Friday, January 28, 2011

Useful Articles from the AMA

Below are two useful articles from the American Medical Association (AMA):


CMS Launches Physician Compare Website

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) required the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop a Physician Compare website by Jan. 1, 2011. In order to comply with the law, CMS launched the Medicare Physician Compare website in late December. By January 2013, physician performance data collected in 2012 will be made public as part of the CMS requirements of the ACA (Accountable Care Act). Performance Indicators have not been finalized at this time.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has stayed involved and has an excellent summary here to share with your medical staffs:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stay on Top of TJC Updates

The Joint Commission (TJC) has announced that they will discontinue list serve delivery of The Joint Commission Online after January 26.

To continue receiving updates, sign up for E-Alerts on TJC's website.

• Click on “Sign Up for News and Alerts” at the bottom of the home page,
• At the E-Alert Registration page, under the topic library category, select Joint Commission Online.

You can also select E-Alerts for other updates such as field review announcements and press releases.

Source: The Joint Commission

As the Physician Population Ages, Concerns about Comptency Increase

Many aging doctors face financial pressures that make them reluctant to retire. Sometimes, their peers may notice changes in their ability to practice, but are hesitant to confront or report their colleagues if they suspect age to be the issue.

Be sure your Physician Health Policy is up to date with safeguards in place to protect patients, assist your aging medical staff and guide medical staff leaders through these tough decisions.

A recent article in The New York Times discusses the issue of aging physicians. To read the article, click here:

Source: The New York Times

Friday, January 21, 2011

CMS Signature Requirement Delayed

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has postponed enforcement of a policy requiring a physician's or qualified nonphysician practitioner's signature on requisitions for clinical diagnostic laboratory tests paid under the clinical laboratory fee schedule. CMS defines a requisition asthe actual paperwork, such as a form, which is provided to a clinical diagnostic laboratory that identifies the test or tests to be performed for a patient.

The policy went into effect on January 1, 2011. However, CMS is delaying enforcement of the policy until after the first calendar quarter of 2011 to educate everyone affected by it.

For more information, click here:

Source: CMS

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TJC Releases BoosterPaks on OPPE/FPPE

The Joint Commission (TJC) has released a new Standards BoosterPak™ on MS.08.01.01 and MS.08.01.03, the Focused Professional Practice Evaluation (FPPE) and Ongoing Professional Practice Evaluation (OPPE).

TJC developed BoosterPaks to provide facilities and surveyors with more details on complicated standards to ensure that they are being interpreted consistently. The BoosterPaks can be accessed through your facility's Joint Commission Connect extranet site.

Source: The Joint Commission

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

NAMSS Member Seeks Input on Medicare/Medicaid Sanctions

A NAMSS member has been asked to conduct a survey asking the following question:

“What provisions are listed in your bylaws regarding possible actions that may be taken when a medical staff member has been sanctioned by Medicare/Medicaid?”

Feel free to post your examples in the comment field on the blog or send them to by Thursday, January 20.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What Are Your Thoughts on TJC's LTC Standards?

The Joint Commission (TJC) has proposed changes to the credentialing and privileging standards for long term Care facilities. TJC has proposed the changes, stating that not all of the hospital credentialing and privileging requirements may be appropriate for long term care facilities.

The proposed changes and comment form can be found at the following link. Comments will be accepted through January 17.

Do you work in a long term care facility or have experience working with one? NAMSS would like to hear your thoughts on these proposed changes. E-mail with your comments.

Introducing the 2011 NAMSS Blog Subject-Matter Expert

Bonnie Conley, CPCS has been selected as the 2011 NAMSS Blog Subject-Matter Expert. In her role, Ms. Conley will work with NAMSS to communicate the latest news and issues of interest to medical services professionals (MSPs) to the public through the NAMSS Blog.

Ms. Conley, CPCS is the Director of Medical Staff Services at North Hills Hospital in North Richland Hills, TX and Adjunct Faculty for El Centro College’s Continuing Education Medical Staff Services Program. Ms. Conley has 20 plus years of experience in the MSP field in hospitals, managed care, commercial/proprietary CVOs and physician recruiting. She has served the MSP profession on a state and local level as the President of both the Texas Society Medical Staff Services (TSMSS) and the Dallas Fort Worth Chapter of Medical Staff Services Professionals (MSP-FWD).

Ms. Conley has served NAMSS in various capacities including the Education Committee, the Conference Planning Committee and currently as a member of the Ethics Committee. Ms. Conley has been recognized by TSMSS with the Golden Quill and Outstanding Provider Credentialing Specialist Awards and by NAMSS with the Certificate of Merit. Ms. Conley has a passion for the MSP profession and the use of technology. She recently completed a new website for the MSP-FWD Chapter which includes social media and video CE capabilities. She is married with two grown children and enjoys gardening, blogging, photography, travel and cooking.

In addition to welcoming Ms. Conley as the new NAMSS Blog Subject-Matter Expert, NAMSS would also like to thank Carole LaPine, CPMSM, CPCS for her work as the 2010 Subject-Matter Expert. Ms. LaPine was instrumental in identifying hot issues, helping NAMSS to be at the forefront of reporting policy news related to the MSP profession. With her help, the NAMSS Blog grew from a new idea for communicating to the NAMSS membership, to a recognized source for healthcare news that now has close to 900 subscribers and about 500 visitors a month.

The NAMSS Blog is always on the lookout for news items and issues of interest to MSPs. Send any articles, news tips, and even questions and comments to

You can also subscribe to the NAMSS Blog by visiting or by e-mailing with "SUBSCRIBE" in the subject line.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

URAC Standards Open for Public Comment

URAC has released proposed standard revisions for public comment. Revisions have been made to the following standards:

- Health Plan, version 7.0
- Health Network, version 7.0
- Provider Credentialing, version 6.0
- Health Utilization Management, version 7.0
- Workers' Comp Utilization Management, version 6.0

The standards were revised to better align with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and performance reporting requirements.

URAC is accepting comments through February 14, 2011.

To review the proposed changes and information on submitting comments, click here: