Improving the repeat prescribing process in a busy general practice. A study using continuous quality improvement methodology. (1/21)

PROBLEM: A need to improve service to patients by reducing the time wasted by reception staff so that the 48 hour target for processing repeat prescription requests for patient collection could be achieved. DESIGN: An interprofessional team was established within the practice to tackle the area of repeat prescribing which had been identified as a priority by practice reception staff. The team met four times in three months and used continuous quality improvement (CQI) methodology (including the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle) with the assistance of an external facilitator. BACKGROUND AND SETTING: A seven partner practice serving the 14,000 patients on the northern outskirts of Bournemouth including a large council estate and a substantial student population from Bournemouth University. The repeat prescribing process is computerised. KEY MEASURES FOR IMPROVEMENT: Reducing turn around times for repeat prescription requests. Reducing numbers of requests which need medical records to be checked to issue the script. Feedback to staff about the working of the process. STRATEGIES FOR CHANGE: Using a Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle for guidance, the team decided to (a) coincide repeat medications and to record on the computer drugs prescribed during visits; (b) give signing of prescriptions a higher priority and bring them to doctors' desks at an agreed time; and (c) move the site for printing prescriptions to the reception desk so as to facilitate face to face queries. EFFECTS OF CHANGE: Prescription turnaround within 48 hours increased from 95% to 99% with reduced variability case to case and at a reduced cost. The number of prescriptions needing records to be looked at was reduced from 18% to 8.6%. This saved at least one working day of receptionist time each month. Feedback from all staff within the practice indicated greatly increased satisfaction with the newly designed process. LESSONS LEARNT: The team's experience suggests that a combination of audit and improvement methodology offers a powerful way to learn about, and improve, practice. The interventions used by the team not only produced measurable and sustainable improvements but also helped the team to learn about the cost of achieving the results and provided them with tools to accomplish the aims. The importance of feedback to all staff about CQI measures was also recognised.  (+info)

Medicare program; prospective payment system and consolidated billing for skilled nursing facilities for FY 2006. Final rule. (2/21)

In this final rule we update the payment rates used under the prospective payment system (PPS) for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), for fiscal year (FY) 2006. Annual updates to the PPS rates are required by section 1888(e) of the Social Security Act (the Act), as amended by the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Balanced Budget Refinement Act of 1999 (BBRA), the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Benefits Improvement and Protection Act of 2000 (BIPA), and the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA), relating to Medicare payments and consolidated billing for SNFs. This final rule also responds to public comments submitted on the proposed rule published on May 19, 2005 (70 FR 29070), and promulgates provisions set forth in that proposed rule, along with several additional technical revisions to the regulations.  (+info)

HIPAA administrative simplification: standards for electronic health care claims attachments. Proposed rule. (3/21)

This rule proposes standards for electronically requesting and supplying particular types of additional health care information in the form of an electronic attachment to support submitted health care claims data. It would implement some of the requirements of the Administrative Simplification subtitle of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.  (+info)

Medicare program; requirements for providers and suppliers to establish and maintain Medicare enrollment. Final rule. (4/21)

This final rule requires that all providers and suppliers (other than physicians or practitioners who have elected to "opt-out" of the Medicare program) complete an enrollment form and submit specific information to us. This final rule also requires that all providers and suppliers periodically update and certify the accuracy of their enrollment information to receive and maintain billing privileges in the Medicare program. In addition, this final rule implements provisions in the statute that require us to ensure that all Medicare providers and suppliers are qualified to provide the appropriate health care services. These statutory provisions include requirements meant to protect beneficiaries and the Medicare Trust Funds by preventing unqualified, fraudulent, or excluded providers and suppliers from providing items or services to Medicare beneficiaries or billing the Medicare program or its beneficiaries.  (+info)

Selection of key financial indicators: a literature, panel and survey approach. (5/21)

Since 1998, most hospitals in Ontario have voluntarily participated in one of the largest and most ambitious publicly available performance-reporting initiatives in the world. This article describes the method used to select key financial indicators for inclusion in the report including the literature review, panel and survey approaches that were used. The results for five years of recent data for Ontario hospitals are also presented.  (+info)

Office of Inspector General; Medicare and state health care programs: fraud and abuse; issuance of advisory opinions by the OIG. Final rule. (6/21)

OIG is adopting in final form, without change, an interim final rule published on March 26, 2008 (73 FR 15937). We received no comments to the interim final rule. The interim final rule revised the process for advisory opinion requestors to submit payments for advisory opinion costs.  (+info)

Medicare program; prospective payment system and consolidated billing for skilled nursing facilities for FY 2009. Final rule. (7/21)

This final rule updates the payment rates used under the prospective payment system (PPS) for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), for fiscal year (FY) 2009. It also discusses our ongoing analysis of nursing home staff time measurement data collected in the Staff Time and Resource Intensity Verification (STRIVE) project. Finally, this final rule makes technical corrections in the regulations text with respect to Medicare bad debt payments to SNFs and the reference to the definition of urban and rural as applied to SNFs.  (+info)

Health insurance reform: modifications to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) electronic transaction standards. Proposed rule. (8/21)

This rule proposes to adopt updated versions of the standards for electronic transactions originally adopted in the regulations entitled, "Health Insurance Reform: Standards for Electronic Transactions," published in the Federal Register on August 17, 2000, which implemented some of the requirements of the Administrative Simplification subtitle of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). These standards were modified in our rule entitled, "Health Insurance Reform: Modifications to Electronic Data Transaction Standards and Code Sets," published in the Federal Register on February 20, 2003. This rule also proposes the adoption of a transaction standard for Medicaid Pharmacy Subrogation. In addition, this rule proposes to adopt two standards for billing retail pharmacy supplies and professional services, and to clarify who the "senders" and "receivers" are in the descriptions of certain transactions.  (+info)