Current Healthcare Issues

ISMA e-Reports

Any arrival of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents triggers self-doubt and panic. What exactly should you do if DEA agents arrive at your practice?
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Any arrival of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents triggers self-doubt and panic. What exactly should you do if DEA agents arrive at your practice?
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Any arrival of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents triggers self-doubt and panic. What exactly should you do if DEA agents arrive at your practice?
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Any arrival of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents triggers self-doubt and panic. What exactly should you do if DEA agents arrive at your practice?
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Any arrival of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents triggers self-doubt and panic. What exactly should you do if DEA agents arrive at your practice?
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Any arrival of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents triggers self-doubt and panic. What exactly should you do if DEA agents arrive at your practice?
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Any arrival of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents triggers self-doubt and panic. What exactly should you do if DEA agents arrive at your practice?
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Any arrival of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents triggers self-doubt and panic. What exactly should you do if DEA agents arrive at your practice?
Posted: January 1, 1970, 12:00 am
Any arrival of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents triggers self-doubt and panic. What exactly should you do if DEA agents arrive at your practice?
Posted: August 5, 2015, 8:00 pm
You are busy seeing patients when your receptionist interrupts you to tell you there are two U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in the lobby to see you. They show their badges and credentials and tell you they've come to inspect your controlled substance prescriptions and ask some questions.
Posted: August 5, 2015, 8:00 pm
The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) has notified the ISMA that our organization will receive the 2015 Rutledge W. Howard MD Award for Outstanding Collaboration between accreditors and providers.
Posted: August 5, 2015, 8:00 pm
In a first phase that began July 1, United Healthcare (UHC) began collecting data electronically from physician practices. Specifically, the insurer said it is targeting hemoglobin A1c results for Medicare Advantage patients.
Posted: August 5, 2015, 8:00 pm
Nominations for ISMA officers may be made from the floor at either the Friday or Sunday House of Delegates session. New this year, nomination speeches will be allowed for the President-Elect position only. Delegates making a nomination for other positions need state only the name and office of the candidate they are nominating. Here is information about the announced candidates to date.
Posted: August 5, 2015, 8:00 pm
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced an ICD-10-CM "grace-period" for the first year.
Posted: August 5, 2015, 8:00 pm
One Indiana county employed a communitywide effort to reduce narcotic-seeking behaviors, and they are sharing their ideas to help others. When the Quality Assurance Department at Grant County Memorial Hospital in Marion saw steep increases in patients requesting narcotics in 2012, they realized it would take the whole community to solve the problem.
Posted: August 5, 2015, 8:00 pm
The ISMA is a member-driven organization. That means YOU and each dues-paying ISMA member can direct how the organization uses its resources. Resolutions adopted at convention each year determine priorities and actions for ISMA leadership and staff over the next 12 months.
Posted: July 22, 2015, 8:00 pm
This summer, the ISMA is monitoring four legislative study committees on your behalf.
Posted: July 22, 2015, 8:00 pm
ISMA President Heidi M. Dunniway, MD, has formed a long-term task force, called the ISMA Future Directions Task Force, to determine what changes the ISMA needs to make to continue to be relevant, improve member engagement and ensure member value. This new task force evolved from a short-term task force formed in 2013 to study ISMA governance issues raised by Resolution 13-33.
Posted: July 22, 2015, 8:00 pm
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the AMA announced July 6 a commitment to work through the transition to ICD-10-CM with education, communication and, most importantly, "added flexibility" in the CMS claims audit and quality reporting process.
Posted: July 22, 2015, 8:00 pm
If you plan to represent a small county at convention, one with fewer than six delegates, don't miss two important meetings. Both will be held during the ISMA Annual Convention, Sept. 11-13 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown
Posted: July 22, 2015, 8:00 pm
The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is managing a publically funded Adult Vaccine Program that will increase the number of vaccinated adult patients and protect communities from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Posted: July 22, 2015, 8:00 pm
Officials at the World Health Organization are concerned about the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak in South Korea. To stem transmission, U.S. physicians are urged to ask patients for travel history and exposure if they present with a fever and acute respiratory illness, with or without pneumonia.
Posted: July 22, 2015, 8:00 pm
Any primary care practice can tell you the impact of adverse drug events (ADEs), but few can suggest how to reduce their $3.5 billion annual cost to the nation. One practice in Bloomington, however, enhanced the team-based patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model, improving medication management and patient health - and growing closer to the triple aim.
Posted: July 8, 2015, 8:00 pm
By a 6-3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) recently upheld the availability of federal tax credits in all health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Posted: July 8, 2015, 8:00 pm
In May, a Florida oncologist was charged in a 21-count federal indictment for health care fraud and receiving misbranded drugs.
