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Health & Policy "Updates" for our Maryland Members
October 28, 2010

Dear Members,

There are several items of interest relating to health & public policy that we believe you should be aware. Please see below.

New Edit for 99204 and 99205 Codes: Highmark recently performed a post payment audit on new patient office or outpatient visits, procedure codes 99204 and 99205, and found 73 % were billed incorrectly. As a result, a prepayment edit will be implemented on these two procedures codes. Additional information can be found at https://www.highmarkmedicareservices.com/bulletins/partb/news09202010.html.

The Maryland ACP is very concerned about this edit and its impact on our members. We have contacted the national ACP offices and they are currently working on a response to the carrier. Look for additional information as it becomes available.

New Booklets re Health Care Reform: ACP has updated its comprehensive guide for internists with new information and details about the law. “An Internist's Practical Guide to Understanding Health Reform” includes a summary of key provisions along with a timetable for their implementation and detailed descriptions of reforms that affect physicians and their patients. More details about the Guide can be found at http://www.acponline.org/about_acp/chapters/md/advocacy_pubs.htm.

ACP also partnered with AARP to produce a brochure that describes changes affecting patients and their families. The new publication describes key changes affecting people with health insurance, those who do not have coverage or affordable coverage, people on Medicare, people planning for their long-term care and changes for small business owners.

The brochure is designed specifically for patients and explains, in brief, provisions in the new law that will affect them. ACP is encouraging its members to download the brochure and make it available to patients. Read more about this helpful resource at http://www.acponline.org/about_acp/chapters/md/advocacy_pubs.htm.

Additionally, there are several other resources available on Medicare Payment Basics, Federal Rules and State Roles in Health Reform, and the AAMC 2010 Enrollment and Applicant Data Charts and links to these can all be found under the Practice Tips and Updates section of the Maryland Chapter Web site.

Report for Statewide Advisory Commission on Immunizations: The Maryland ACP has also been requested to provide the name of a physician to act as our representative to the Statewide Advisory Commission on Immunizations which is charged with the advisory responsibilities regarding vaccine availability, purchasing, distribution and related issues. A copy of a letter from DMHM describing the committee can be found at our website at http://www.acponline.org/about_acp/chapters/md/commission.pdf. The committee does not require an ID subspecialist, and a general internist would make a welcome addition to the committee which will meet approximately four times a year probably in the evening. If you are interested, we would appreciate your contacting Greg Reed at reedgre@dhmh.state.md.us for additional information.

The Practical Updates & Tips area on the Chapter Web site will continue to be updated to provide you with current information on a number of topics. Our HPC Committee, chaired by Dr. Steve Kravet, is also looking at ways to better communicate and serve our membership. If you have any ideas or suggestions that you would like to see our ACP accomplish locally and or nationally, please be sure to contact us. We look forward to your responses.

R. Dobbin Chow, MD, FACP, Governor & Maryellen Woodward, Chapter Staff

Page updated: 10/28/10

Contact Information

Stephen D. Sisson, MD, FACP,
Governor, Maryland Chapter

Maryellen Woodward
920 Trinity Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Chapter Administrator
Office: 410-332-8444
Fax: 410-636-3403
E-mail: mew4work@aol.com