Friday, March 16, 2012


Following up on Wednesday's post, the FEHBlog noticed Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee's press release about the $1.5 million settlement with HHS over the data breach. The FEHBlog has no interest in piling on BCBST because there but by the Grace of God go all of us. However, the FEHBlog noticed that the stolen hard drives included data that BCBST was under no legal obligation to maintain -- "audio and video recordings related to customer service telephone calls from providers and members" and the total bill to date has been $17 million. "The company’s response to the crime included the encryption of all its at-rest data—a voluntary effort which goes above and beyond current industry standards." Remember to destroy protected health information in accordance with the HHS rules.

Not surprisingly, CMS yesterday further extended from March 31, 2012 to June 30, 2012, the deadline by which providers must submit electronic claims to Medicare on the new X 5010 electronic transaction format. That format can accomodate the ICD-10 code set which has one more digit per code than the existing ICD-9 codeset. According to a CMS bulletin reported by Healthcare IT News,
  • The Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) program is currently reporting successful receipt and processing of over 70 percent of all Part A claims and over 90 percent of all Part B claims in the Version 5010 format.
  • Commercial plans are reporting similar numbers.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, AHIMA, and several other healthcare organizations have teamed up, according to a BCBSA press release, to "help take the mystery out of using personal health records (PHR) by rolling out two new informational brochures to help promote the understanding and use of PHRs among consumers and clinicians. The new brochures: “Your Personal Health Record,” and “A Clinician Guide to a Personal Health Record,” will be available online at" That's good news to start the weekend. 

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