Posted: July 8, 2015, 8:00 pm
HB 1093, which became law this month, requires you to provide written information to expectant patients when they receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome or other disorder.
Posted: July 8, 2015, 8:00 pm
The large-employer mandate, or "Employer Responsibility" as it is called in the Affordable Care Act, requires employers with 50 or more full-time equivalents (FTEs) to offer health coverage that meets certain standards or pay a penalty. This penalty has commonly been referred to as "pay or play;" however, many think of it more as "pay or pay."
Posted: July 8, 2015, 8:00 pm
What suggestions can you offer for developing effective telephone procedures?
Posted: July 8, 2015, 8:00 pm
With just a few short months until ICD-10 implementation, debate continues about whether or not it should be delayed. At this point, the ISMA does not anticipate any delays and urges you to prepare for the Oct. 1, 2015, compliance deadline or face nonpayment of claims.
Posted: July 8, 2015, 8:00 pm
Many physicians and others in Southern Indiana were surprised by the sudden spread of HIV in their area. Now you can stay informed about and respond appropriately to some disease spikes in their early stages.
Posted: July 8, 2015, 8:00 pm
In Indiana, telehealth is redefining the practice of medicine. The technology fills gaps where access to care is limited. It reduces patient wait time and drive time for physicians. Further, physicians and providers who see patients via telehealth have improved compliance rates and reduced no-show appointments.
Posted: June 24, 2015, 8:00 pm
Kentucky's Steven Stack, MD, has become the first emergency physician to serve as AMA president and is also the organization's youngest president in 160 years. A nationally recognized expert in health information technology, Dr. Stack addressed meeting attendees about health system changes and challenges.
Posted: June 24, 2015, 8:00 pm
On June 9, 2015, the federal Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued an uncharacteristic fraud alert about physician compensation. The alert was apparently triggered by recent federal settlements with 12 individual physicians who entered into "questionable medical directorship and office staff arrangements."
Posted: June 24, 2015, 8:00 pm
With a declared end to the Ebola outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) have issued new guidelines for patients returning from Liberia
Posted: June 24, 2015, 8:00 pm
Succeeding as a medical office in 2015 demands taking advantage of every opportunity to learn from others. That's exactly what attendees at the ISMA Commercial Payer Forum did on June 5. Physician practice managers and staff learned not only from the presenters during the formal part of the ISMA's annual Commercial Payer Forum, but they also learned from each other.
Posted: June 24, 2015, 8:00 pm
The Healthy Indiana Plan, called HIP 2.0, has grown its membership to 283,000 since January - but the state wants more Hoosiers on board. That's why the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) launched a $1.2 million advertising campaign June 15 on TV, radio and digital billboards. The goal is to increase awareness about the program among low-income citizens.
Posted: June 24, 2015, 8:00 pm
High deductible health insurance plans have grown in popularity with changes under the Affordable Care Act. These plans were designed to make health coverage more affordable and give more people access to health insurance.
Posted: June 24, 2015, 8:00 pm
According to the recently released American Fitness Index (AFI), the Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson region ranked 50th out of 50 U.S. metropolitan areas with the largest populations.
Posted: June 24, 2015, 8:00 pm
The May 28 meeting of the Medical Licensing Board (MLB) of Indiana included administrative hearings and personal appearances, as well as a petition for summary suspension.
Posted: June 10, 2015, 8:00 pm
Ten years ago, the ISMA House of Delegates adopted resolutions that became policy. Now, 36 of those resolutions will sunset, unless you reintroduce them. They addressed issues like smoking cessation for Medicaid patients, pay-for-performance programs and patient rights.
Posted: June 10, 2015, 8:00 pm
Michigan City and LaPorte physicians enjoy continuing medical education (CME) packaged and delivered differently. It comes with "good food, fun and wine," and it's stated purpose is: "to remind us why we do what we do!"
Posted: June 10, 2015, 8:00 pm
All too often, the discussion of vaccines focuses solely on children. The importance of childhood immunizations should not be diminished, but what about adults?
Posted: June 10, 2015, 8:00 pm
A Health Alert Network Advisory was issued to inform public health workers and clinicians of the potential for human infection of the highly pathogenic avian influenza HPAI H5 viruses. Dubbed "bird flu," virus cases have been confirmed in more than 200 birds in the U.S. since December 2014, mainly in poultry.
Posted: June 10, 2015, 8:00 pm
A second test of more than 23,000 test claims shows the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) systems are ready to accept ICD-10 claims. According to CMS, the acceptance rate for the April end-to-end testing was higher than in January.
