: November 12, 2014, 8:00 pm
The 24th Annual Survey of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Use by Indiana Children and Adolescents was conducted by the Indiana Prevention Resource Center at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington from January-April 2014, and shows alcohol use by children in grades 6-12 has continued to decline since 1993.
Posted: November 12, 2014, 8:00 pm
While intended to be educational and not legal advice, a recent ISMA-hosted webinar answered many questions about nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs).
Posted: November 12, 2014, 8:00 pm
If you're frustrated by declining reimbursement, complex insurance contracts and reduced time with patients, you may be looking at alternatives to traditional fee-for-service medicine. Perhaps you've considered transitioning to a direct pay, private medicine, concierge practice - or some hybrid model. Doctors coast-to-coast are thinking it over.
Posted: October 29, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nearly 800 people attended the Indiana Attorney General's 5th Annual Prescription Drug Abuse Symposium and that included physicians, law enforcement and other health care providers. With the focus on Indiana's new Opioid Prescribing Rules now in effect, several of your colleagues shared how they are implementing the rules in their own offices and clinics.
Posted: October 29, 2014, 8:00 pm
Are you or a colleague having difficulty dealing with stress? Anger? Drinking or other substance abuse? The ISMA Physician Assistance Program (PAP) was created to assist physicians experiencing difficulties in their personal or professional lives.
Posted: October 29, 2014, 8:00 pm
Your patients may be asking about the Ebola virus, and you may even have a few questions yourself. Now, you can get answers from state health representatives five days a week.
Posted: October 29, 2014, 8:00 pm
As the 2015 legislative session approaches, why not advocate for your patients and your profession in a different way?
Posted: October 29, 2014, 8:00 pm
The percentage of ISMA dues attributable to lobbying efforts for the 2015 dues year is 26 percent. For comparison, here is a table of the percentages in recent years.
Posted: October 29, 2014, 8:00 pm
A report by the American Cancer Society shows Indiana could do more to help smokers quit.
Posted: October 29, 2014, 8:00 pm
Five percent of all workplace homicides involve employee victims of domestic violence. Would you be prepared to have domestic violence spill into your practice setting?
Posted: October 15, 2014, 8:00 pm
Gov. Mike Pence announced the appointment of Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H., as the state's new health commissioner.
Posted: October 15, 2014, 8:00 pm
Physician practices in Indiana can benefit from a new $2.3M grant awarded to Purdue Healthcare Advisors (PHA), funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and administered by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.
Posted: October 15, 2014, 8:00 pm
Now is the time to talk to your staff about the new ICD-10 codes and to reassess your practice's transition plan with the assumption that new codes will be implemented Oct. 1, 2015.
Posted: October 15, 2014, 8:00 pm
Now is the time to consider qualifying for a group discount from the ISMA for 2015 dues. Your large physician practice can earn up to 30 percent off the total cost of dues for you and your colleagues next year.
Posted: October 15, 2014, 8:00 pm
If you have a medical mission trip planned before 2015 ends, you can apply for the ISMA Medical Mission Scholarship that offers up to $3,000 for travel and supplies.
Posted: October 15, 2014, 8:00 pm
If you and your staff are not receiving the electronic Indiana Health Coverage Programs (IHCP) bulletins, you may be missing important updates that can affect your bottom line and save your staff time.
Posted: October 15, 2014, 8:00 pm
Most medical errors in health facilities around the state increased from 2012 to 2013, according to data released by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH).
Posted: October 15, 2014, 8:00 pm
On Sept. 25, the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana (MLB) adopted the final version of the opioid prescribing rule for chronic pain management, which is expected to become effective approximately Nov. 1, 2014. Here are the changes from the prior emergency rule you will need to know.
Posted: October 1, 2014, 8:00 pm
The regular July 2014 payout from the Patient's Compensation Fund (PCF) was $47,023,534.81, and the total number of claims paid was 58.
Posted: October 1, 2014, 8:00 pm
WPS, the Medicare administrative contractor for Indiana, advised that Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) indicates the following three CPT codes are incorrectly coded at a rate of at least 44 percent. The incorrect use of these codes could result in an adjustment of your claims in an overpayment or underpayment.
Posted: October 1, 2014, 8:00 pm
Past President William Mohr, M.D. (far left), represented the ISMA during a statehouse news conference Sept. 24 in support of Gov. Pence's HIP 2.0 program that proposes to expand Indiana Medicaid.
Posted: October 1, 2014, 8:00 pm
What is my responsibility if I believe a patient shouldn't be driving?
Posted: October 1, 2014, 8:00 pm
Understand how nurse practitioners (NP) and physician assistants (PA) can benefit your practice and bottom line with a live webinar hosted by the ISMA Oct. 22.
Posted: October 1, 2014, 8:00 pm
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that America outspends any other country on prescription drugs - $45 billion in out-of-pocket dollars last year alone. However, the Indiana Drug Card can help your patients who aren't insured or who take prescription drugs not covered by a health insurance plan.
