AMA Wire

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Practice News

CEJA forum attendees look at physician satisfaction

Professional satisfaction at all levels—for physicians, resident trainees and medical students—was the topic of discussion at last week's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) open forum, which took place in Chicago as part of the Annual Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates.

Enhancing professional satisfaction and practice sustainability is one of the AMA's three strategic focus areas.

Leon Vorobeichik, MD, a recent graduate of St. Louis University School of Medicine, reported how the school reduced depression and anxiety levels among students through various means. One such way was helping students find meaning in their work and encouraging engagement outside the classroom, such as through mentorships.

For residents, Katherine Harvey, MD, reported that limits in duty hours have not reduced stress, neither have they had any true effect on the quality of patient care. Dr. Harvey, a fellow at the Yale Cancer Center, suggested some strategies to increase professional satisfaction among residents, including protected time for education and research, adequate access to mental and physical health resources, and additional resources to help physicians in training transition into practice.

Michael Tutty, AMA vice president of physician practice sustainability, updated delegates on the professional satisfaction strategic focus area. The AMA is conducting research on the subject in 30 practices across six states, interviewing 600-700 physicians.

Tutty also said it's paramount to show nonphysician audiences the importance of physician satisfaction with their practices. Research shows that ultimately, physician satisfaction leads to patient satisfaction and better patient outcomes.

CEJA members will consider testimony from the forum when developing possible guidelines on these issues.

CMS 1500 gets an upgrade: New claim form adopted

A newly approved version of the CMS 1500 claim form is designed to accommodate the new reporting needs tied to the ICD-10 code set and current standards for electronic health care transactions.

The updated claim form, dubbed "version 02/12," includes revisions that should improve the accuracy of data reported. Two changes are of special note:

  • Physicians will be able to identify whether they are using ICD-9 or ICD-10 as the reporting diagnosis code set. This capability will be particularly important during the transition to the new code set, which is scheduled to take place in 2014.
  • The diagnosis field will allow up to 12 codes instead of the current limit of four.

While the start date for using the revised form has not been announced yet, physician practices that submit paper claims should not purchase large quantities of the current form, and practices that submit electronic claims should speak to their software vendors to determine how and when their practice management systems will be updated to accommodate the new form.

Version 02/12 of the CMS 1500 claim form, updated by the National Uniform Claim Committee, has been approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of Management and Budget.