Posted: June 10, 2015, 8:00 pm
A student in Sellersburg tested positive for tuberculosis (TB). At presstime, the Clark County Health Department, Floyd County Health Department and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) were investigating.
Posted: June 10, 2015, 8:00 pm
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a second national Tips from Former Smokers campaign that provides resources you can use to encourage patients to stop smoking.
Posted: June 10, 2015, 8:00 pm
With funding from the Indiana General Assembly, officials in Evansville are moving forward with a unique medical education center that will increase the state's residency slots by nearly 100.
Posted: May 27, 2015, 8:00 pm
Utilization of advanced practice nurses and physician assistants has been increasing over the past several years. Laws with respect to these health care providers have also changed - on both federal and state levels.
Posted: May 27, 2015, 8:00 pm
The ISMA group health insurance program renews on July 1 for all physicians with individual policies and many employer groups. Renewal packets were mailed the first week of May.
Posted: May 27, 2015, 8:00 pm
As convention time nears, eleven counties have NO delegate named to represent local members at convention. Additionally, if you have a health policy concern put your idea into a resolution and submit it for the 166th House of Delegates meeting in September. Don't delay! Deadline is Monday, July 13.
Posted: May 27, 2015, 8:00 pm
To encourage physicians to volunteer their services outside of health facilities, a new law will grant civil immunity under certain circumstances for physicians and other health care providers who volunteer to care for Hoosiers in their communities.
Posted: May 27, 2015, 8:00 pm
The 2013 General Assembly passed SB 415 that takes effect July 1. The new law requires all health care providers to report immunization data to the state's Children and Hoosier Immunization Registry Program (CHIRP), a free web-based tracking system. CHIRP also offers an electronic library of immunization-related resources that can help you and your patients.
Posted: May 27, 2015, 8:00 pm
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced $101 million in Affordable Care Act funding for 164 health center sites, six of them in Indiana. To increase access to health care services, the funding for Indiana alone is approximately $4,191,668.
Posted: May 27, 2015, 8:00 pm
On behalf of physicians, leaders and staff, the ISMA proudly recognizes more than 75 of our members celebrating 50 years of dedicated service in the medical profession.
Posted: May 27, 2015, 8:00 pm
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, provides online continuing medical education, training and resources to help you identify early drug use in patients.
Posted: May 27, 2015, 8:00 pm
Nationwide, physicians are increasingly participating in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) program and have reaped the benefits. As of 2015, there are no longer any PQRS bonuses, simply the risk of penalty for non-participation.
Posted: May 13, 2015, 8:00 pm
During the April 23 meeting, the Medical Licensing Board (MLB) of Indiana handled administrative hearings, rules updates, personal appearances, presentations and a petition for summary suspension. The ISMA Physician Assistance Program was not needed to testify this month, which is unusual.
Posted: May 13, 2015, 8:00 pm
Can you explain what constitutes "informed refusal"?
Posted: May 13, 2015, 8:00 pm
In a health advisory about the HIV epidemic in southern Indiana, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted, "Urgent action is needed to prevent further HIV and HCV transmission in this area and to investigate and control any similar outbreaks in other communities."
Posted: May 13, 2015, 8:00 pm
The Indiana Medical Foundation has been awarded a grant totaling $150,000 to support a robust physician leadership program. The ISMA, through our own Indiana Medical Foundation, submitted the grant application in February to The Physicians Foundation, a nonprofit organization that seeks to advance the work of practicing physicians and facilitate the delivery of health care. The ISMA was awarded the maximum amount of funding to be paid over a two-year period.
Posted: May 13, 2015, 8:00 pm
Now is the time to assess your clinical documentation. Run a report of your top 25 diagnosis codes and evaluate the content of your documentation. You may need to hire an ICD-10-CM auditor to provide these services, if you don't already have an internal staff auditor.
Posted: May 13, 2015, 8:00 pm
The 2013 General Assembly passed SB 415 that takes effect July 1. The new law requires all health care providers to report immunization data to the state's Children and Hoosier Immunization Registry Program (CHIRP), a free web-based tracking system. CHIRP also offers an electronic library of immunization-related resources that can help you and your patients.
Posted: May 13, 2015, 8:00 pm
The ISMA joined the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Verizon, IndyCar and others May 7 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in launching the state's largest cell phone collection drive. The effort will directly benefit survivors of domestic violence.
Posted: May 13, 2015, 8:00 pm
The Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force is accepting presentation proposals for the Attorney General's 6th Annual Prescription Drug Abuse Symposium, Oct. 28-29. The event will be held at the Westin, downtown Indianapolis.
