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Leslie Bonacum
847-267-7153
mediahelp@cch.com
Neil Allen
847-267-2179
neil.allen@wolterskluwer.com

New Medicare and Medicaid AnswersNOWTM From CCH And HFMA Is One-stop Shop For Quick, Expert Answers To Hospital Reimbursement Questions

Healthcare Financial Management Association Partners with CCH on Internet Service to Help Hospitals Increase Their Medicare Reimbursement

(RIVERWOODS, ILL., January 22, 2003) – Hospitals across the country are in financial straits and struggling to stay solvent in the face of declining Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. Because more than 70 percent of hospital income is derived from Medicare and Medicaid payments on average, hospitals depend on these programs for their very survival. But Medicare and Medicaid regulations are complex, and it’s easy for hospitals to make mistakes in reporting — mistakes that can result in them being excluded from program participation. Medicare and Medicaid AnswersNow™, a new Internet service from information solutions provider CCH INCORPORATED (CCH) and the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), can help hospitals minimize their risk of misreporting charges and help them realize the full reimbursement for services they provide.

Medicare and Medicaid AnswersNow provides concise and accurate answers to more than 1,300 hospital reimbursement questions, with more questions and answers added every week. Reimbursement managers and their staffs, hospital administrators, CFOs, coding and billing managers, and Medicare specialists can all benefit from this online questions-and-answers-based product developed by the Medicare and Medicaid law analysts at CCH.

"Hospitals are experiencing a lot of financial pain and their reimbursement professionals need an easy-to-use and trustworthy resource to help them be more effective in obtaining payments," said Wendy Wuchek, JD, one of the lead authors of Medicare and Medicaid AnswersNow. "These busy professionals want to go online and get the answers they need quickly."

One Place To Go for Answers, Tools and Resources

Using CCH’s award-winning Internet platform, Medicare and Medicaid AnswersNow provides accurate, up-to-date answers in plain English, not legalese. Its straightforward Q&A format with topics categorized to reflect the real, day-to-day workflow of reimbursement personnel makes the product easy to navigate.

The topics covered in Medicare and Medicaid AnswersNow include the following and many more:

Medicare
Conditions of participation
Coverage
Inpatient PPS
Outpatient PPS
Other Hospital Payment Systems
Billing and coding
Allowable costs
Compliance issues
Fraud and abuse
Appeals

Medicaid
Eligibility
Coverage
Payment
Appeals
State programs

In addition to the continually updated questions and answers, Medicare and Medicaid AnswersNow also offers the following valuable tools and resources:

  • APC calculator to help predict reimbursement for outpatient services;
  • DRG calculator to help predict reimbursement for inpatient services;
  • Sample forms;
  • Extensive glossary for easy reference;
  • Broad search functionality; and
  • Links to select full text of federal regulations, CMS manuals, and more.

"There is a strong need among hospital staff for a simpler, ‘how-to’ type of product to help them deal with complicated reimbursement issues," said Wuchek. "Medicare and Medicaid AnswersNow is a solutions-focused tool that addresses the constant flow of questions they encounter every day."

Customer Input Key to Product Development

To ensure that Medicare and Medicaid AnswersNow met hospital staffs’ actual needs, CCH consulted reimbursement managers at every step of the product’s development.

Beckey Cooper Baker, reimbursement manager for Wellmont Health System in Kingsport, Tennessee, served as a customer consultant for Medicare and Medicaid AnswersNow and is eager for her staff to start using the new product.

"It will be a great time-saving tool that will enable my staff to move forward without having to wait until I’m available to answer their questions," said Baker. "The product is capable of answering any level of question someone might have in plain English, and that’s a big plus."

Baker also feels that the product can serve as a staff training tool as well as a quick and easy reference.

"Because it’s so comprehensive and well written, it could provide someone new to reimbursement with a good overview of the essential information she or he needs to learn," she said.

CCH Partners With the Healthcare Financial Management Association

Medicare and Medicaid AnswersNow reflects the first step in a new long-term relationship between CCH and the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), the nation’s leading membership organization for financial management professionals in the health care industry. HFMA is partnering with CCH to co-market this new product to its 32,000 members in hospitals and other health care facilities across the country.

"Medicare and Medicaid AnswersNow will be a very useful service for hospital financial personnel and HFMA is pleased to support it and make it available to our members," said HFMA President and CEO Richard L. Clarke, FHFMA. "Hospitals are under a lot of financial pressure right now and we believe this product will help them attain more of the reimbursement dollars to which they are entitled."

Availability and Pricing

For more information or to order Medicare and Medicaid AnswersNow, call 1-800-449-9525 or visit the CCH online store at health.cch.com/onlinestore. Price for a single-user one-year subscription to Medicare and Medicaid AnswersNow is $899; additional site licenses are $175 per site. Special pricing is also available for Medicare and Medicaid AnswersNow when it is purchased together with the CCH Medicare and Medicaid Guide and other hospital reimbursement-related products.

About CCH INCORPORATED

CCH INCORPORATED, founded in 1913, has served four generations of business professionals and their clients. The company produces approximately 700 print and electronic products for health care, securities, tax, legal, banking, human resources and small business markets. CCH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wolters Kluwer North America. The CCH Web site can be accessed at cch.com. The CCH Health Care Web site can be accessed at health.cch.com.

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Editor’s Note: Members of the media who would like complimentary review access to Medicare and Medicaid AnswersNow may contact Sheri Cardo at (800) 727-1133 ext. 1334 or cardos@cch.com, or Leslie Bonacum at (847) 267-7153 or mediahelp@cch.com.

       


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