2009 Volume 1 Issue 5
July 20, 2009
Issue No. 1
In This Issue
Tricare Auth Update
Scheduler Training
Red Flag Reminder
CMS Changes for 2010
Anti-Virus Software
Tricare Auth Update
Active duty members can choose Tricare Prime or Tricare Prime Remote. All specialty care must be coordinated through their primary care manager. Patients should not be seen without an authorization from Tricare.
Scheduler Training
Scheduler classes will be held on-line Wednesday July 28th and Monday August 3rd.  If you haven't already, contact Rachel to sign up.

(616) 459-6867
Newsletter Archive
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Red Flag Rule
Effective August 1st!  Click here to read more about Red Flag.

This issue contains CMS' plans for rate changes in 2010 and computer tips for protecting against viruses.  Don't miss the important information in the side bar at left including a Tricare insurance update and scheduler training information.
CMS Proposed 2010 Changes
This month the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced proposed changes to policies and payment rates for services to be furnished in 2010. Of primary concern to specialists is the proposal to stop paying for consultation codes. Instead, providers will have to use an existing E/M service code. This will result in lower reimbursement for these services. CMS is also proposing to reduce payments that require the use of expensive equipment. On the flip side, other proposed changes are expected to increase payments to primary care and geriatric specialists between 6 and 8 percent. A proposal that will have a modest impact for specialists and help promote payment equity is to allocate the portion of Medicare's payment for professional liability insurance to those physicians who have the highest malpractice costs. More measures will be added to PQRI and resulting incentive payments will remain at 2% of the total estimated allowable charges for the period. CMS is also proposing a new process for group practices to be considered successful electronic prescribers. For more information on the proposed rule, please see: http://www.federalregister.gov/inspection.aspx#special

A Fact Sheet providing more information about the e-Prescribing Program and PQRI proposals can be found at:

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Anti-Virus Software
This is the first article in a series of articles we will be featuring in future newsletters containing tips to make your computers and data more secure.

Early last year the number of viruses, worms and Trojans in circulation topped one million. No longer are we worried about viruses written by amateurs that caused annoying pop-ups, sluggish response times or hard drive crashes. Now modern viruses are written by professionals and often underwritten by criminal organizations. These viruses attempt to stay invisible so their botnets can steal information for as long as possible.

Your first defense against such malicious software is your anti-virus program, which helps prevent, detect and remove such malware. When anti-virus software scans a file for viruses, it checks the contents of a file against a dictionary of virus signatures [the Blacklist]. Once the program finds a virus signature it attempts to quarantine, repair or delete the virus code. Because new viruses are being created each day, it is very important to update your anti-virus software. Some antivirus software runs in real-time while others must be manually updated.

It is true that an anti-virus programs can sometimes slow your PC's response time. Nevertheless, your anti-virus software needs to be enabled at all times. Be careful which anti-virus software you choose. Some antivirus software programs are actually malware, such as the notorious WinFixer. There are legitimate free antivirus programs available, such as the basic AVG. For business purposes, however, I recommend buying and installing a reputable software package such as Symantec (Norton), McAfee or Kaspersky on each PC and laptop in your office. If malware is detected and can't be quarantined, call your tech support person immediately. It is best to leave malware eradication to the experts.

Next issue we will discuss the importance of having a Firewall and some of your configuration options.

About Us
If you have any questions regarding this newsletter, you can contact us at:

         Mary Ellen Duffy
         Patricia Nevala pat@ipcbilling.com

or call us at 616-459-6867 or 800-606-1455

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to your staff and peers.

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