Category Archives: Government

ICD-10 Keeps Getting More Painful

As I previously discussed,  a year ago we transitioned from the disease classification ICD-9 to ICD-10. That has been painful, but they keep making tweaks that require more work. I guess the powers that be decided that more than 155,000 … Continue reading

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Trump the Bureaucracy

About 6 weeks ago I referred a patient of mine with a knee problem to an orthopedic surgeon in my group. He ended up seeing someone else in the same group about 3 1/2 weeks later, and the doctor prescribed … Continue reading

Posted in Business of Medicine, Government, Medical Politics | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Gluteus Maximus

I ordered atorvastatin (generic Lipitor) for one of my patients with high cholesterol and Medicare Part D coverage. It was denied. We then appealed it (prior authorization). A fax from Maximus Federal Services said their decision was, “UNFAVORABLE.” They said … Continue reading

Posted in Government, Pharmaceuticals | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Disabled Parking and Needless Paperwork

In Washington State, if you want a disabled parking permit you need your doctor to fill out a form. Effective 7/1/15, a new law also requires a written prescription to help combat forgery. Physicians already have to deal with far … Continue reading

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An ICD-9 Story

Medical billing and epidemiology relies on a classification of diseases maintained by the World Health Organization. On the first of October, 2015, we will transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10, a major change that increases the number of available diagnoses from … Continue reading

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Going Viral is Bad for Your Health

A few days ago CNN hosted the 2nd Republican presidential debate. Unfortunately, the topic of vaccines came up. Donald Trump had previously suggested that vaccines can cause autism. When asked about this he responded, “You take this little beautiful baby, … Continue reading

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Medicare Audits – Or How I Spent Part of Labor Day Weekend

Some weekends I go to my office to try and catch up on paperwork. This Labor Day weekend I had to ‘labor’ away part of it to satisfy a Medicare requirement. I received a fax from a medical supplier saying … Continue reading

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Asinine Associations

As I previously wrote, when physicians place orders, they have to associate diagnoses. This is becoming even more painful as we move towards ICD-10, of which I’ll have more to say later. I’m sure this was an attempt by the … Continue reading

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Medicare Payment Formula Finally Changed – Win or Loss?

Congress passed a  law in 1977 linking Medicare payments for physician services to growth in the economy.  Because it failed to take into account inflation and other factors, Congress has had to act 17 times to prevents cuts to physician … Continue reading

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FMLA Paperwork

I’m often asked to fill out FMLA paperwork, formally known as Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition (Family and Medical Leave Act). This is either because my patient is ill and they or a family member … Continue reading

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