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May 1, 2007
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MGMA Offers Books on Practice Management

Englewood, Colo.-based Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) has rolled out four books addressing practice leadership issues.

The books cover a variety of topics including clinical and business operations, financial management, governance and organizational dynamics, and information management.

A compilation of the top 101 most-frequently asked questions by MGMA members, "Experts Answer 101 Tough Practice Management Questions" covers issues from general practice administration to current issues and emerging trends. "Star-Studded Service: 6 Steps to Winning Patient Satisfaction" addresses meeting service expectations, and includes recommendations for benchmarking. "HR Policies & Procedures Manual for Medical Practices," 4th edition, is a reference that covers employment laws and hiring practices, managing performance, enforcing discipline, and ensuring patient satisfaction and safety. "Operating Policies & Procedures Manual for Medical Practices," 3rd edition, covers more than 100 management issues.

Patient Safety Book Hits Shelves

Oak Brook, Ill-based Joint Commission Resources (JCR) — a not-for-profit affiliate of The Joint Commission — has released a book for those interested in improving the level of quality and patient safety at their hospitals.

"Getting the Board on Board: What Your Board Needs to Know about Quality and Patient Safety," explains how board members can play a leading role in improving the quality and safety of the care, treatment and services provided at their organizations, according to JCR. The book also addresses growing demands for the boards to take responsibility not just for the organization's financial integrity but for quality and patient safety.

The book is available for $50 using order code EBQS-061, or five copies for $199 using order code EBQS-06. To order, call JCR customer service at (877) 223-6866 or visit

New Book Explains EHR for HIM professionals

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) has put out a book explaining the new technologies emerging in the field of healthcare informatics.

The book, entitled, "Healthcare Code Sets, Clinical Terminologies, and Classification Systems" outlines key components of EHR infrastructure for health information management (HIM) professionals. AHIMA states that authors go beyond the standard diagnosis and procedure code sets, and explains how they interaction with data standards.

Readers can earn continuing education credits by taking the online quiz associated with the book.

The book is edited by Kathy Giannangelo, RHIA, CCS, AHIMA (2006). To order, visit; $62.85 ($73.90 for non-members).

AHIMA & MGMA Testify for Data

In a major push for data collection and reporting, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) testified recently before the American Health Information Community Quality Workgroup on industry challenges.

The testimony was based on findings from "Collecting and Reporting Data for Performance Measurement: Moving Toward Alignment," an AHIMA and MGMA joint report urging for a standardized set of core performance measurements to resolve data collection, aggregation, and reporting issues.

"The healthcare community acknowledges the importance of standardizing performance measures to improve healthcare quality and efficiency. However, little attention has been devoted to the specific problems surrounding how the data for these measures are to be acquired, by whom, and at what cost," said William Jessee, M.D., MGMA president and CEO.

CCHIT Approves Ambulatory Testing Criteria

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) unanimously approved new 2007 criteria for ambulatory EHRs. The final criteria, test scripts, and associated documents are posted on the CCHIT Web site.

Among a number of new requirements this year, systems must be able to send prescriptions and refills to pharmacies electronically. In addition, vendors must demonstrate the product's ability to electronically receive standards-based lab result messages. Included with the criteria is a roadmap forecasting additional requirements for 2008 and 2009.

CMS Extends NPI Deadline

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is extending for 12 months a deadline, originally slated for May 23, for covered entities (other than small health plans) to begin using their National Provider Identifier.

"The enforcement guidance clarifies that covered entities that have been making a good faith effort to comply with the NPI provisions may, for up to 12 months, implement contingency plans that could include accepting legacy provider numbers on HIPAA transactions in order to maintain operations and cash flows." said CMS Acting Administrator Leslie Norwalk.

CMS stated that it extended the deadline after it became apparent many covered entities would not be able to fully comply.