Tuesday, January 13, 2009

We are well into January

And I hope that this is the year you will become to make use of the WAAAG blog! It has been rather dormant. The holidays have had us focused on other things, of course, but many of us are checking other blogs as well as the still-infernally difficult successor to the AAA list serv.

I'll take the reins from Denise for another second and remind everyone that we have a meeting scheduled for Friday, February 13. Sylvia Warner has graciously offered VCU as the site again, despite our canceling the last meeting she had arranged. Let's be sure to turn up in great numbers this time! I can offer rides to 3 passengers from McLean, if that makes the travel any easier.

Happy New Year, everyone --


P.S. TO REPLY: Leave a "Comment," or else just tell me that you'd like direct posting rights. KB

Friday, December 5, 2008

"Never Events" (HACs) and Maryland Hospitals

Good morning and welcome to everyone who has taken a look at the first blog efforts here --

At Denise's request, I talked a little about the new Medicare regulations that would prevent hospitals from receiving payment for treating "Hospital Acquired Conditions" that should never have occurred.

Several of you informed me that Maryland hospitals have their own Medicare payment system and asked whether the HAC rules applied. The answer is no: "Maryland Waiver Hospitals" are exempt from reporting the "Present On Admission" or POA indicators on their claims, and the "CMS Standard system ... will know not to apply the HAC DRG logic to these claims." This is all spelled out in CMS' Transmittal 354, dated June 13, 2008, instructing the carriers on how to handle "Hospitals Exempt from POA Reporting." If all goes well, you will find a working link to this Transmittal above this message.

Last Monday's e-blast Alert from my boss, Tony Mira (ABC) gave an introduction to the HAC regulations. If you would like a copy, and/or to subscribe to the distribution list for those Monday Alerts and for the ABC Communique, please contact cortney.shepherd@anesthesiallc.com.

TECHNICAL BLOG NOTE: to enter or see "comments" on the WAAAG blog, click on the "n COMMENTS" link at the bottom right of the post.

Thank you--


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Welcome to the WAAAG Blog

Dear Washington Area Anesthesia Administrators and Associates,

At our meeting on December 2, 2008, we agreed to try out a blog as a means of regular communication between ourselves. You gave me the go-ahead to use my beginner skills to launch this tool, and President Denise Lascar has approved at least the first draft, which you will find here at:

Now that you are here, the next step will be for you to add yourself as a "Follower" of the WAAAG blog by clicking on the tab in the left margin. Please post a profile containing at least your email address and your title and employer. (Mine is the only example thus far.) Denise and I are working out the best way to enable posting of public messages -- I told you I was a beginner! If anyone has more advanced knowledge, please pitch in. If you'd like to see the blog that got me started and some of the features that we could add, take a look at the beautifully-written Notes of an Anesthesioboist (http://anesthesioboist.blogspot.com). Dr. T's blog is more of a journal -- and well worth reading in its own right, if you want to see the practice of anesthesiology from the perspective of a humanist first/anesthesiologist second -- but it allows comments in the way that we hope our blog will be used.

Please tell us what you think and what you want, one way or the other!

Thank you -

Karin Bierstein