Posted: May 13, 2015, 8:00 pm
Many of the bills listed here have been covered in detail in 2015 issues of Legislative News. These laws are effective July 1, 2015, or as noted after each bill.
Posted: May 13, 2015, 8:00 pm
The unprecedented happened. Physician organizations united like never before - hundreds of them from across the nation - working on your behalf, advocating for change. Something else was unprecedented. The U.S. Congress acted during April in bipartisan manner to repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula that threatened physicians since it was enacted in 1997. Thus, an 18th patch will not be needed.
Posted: April 29, 2015, 8:00 pm
If you are a dues-paying ISMA member in one of the counties listed here, you need to know that your county medical society currently has no officers and no delegates appointed to attend convention this September.
Posted: April 29, 2015, 8:00 pm
Last February, Steven Herbst, MD, of Muncie completed his 10th medical mission trip. With the support of the ISMA's Medical Mission Sponsorship, he traveled to Guatemala where he and other Indiana physicians performed 113 surgeries on 76 patients over four days.
Posted: April 29, 2015, 8:00 pm
Now is not the time to stall your preparation to transition to ICD-10. You should continue to move forward with the next step no matter where you are.
Posted: April 29, 2015, 8:00 pm
Almost 1,500 Hoosier patients are waiting for an organ transplant and you can help, according to Tim Taber, MD, chief medical officer for the Indiana Donor Network, formerly the Indiana Organ Procurement Organization. An individual on the transplant waiting list may receive an organ transplant from a deceased donor or, in the case of a kidney recipient, a deceased or living donor.
Posted: April 29, 2015, 8:00 pm
New research provides good news for physicians who practice in Indiana, as well as for those looking to relocate. According to a study by WalletHub, the state provides a great environment for medical practice.
Posted: April 29, 2015, 8:00 pm
We live in challenging times --- HIV, Ebola, tax scams and identity theft. Stay current by making sure you can get information quickly. Provide the ISMA with your email address - and notify us when that address changes.
Posted: April 29, 2015, 8:00 pm
The Indiana Immunization Coalition (IIC) is urging pediatricians to participate in the HPV: Don't Wait. Vaccinate! project. The goal of the program is to increase the first-dose HPV vaccine rate for eligible females and males ages 11 to 21 by 25 percent during a six-month period.
Posted: April 29, 2015, 8:00 pm
If you practiced in Pennsylvania in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2014, you may be eligible for a refund from the Mcare Fund that provides excess medical liability coverage for physicians and certain other health care professionals. It is funded by assessments on those covered.
Posted: April 29, 2015, 8:00 pm
Following years of advocacy and no less than 17 short-term, last minute fixes, the U.S. Senate on the evening of April 14 passed a bill to immediately repeal the SGR formula.
Posted: April 15, 2015, 8:00 pm
The outbreak of HIV cases in Scott County prompted Executive Order 15-05 declaring a public health emergency. Both Gov. Pence and State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, issued a strong caution when they visited the area.
Posted: April 15, 2015, 8:00 pm
The March 26 meeting of the Medical Licensing Board (MLB) of Indiana was one of the longest - from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm - but provided several lessons for physicians. Board members faced an agenda of administrative hearings, rules updates, personal appearances, presentations, and one petition for summary suspension. The ISMA Physician Assistance Program testified in support of one physician.
Posted: April 15, 2015, 8:00 pm
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) is transitioning your Care Select patients to the new Hoosier Care Connect program. All patients should be transitioned by July 1. However, wards of the state, foster children, former foster children or those receiving adoption assistance not currently enrolled in Care Select may voluntarily enroll in Hoosier Care Connect beginning May 1.
Posted: April 15, 2015, 8:00 pm
HealthBridge, one of the nation's largest health information exchanges (HIE), has merged with the Greater Cincinnati Health Council and the Health Collaborative, effective March 30. To customers outside of Greater Cincinnati, the merger represents no change other than a new name, The Health Collaborative.
Posted: April 15, 2015, 8:00 pm
Have you checked the state's online Children and Hoosier Immunization Registry Program (CHIRP) lately?
Posted: April 15, 2015, 8:00 pm
The rapidly changing market and the regulatory environment seems to encourage practice integration. But if you're not sure that's the right move for your solo or small practice, a new in-depth look at competition and integration may help you decide.
Posted: April 15, 2015, 8:00 pm
After the House passed bipartisan legislation March 25 to change Medicare reimbursement for physicians and kill the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, the Senate left for spring break without taking its turn to vote on the bill.
