January 2013
The essential resource for your practice
Volume XXI, Number 1

NAFC Releases National Quality Performance Standards for Absorbent Products

In late December, a council headed by the National Association For Continence (NAFC) finalized its recommendations for quality performance standards for disposable adult absorbent products.

Table of Contents

  

Coding Corner:

What does “Staged” Procedure mean?

Congress, President Avert Fiscal Cliff, Enact One-Year “Doc Fix”

In a late-night vote on January 1, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Senate’s “Taxpayer Relief Act”, despite statements that the House would send the fiscal cliff bill back to the Senate with more spending cuts. The bill passed 257-167, with Republicans voting almost 2-to-1 against the bill. The Senate passed the bill 89-8. President Obama signed the bill on January 2.

The bill contained a one-year “doc fix,” avoiding a scheduled nearly 27 percent cut to Medicare physician payments. The fix will be paid for with reductions in payments to hospitals and other changes to health care programs. The bill reduces hospital payments by cutting $10.5 billion over 10 years for inpatient and overnight care.

Sen. Murray’s Bill on Veterans’ Fertility Issues Passes the Senate

Sen. Patty Murray’s (D-WA) bill on veteran infertility (S. 3313) passed from the Senate to the House of Representatives by unanimous vote on December 13.  Dr. Mark Edney of the Legislative Affairs Committee testified on behalf of this bill before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on June 27, 2012.

When asked about this development, Dr. Edney told the Male Reproductive Health Alliance that he “was honored to be able to testify before the Senate hearing on health legislation about expanding the treatments available to veterans who suffer genitourinary trauma.

Mandatory Urologic Ultrasound Accreditation Begins in Massachusetts

As of January 1, 2013, Blue Shield Blue Cross of Massachusetts (BCBS of MA) is requiring any urology practice that performs ultrasound studies (except for transrectal ultrasound) to obtain AIUM’s practice accreditation.

Accreditation is a voluntary process whereby a urologic practice may demonstrate that its providers have adequate training, that ultrasound images are of acceptable quality and that ultrasound is performed in a safe environment. Some urologic practices may choose to pursue accreditation to demonstrate quality to their patients. Other practices may seek accreditation as a condition of being contracted by insurance companies to provide and bill for advanced urologic ultrasound diagnostic studies (including renal, scrotal and pelvic ultrasound).