CMS Re-Opens 2015 Hardship Exceptions Through November 2014

Per the ONC:

CMS announced that it is going to reopen the submission period for hardship exception applications for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals, allowing them to possibly avoid the 2015 Medicare payment adjustments for not demonstrating (via attestation) EHR meaningful use with Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT).

The new deadline will be November 30, 2014. (The previous application deadline was April 1, 2014 for eligible hospitals and July 1, 2014 for eligible professionals.)

This is especially noteworthy for anyone who missed attesting for stage 1 year 1 attestation last week.
For more information about the payment adjustments or hardship guidelines, visit the CMS page HERE.

Here is the application form.


"Error" in eTHOMAS for ICD-10?

If you are receiving a message in eTHOMAS when posting charges or payments regarding ICD-10, you can disregard it.  This message was programmed into THOMAS when the ICD-10 deadline was still October 1st, 2014.  The new ICD-10 deadline is now October 1st, 2015.  To remove the reminder to bill out in ICD-10, you will need to autoupdate your eTHOMAS software.  You must be on version 9.4.06 or higher.  (You can check for your version of eTHOMAS in the upper right corner, under the "E", when the program is open.)


Shared Genius September 2014 Edition

Shared Genius Practice Solutions From one genius to another.
September 2014 support special includes:
rejections, pre-billing errors, reconciling patient accounts, & more!

Available now!


CMS Issues Final Rule for 2014 EHR Incentive Program Participation

CMS just released a final rule regarding provider EHR incentive program participation for the 2014 program year.

It has been a long haul for those trying to implement and use an EHR program to complete the government’s incentive program.  Especially this year, as the transition from stage 1 to stage 2 meaningful use is supposed to be occurring.  Nothing is ever easy. Even for those providers who started their EHR journeys a couple of years ago, there was change that needed to occur.  Most had hoped that the EHRs they’d invested in would progress and roll with the government changes.  Many found out that this was not going to happen without additional work, frustration, pain, and money from them, so many have dropped out. 


Shared Genius August 2014 Edition

Shared Genius Practice Solutions From one genius to another.
August 2014 support special includes:
THOMAS date tricks, billed claims, and more!

Available now!


It Takes a Billing Class to Train Some Geniuses

PR Henriksen, the character
You might not know this but here at Genius Solutions the vast majority of our software support staff and all of our trainers have worked in various healthcare settings:  offices, hospitals, support staff, billers, office managers, multiple office managers, and more.  Basically our Genius support is made up of practical medical office specialists, software geeks, and hardware tech specialists who are hardware, networking, and software geeks.  There is a lot, and quite a variety, of expert knowledge on call, for your calls.

Me? I started at Genius in support, as part of the software geek zone (with some generally nerdy hardware tendencies).


Transparency and Leaving Doctors’ Data Hanging out in the Breeze

The Sunshine Act was passed as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (health care reform) in 2010, but CMS decided to delay data collection in connection with the act until 2013.  The Act was designed to give transparency to the money and dealings between physicians, pharmaceutical companies, medical device and other medical supply manufacturers, as well as ownership or investment interests in group purchasing organizations.  Physicians and manufacturers are to report (or disclose) any and all such incentives and payments they receive to CMS.  Payments need to be reported by date and amount as well as list the nature of the payment or incentive (i.e. gifts, meals, speaking honoraria, etc). 

The thought was that if these little promos, pluses, gifts, and payments were known, it would cut down on things like drugs being dispensed because doctors got good gifts and perks, rather than prescribing what would be best for their patients or possibly lying about results or usage for drug reporting purposes.  That’s not giving doctors very much credit in my book. 


Finally! CMS Announces New ICD-10 "GO" Date

FINALLY!  CMS announces ICD-10 "GO" date IS now October 1st, 2015!

Interesting, the article doesn't note anything about a comment period, it simply says, this is the date.  I guess nothing but bumping the date ahead, might not need an additional comment period as it had been done before.

So, what are you doing now to prepare?


Shared Genius: July 2014

Shared Genius Practice Solutions From one genius to another.
July 2014 support special includes: Claim Forms, Genius Solutions Training

Available now!


e-Statement Printing Confirmations

If you use our e-Statement service, you will receive a fax confirmation when the statements are printed.  When you sends 2 files (one for each system- especially if you send one from dT and one from eT), and they are printed at the same time, you will only receive a confirmation for the first file processed.

We recommend that you only send one file at a time, wait to receive the fax confirmation from that first file, and then send your next e-Statemtent file. This way you will receive a confirmation for each file.


Shared Genius: June 2014

Shared Genius Practice Solutions From one genius to another.

 June 2014:  277s, "bad address", appointments, time blocks, & more!

Available now!

Editor Addition:
In the e-mail I posted that the new date for ICD-10 was Oct 1, 2015 (after finding said information in more than three good sources).  In investigating further, we crawled through the CMS website and this is the wording posted:

"On April 1, 2014, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA) (Pub. L. No. 113-93) was enacted, which said that the Secretary may not adopt ICD-10 prior to October 1, 2015. Accordingly, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services expects to release an interim final rule in the near future with a new compliance date for the use of ICD-10 codes beginning October 1, 2015. The rule will also require HIPAA covered entities to continue to use ICD-9-CM through September 30, 2015. "

So, the current date that has been listed of Oct. 1, 2015 is really wishful/hopeful thinking by everyone.  (Although it does look like CMS is hopeful for the same thing.)  According to the above paragraph the "interim final rule" has yet to be created or released, after which there is always a 60-day comment period, and then, eventually, a final rule will be issued.  There is no date on this note on the CMS website either, so we'll all have to check back into this page to see when some movement begins to occur.  So, continue not panicking, and definitely continue to prepare for ICD-10 implementation.


Michgan Blues Claim Filing DEADline

BCBS of Michigan sent out an e-mail recently stating that the Blues will retire their local system on Oct. 31, 2014. Since they will no longer process claims on that system, all claims filed on the local system must be submitted and received by Sept. 15, 2014, in order to be processed.

If you submit a claim after the filing limits, BCBSM will not offer any special handling or filing extensions, and no payment will be due from BCBSM or the subscriber. All health care providers must follow claim-filing deadlines (as you can see, there are no exceptions here).

For more information about this change, please refer to the March 2014 Record.

Blue Cross defined the local contracts, which have been migrating to their new system and will be completely migrated mid September.
These local contracts include:
  • Local and Medicare Advantage group numbers: Five digits
  • MOS group numbers: Nine digits
  • NASCO group numbers: Five digits, usually starting with a seven or eight
  • BCN group numbers: Eight digits

Any clam submitted with one of the local contracts (listed above); whether it is a secondary, resubmission, or original needs to be received by Blue Cross no later than September 15, 2014 or it will not be processed.

Patients with local contracts should have received a new contract number to go through the new system.

You can contact Provider Inquiry at Blue Cross of Michigan for more information.

Provider Inquiry Information:

If you’re calling from this area code
Hours of operation
Use this phone number
248, 313, 586, 734, 810 or 947
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
517, 989
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
231, 269, 616, *989
8 a.m. noon,
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
8:30 a.m. to noon,
1:05 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Outside Michigan
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For questions about BCBSM employees only, contact our Ombudsman office.
8:30 a.m. to noon,
12:50 p.m. to 5 p.m.