URGENT NOTICE - HIPAA
Health care providers have until October 15, 2002 to file for a one-year extension to the HIPAA mandated Electronic Health Care Transactions and Code Sets Standards. Covered entities and that includes almost every provider of health care, must be compliant with this regulation on October 16, 2002.
It is necessary for all providers to file for this extension. Many vendors of computer systems have stated that they are compliant with the electronic code set standards, but it is the provider that receives the penalties for noncompliance. However, due to at least one portion of the standard code sets mandated by HIPA, no one can be compliant on October 16, 2002.
A few small physician practices do not presently file claims electronically so they do not plan to file for the extension. However, should they purchase a computer before October 16, 2003, they will be noncompliant with these standards. Unless there is a change in the rules, Medicare contractors will not accept paper claims after October 2003, so there will be pressure to computerize by that date. Physicians who do not file electronically should also file for the extension.
Occasionally, a piece of legislation and the following regulations contain this type of Catch-22 scenario. Please share this information with your colleagues so that they can file for the extension. The questionnaire asks about your progess in complying with these standards. You may download the document, complete the paper form, and sent it by registered mail. You may also complete it on the internet and receive and electronic acknowledgment of your filing.
The Administrative Simplication section of HIPAA requires major changes in health care and many providers find compliance chanllenging. Learn more about HIPPA at the Fall Conference of the Michigan State Society of the American Medical Technologists, on October 24-25, 2002 in Frankenmuth, Michigan.
Alice Covell, CMA-A, RMA, CPC