Elk Valley Times

Follow Us On:

LMC adds fetal monitoring system to OB department

Posted on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 11:52 am

Lincoln Medical Center will soon be adding a new Central Fetal Monitoring system to the obstetrics department.

The new system monitors the safety of the baby and mother and manages information throughout the delivery process.

The cost of the General Electric system is $142,485, and the bid was approved by the health system committee.

“It was the lowest of three bids,” said Jamie Guin, CEO of the Lincoln County Health Facilities.

Data from the 10-year-old system the hospital is using now will be transferred to the new system.

According to Dr. Theresa Morrison, the old system had been deteriorating for about two years.

In other discussion, officials talked about the transition from the ICD-9 (International Classification of Diseases) codes and the timeline for transition and implementation of the new ICD-10 Codes by Oct. 1, 2014.

ICD codes are a system of physician documentation, and healthcare facilities must provide accurate coding to receive proper payment from Medicare and Medicaid.

The ICD system tracks the incidence or prevalence of a disease or of all diseases in a particular area or a population.

The morbidity classification is published by the U.S. government for classifying diagnoses and reason for a patient’s visits in all healthcare settings.

For patients, it means that each diagnosis is given a code, or numbered designation. That code means that every medical professional in the U.S. and many other parts of the world will understand the diagnosis the same way.

The World Health Organization promulgated ICD. The upgrade from ICD-9 to ICD-10 will mean that there will be at least twice as many alphanumeric designations given to every diagnosis. The U.S. ICD-10 CM (Clinical Modification) includes more detail that the international version of ICD and can contain as many as 76,000 codes.

“It’s a massive undertaking,” said Ken Ward, a Quorum Health Resources representative.

Lincoln Medical is currently training personnel for the implementation of ICD-10 and will require that all software be updated with the new codes.

Following the meeting, Guin stated that he wasn’t sure what the cost would be for the new software.

In other discussion, Mike Harbor, CFO, and Ward gave officials an update on the Recovery Audit Contractor moratorium that CMS placed on those independent contractor agencies last year. Previously, RACs were permitted to search up to three years of previously approved Medicare claims for errors.

Harbor stated that Medicare has put a hold on RACs until Oct. 1.

“They’re a little over zealous at times,” Harbor said.

RACs receive a percentage of money based on each claim they overturn.

Healthcare providers appeal those claims, and approximately 50 percent of the RAC audits are overturned, officials said. Connolly, the RAC contractor that audits Lincoln Medical billing, as well as many other healthcare providers, is under investigation for its recovery tactics.
“It puts an undue burden on the hospital. They used to get paid after the first audit, but now RACs won’t be paid until after the second appeal has been exhausted,” said Ward.

In other action, the board approved a resolution regarding the accreditation of the Chest Pain Center. The chest pain re-certification is due in October. The resolution includes the health systems concurrence with the Chest Pain Center’s mission statement and affirms a commitment to quality care.