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AHA participates in HHS listening session on EHRs and coding

May 3, 2013

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology today hosted a “listening session” on billing and coding with electronic health records. Presenting at the event, AHA Chairman Benjamin Chu, M.D., regional president for Southern California of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, said EHRs “improve care by allowing doctors to collect a more complete set of information about their patients and make that information actionable. Hospitals take very seriously their responsibility to document care and submit accurate claims. As we increase use of EHRs, we need to open the black box and know that these tools support compliant coding.” Chu said the Department of Health and Human Services should provide guidance and oversight to ensure that EHR vendors support compliance with coding conventions and guidelines. He also encouraged HHS to work with hospitals to develop national coding guidelines for the emergency department, noting that education for vendors and providers will be key to establishing a common understanding of the rules and best practice.