Posted: October 1, 2014, 8:00 pm
Do you have a medical mission trip on your schedule between this month and the end of 2015? If so, you are invited to apply for the ISMA Medical Mission Scholarship. The grant provides an award of up to $3,000 to help with your travel and supply expenses.
Posted: October 1, 2014, 8:00 pm
Your delegates to the ISMA's 165th Annual Convention elected the first woman president in 27 years, Heidi M. Dunniway, M.D., and then delegates voted for Rhonda Sharp, M.D., to follow her as president-elect. ISMA's new leaders signify the wave of change coming to the statewide organization.
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Indiana and multiple states are seeing increased severe respiratory illnesses, especially in children, which are associated with a respiratory enterovirus, EV-D68, resulting in enhanced surveillance. At presstime, four Lake County children were confirmed as having the virus. EV-D68 symptoms may include cough, runny nose, sneezing and body/muscle aches.
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Schedule II drugs are considered to have "high potential for abuse, which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence." For that reason, they are more heavily regulated than Schedule IIIs. Here are examples of the changes.
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Physicians, hospitals and clinics should be aware that the Sept. 9 Federal Register issued new rules for disposing of controlled substances. The regulations outline methods of transferring unused or unwanted pharmaceutical controlled substances to newly authorized collectors for disposal.
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Following an interim election by the Board of Trustees to be president-elect, Heidi M. Dunniway, M.D., an Indianapolis otolaryngologist, was duly elected by the House of Delegates (HOD). During Presidents' Night activities, she took the oath to be ISMA president for the coming year.
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
After serving for three years as president of the Fort Wayne Medical Society Alliance, Minnesota-born Betty Canavati, M.S., took the oath during convention to become president of the ISMA Alliance. She served on her county board for 12 years and has been the co-chair of Membership for the ISMA Alliance.
Posted: September 17, 2014, 8:00 pm
The Purdue Regional Extension Center (PurdueREC) advised that many of their clients have expressed frustration with attesting to meaningful use of their electronic health records (EHRs) in 2014 due to difficulties.
Posted: September 17, 2014, 8:00 pm
As young patients come for their immunizations, don't forget to introduce them to MyVaxIndiana.
Posted: September 17, 2014, 8:00 pm
Take your concerns about legislative and regulatory issues directly to state lawmakers and leaders at the ISMA's Fall Legislative Dinner. Mark your calendar now to attend the Oct. 15 event in Indianapolis, offered as a benefit of membership.
Posted: September 17, 2014, 8:00 pm
Do you have a medical mission trip on your schedule between this month and the end of 2015? If so, you are invited to apply for the ISMA Medical Mission Scholarship. The grant provides an award of up to $3,000 to help with your travel and supply expenses.
Posted: September 17, 2014, 8:00 pm
Marion County Superior Court Judge David Certo was presented the Patient Health Advocate Award Sept. 7 during the ISMA annual convention in Indianapolis. Commended for his passion to encourage patients who struggle with illnesses, otolaryngologist Steven Isenberg, M.D., was chosen to receive the ISMA Physician Community Service Award.
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
A resolution introduced by ISMA Past President Kevin Burke, M.D., asked the ISMA to study ISMA's district and membership structure.
Posted: August 20, 2014, 8:00 pm
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Health and Human Services evaluated tramadol using an eight-factor analysis and concluded ...
Posted: August 20, 2014, 8:00 pm
Indiana's Medicare administrative contractor, Wisconsin Physician Services (WPS), will conduct open meetings so you can provide input on Local Coverage Determinations (LCDs) currently under development. That includes policies concerning Mohs microscopic surgery, Category III codes, diagnostic studies for pelvic floor dysfunction and removal of benign skin lesions.
Posted: August 20, 2014, 8:00 pm
While noting the threat to American citizens remains small, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) is offering physicians and hospitals guidelines and education about the Ebola virus - as a precautionary measure. The World Health Organization on Aug. 8 declared the Ebola outbreak spreading across West Africa to be a "public health emergency of international concern."
Posted: August 20, 2014, 8:00 pm
Atlantic Health Partners offers ISMA members the most favorable prices and terms on the entire portfolio of Sanofi Pasteur and Merck vaccines.
Posted: August 20, 2014, 8:00 pm
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Aug. 15 that the Open Payments system, which had been down for a time, was again available for registration, review and possibly dispute of financial payment information received from health care manufacturers. The system was taken offline Aug. 3 to resolve a technical issue and, therefore, was inaccessible.
Posted: August 20, 2014, 8:00 pm
Preliminary figures suggest that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or just ACA, has helped about 9.5 million individuals secure health insurance coverage, but not without challenges and problems. Technological issues, threats to repeal the law, regulatory hurdles and confusion abound on all sides.
Posted: August 20, 2014, 8:00 pm
Students from both Indiana medical schools participate in "While Coat" ceremonies.
