ICD-10 Launch Date: October 2015

UPDATE On April 1, 2014,  the Senate passed a House measure(HR 4302) that would delay a scheduled 24% cut to Medicare physician reimbursement rates AND push the ICD10 compliance deadline to October 1, 2015.  The bill now goes to President Obama who is expected to sign it before the scheduled cuts take effect on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.  The measure states,“The Secretary of Health and Human Service may not, prior to Oct. 1, 2015, adopt ICD-10 code sets as the standard for codes sets.”


 The transition will be required for everyone covered by HIPAA.  This change does not affect CPT coding for outpatient procedures and physician services.   Access the CMS.gov website for more information:


Arkansas Mutual Insurance Company Funds Annual Award At UAMS

Press Release April 1, 2014

An annual $10,000 award has been created by Arkansas Mutual Insurance Company and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) to be given to a third-year medical student with an interest in rural primary care.

The award, called the Arkansas Mutual Medical Student Award, will first be awarded this summer.

“Rural health care practice is the key to a stronger overall health care landscape in the state of Arkansas,” said G. Richard Smith, M.D., dean of the UAMS College of Medicine. “Helping medical students to take an interest in rural health care, and helping them understand the impact they can make by practicing in rural communities is a challenge we have to face for future generations. This award offers incentives and recognizes those students who have shown an understanding of the importance of rural healthcare issues.”

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Case: Medical Board Complaint by Mother

You are seeing an 18 year old in your office for a post-migraine evaluation.  She presents with her elderly grandfather and between the two of them gives you a history of past migraines.  The 18 year old is alert, oriented and appears responsible.  She had been to the ED the week before for a migraine that caused vision blurriness.  She was treated and released with follow-up with her PCP.  When she presents to you, her headache is dull with no other symptoms.  You perform a thorough examination, including an eye examination, look at her ED records and CT scan, look at her pediatric records and see she had been previously prescribed Imitrex.  She states she never had the prescription filled and only takes over-the-counter anti-inflammatories for her migraines.  Her mother and grandmother both have migraines but neither she nor the grandfather know what medications they took.  You provide her with an Imitrex prescription and offer her an injection for her headache.  She refuses saying she needs to work that evening and her headache is better.  You refer her to an ophthalmologist at her grandfather’s request.  She leaves and you believe she and her grandfather are satisfied with the care and treatment you have provided.

A week later, the patient’s mother calls and is very angry.  She alleges you didn’t do a physical examination and had you looked in her eyes, you would have known she did not have an ocular migraine.  The patient had been to the ophthalmologist and he told the patient she did not have ocular migraines.  The mother makes allegations that you told her daughter to take her mother’s migraine medications and shouldn’t be in practice.  You offer to see both the mother and daughter in your office.  She refuses.  She wants to transfer her daughter to your partner, and your partner accepts.  This is done.  The mother keeps calling and harassing the clinic staff and continues to make the same allegations.

You receive a letter from the Arkansas Medical Board about a complaint filed by the mother.  The Medical Board wants a response.  How did this happen?  What triggered this anger?  How do you prevent this from happening to you?  How do you respond?  Click here to read the article Complaints and Physician Behavior