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Medicare documentation guideline changes

On April 27, the AMA and HCFA, together with more than 275 representatives of specialty societies, unveiled some important proposed changes to the 1997 Medicare evaluation and documentation guidelines. While a major re-design of the coding system is under way, a number of changes under consideration are likely.

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Your first employment contract

The majority of residents in their first year of training will join an established private practice, work for an HMO or be employed by a health institution or system. Here’s how they can scrutinize the major provisions found in a typical contract.

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Documentation and coding tools

Given ample reason to be concerned about their documentation and coding habits, physicians need to examine the strengths and weaknesses of various products and services available to expedite those tasks. Documentation efficiency aside, one might also contemplate how useful these systems are to actual patient care.

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Impact of quality trends on physicians

The development and expansion of credentialing programs will define, measure and monitor quality indicators that relate to physician performance. Physicians will find patients, employers, government, the media and MCOs demanding quality and increasing their expectations of care.

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