Posted: April 1, 2015, 8:00 pm
The failure of two major bills during this legislative session illustrates one of the most important reasons why your ISMA membership is valuable. SB 55 and HB 1043 would have greatly impacted your medical malpractice premiums and threatened access and quality of care for thousands of Hoosiers.
Posted: April 1, 2015, 8:00 pm
Indiana became the first state in the nation to implement the mandatory electronic death registry system (IDRS) on Jan. 1, 2011. As with most new things, the IDRS has exposed some challenges, and you may have struggled with how to certify cause of death in some cases with limited information.
Posted: April 1, 2015, 8:00 pm
Patients may get approval for needed care a little faster, thanks to a newly created standardized prior authorization (PA) form. The document is the result of a partnership involving the ISMA, the Indiana Department of Insurance (IDOI), Anthem and other insurers.
Posted: April 1, 2015, 8:00 pm
Here's a fact you may not know: The most visited section of the ISMA website is our Membership Directory.
Posted: April 1, 2015, 8:00 pm
No one needs to tell you about the increasing costs of prescription drugs. The March 16, 2015, issue of Business Insider, however, noted that last year, prescription drug costs increased 13.1 percent, "largely because spending on specialty drugs increased 30.9%, the highest increase ever recorded. Traditional drugs saw an increase in spending of 6.4%, roughly double the increase in 2013."
Posted: April 1, 2015, 8:00 pm
Indiana's efforts to improve Hoosier's health by reducing tobacco use are failing, according to a new report from the American Lung Association (ALA). The 13th annual "State of Tobacco Control" report gave Indiana poor grades for its tobacco policies. However, Indiana was one of two states praised for offering comprehensive cessation benefits for Medicaid patients.
Posted: April 1, 2015, 8:00 pm
Legislators joined ISMA members for breakfast March 11 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. The event provided an opportunity to discuss issues affecting patient care and the practice of medicine. Afterwards, many physicians ventured to the Statehouse to testify on various bills.
Posted: April 1, 2015, 8:00 pm
Remember last year's tax season? Early in 2014, fraudulent 2013 federal and state income tax returns were filed using physician names, addresses and Social Security numbers. The ISMA issued several alerts early in the year about the income tax scams impacting members.
Posted: March 18, 2015, 8:00 pm
Doctor, can you survive a 21 percent cut to your Medicare reimbursement? Since 2003, Congress has enacted 17 patches to stop physician payment cuts, creating uncertainty for patients. It's time to say ENOUGH!
Posted: March 18, 2015, 8:00 pm
Approximately one in 10 Hoosier children has asthma, yet less than half of all these patients have received a management plan from their physicians or schools. Indianapolis primary care pediatrician Mary McAteer, MD, is working to change that.
Posted: March 18, 2015, 8:00 pm
When seeing HIP Basic members with cost-sharing responsibilities, medical offices are required to charge the appropriate co-payments to HIP Basic members on the date of service after services are rendered.
Posted: March 18, 2015, 8:00 pm
Q. When employing a scribe, what guidelines should I follow to minimize risk?
Posted: March 18, 2015, 8:00 pm
Now is the time to start identifying the top 20 codes that your office uses. Run a report to see what those codes are in your organization, then cross walk them with the General Equivalence Mapping (GEM) files.
Posted: March 18, 2015, 8:00 pm
Participants gathered last month at the West Baden Spring Hotel in French Lick for learning, skill building and networking. Hosted by the ISMA Women in Medicine Committee, the event offered an educational session on effective communication presented by Butler University faculty.
Posted: March 18, 2015, 8:00 pm
Perhaps you know someone who has impacted the medical community in a positive way. Please nominate them for one of three ISMA awards!
Posted: March 18, 2015, 8:00 pm
If you're concerned with the health and well-being of people in your community, the health care workforce will be of interest to you. A recent survey and policy report, derived from 2013 data, offers a glimpse of the practicing physician workforce in any Indiana community.
Posted: March 18, 2015, 8:00 pm
If you are a Medicaid and HIP provider, you'll likely be busier in the coming months. Numbers show Hoosiers are embracing the recently approved Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) 2.0. In the first two weeks since the announcement by Gov. Pence, approximately 180,000 immediately enrolled, and 24,150 phone call inquiries were received. Enrollment is expected to grow because 24,000 notices were mailed to marketplace members; also an advertising campaign and enrollment events are getting underway.
Posted: March 4, 2015, 8:00 pm
State Representative and ISMA member Tim Brown, MD, R-Crawfordsville, was presented with the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service during the AMA's National Advocacy Conference Feb. 24 in Washington, D.C.
Posted: March 4, 2015, 8:00 pm