Posted: August 20, 2014, 8:00 pm
The Medical Licensing Board of Indiana (MLB) is busier than ever - finalizing rules and regulations that will potentially impact your daily professional life. A plethora of rules, mandated by recent General Assembly actions, are not yet finalized, but ISMA members on the MLB want to alert you to changes that are coming.
Posted: August 6, 2014, 8:00 pm
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is preparing to make data about physician financial relationships with drug/device manufacturers open to the public. If you want to review and ensure the correctness of data about you prior to its release - now is the time to act. Data review and submission for the 2013 year ends Aug. 27.
Posted: August 6, 2014, 8:00 pm
Pictured below are candidates who already have expressed their intentions to seek an ISMA elected office for the coming year. Convention delegates may make additional nominations from the floor of the House of Delegates at both the Friday, Sept. 5, and Sunday, Sept. 7 sessions.
Posted: August 6, 2014, 8:00 pm
The Oct. 1, 2015, deadline to implement ICD-10 is now firm. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the final rule July 31. However, the deadline gives you one more year to prepare and work with vendors so you don't experience financial hardship next year.
Posted: August 6, 2014, 8:00 pm
If you are concerned with legislative and regulatory issues affecting your patients and your practice, plan to attend the ISMA's Fall Legislative Dinner Oct. 15 in Indianapolis.
Posted: August 6, 2014, 8:00 pm
Recently, four Central Indiana physicians were arrested for allegedly providing Suboxone, a synthetic heroin, to thousands of patients over a three-year period. According to investigators, the physicians wrote an estimated 28,000 prescriptions without first performing any medical or mental exams.
Posted: August 6, 2014, 8:00 pm
Can't make it to convention? You can still have a voice in the formation of ISMA policy during the ISMA annual convention, Sept. 5-7.
Posted: August 6, 2014, 8:00 pm
If you've paid ISMA dues for many years but don't help determine - or even know - how those dues are spent, maybe this is the year to find out. Resolutions from members that are adopted annually during convention form the ISMA's action plan for the coming year, a plan that uses the organization's resources, both time and money (your dues dollars).
Posted: July 23, 2014, 8:00 pm
The July 11 Federal Register includes the proposed 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Several proposed changes may cause a stir, particularly one that would remove an exemption from the Sunshine Act for continuing medical education. Doing away with the exclusion would require pharmaceutical and device makers to disclose any amounts paid to physician CME presenters.
Posted: July 23, 2014, 8:00 pm
Q. How can I determine if a patient is a drug-seeker rather than someone with a genuine condition needing medication?
Posted: July 23, 2014, 8:00 pm
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has changed health care in the U.S. and in Indiana. Make sure you are knowledgeable about how the law will continue to impact you - no matter if you are employed or independent, or where you practice.
Posted: July 23, 2014, 8:00 pm
The Immunization Division of the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has a message for all birthing centers and hospitals regarding CHIRP, our state's Immunization Information System. Beginning Aug. 1, the vital records import to CHIRP will no longer provide records for the birth dose of the hepatitis B vaccine. However, the vital records import will continue to send infant demographic information to the registry.
Posted: July 23, 2014, 8:00 pm
You may not like online physician reviews, but according to a national study based on those physician rating sites, patients in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne are very satisfied with their doctors.
Posted: July 23, 2014, 8:00 pm
If you are seeing just a few patients enrolled in the federal exchanges, you are not alone. Most physician offices are reporting that patient volume or loss due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has not yet been significant. Patients are still learning if their doctors and local hospitals are in their new networks. However, some practices have told the ISMA about challenges associated with the exchanges.
Posted: July 9, 2014, 8:00 pm
Heidi Dunniway, M.D., who was elected by the ISMA House of Delegates to serve as its speaker for 2014, has become interim president-elect of the ISMA.
Posted: July 9, 2014, 8:00 pm
Sometimes being in the top 10 generates feelings of pride and accomplishment. For Indiana, news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on July 1 brings the opposite kinds of feelings.
Posted: July 9, 2014, 8:00 pm
Last November, the Trauma Registry Rule became law. It requires EMS providers, hospital emergency departments and rehabilitation hospitals to report trauma cases to the state's registry. But during a recent meeting, members of the Indiana State Trauma Committee learned that more and better data from hospitals, EMS and rehabilitation hospitals are needed.
Posted: July 9, 2014, 8:00 pm
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one health care-associated infection (HAI), and more than half of all HAIs occur outside of the intensive care unit.
Posted: July 9, 2014, 8:00 pm
Bring your compliance plan, your reports - and more - because at these sessions, you'll immediately apply the knowledge you gain to everyday deadlines and demands.
Posted: July 9, 2014, 8:00 pm
If you're mired in meaningful use requirements and wondering if there really are payouts, the answer is YES. To date the federal incentive program to encourage use of electronic health records (EHR) has paid out $23,725,293,656. And - YES - your colleagues all across Indiana have received some of those funds.
Posted: July 9, 2014, 8:00 pm