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ICD-10 Transition: So Far, So Good

The transition to ICD-10 in October had been much dreaded by accounting offices across the Medicaid billing field. The launch was delayed by a year, but it looks like that extra time to prepare paid off, as CMS is calling the first month of ICD-10 billing a success.

For the last year (but especially the last few months), our billing team has been helping to guide providers in the transition to the new coding model for their immediate Medicaid billing.  For the most part, that conversion of general diagnoses for standard services sufficed, and it was easy enough to translate.  CMS is reporting upon initial results that overall since the launch of ICD-10 last month, the percentage of denied claims due invalid codes has been a rather small .09 percent of all rejected claims!   Of the nearly 4.6 million claims reported submitted per day on average under the new coding system, approximately 4,100 were denied due to invalid ICD-10 codes, many more denied claims being rejected for incomplete information.  Considering the specificity of these codes and that general crosswalks weren’t an option with the sturctural differences, new diagnoses and multiple potential new diagnoses codes to match a corresponding ICD-9 code, this is quite an achievement in our field!  T

These new codes should allow for greater reporting, changes in terminology and how injuries are viewed. Many providers spent a lot of time clarifying with physicians just which new diagnoses that very standard prior autism diagnosis in ICD-9 would become in ICD-10. How did that transition process go for your agency, and what did you do to prepare the transition to the new billing codes and rates? Were new diagnoses and clarifications needed at physician visits? Did you address historical injuries and other “history of” diagnoses? CMS anticipates better auditing and reporting with the new detailed data. Does your agency plan any new reporting in relation to the new coding standards?

– Stephen

By |2015-11-10T20:47:54+00:00November 10th, 2015|Categories: billing|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on ICD-10 Transition: So Far, So Good

Ready to bill with ICD-10 this October 1st?

Therap’s latest release has an updated library of ICD-10 diagnosis codes for billing and claims.  The new process will allow you to continue billing claims with ICD-9 codes through September 30th, and effective October 1st 2015, will utilize the ICD-10 code to bill.

The process will prevent your claims from being processed after October 1st without the appropriate ICD-10 diagnosis codes – so you’ll have one more validation in the billing process to assure payments aren’t delayed.
Take a look at the new User Guides on our Support site as you prep to bill:

 

Feel free to reach out with any questions!

 

– Stephen

By |2015-09-21T16:31:12+00:00September 21st, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Ready to bill with ICD-10 this October 1st?

DSP Recognition Week

This September 13th – 19th is National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week.  One highlighted week on the calendar for all of us who know or work with Direct Support Professionals to show a little more appreciation for the valuable professionalism, caring attitude and immense patience and dedication they display in their jobs.

If the week snuck up on you too quickly this year, don’t despair – there are dozens and dozens of ways to tell the staff and colleagues at your agency “Thank you” without hiring an event planner or spending through the fiscal year in a week.

  • Arrange for a car wash where some of the front office team get together to wash direct support vehicles.  Play music, take photos, ask DSPs about themselves, offer a survey of their favorite things about working at the agency and ideas they’d suggest to improve.
  • Announce a staff appreciation barbeque.  With the close of summer, most of us are looking for one more activity in the sun  – badminton, ladder golf, and softball are all easy to join.

Therap DSP Appreciation4

  • Host a family competition-style cook-off with staff teamed up.  No oven?  No problem, use an Easy-Bake oven or make it a no-bake event and add absurd ingredients to liven the event (just be sure to bring extra food if the creativity is.. overwhelming).  Add an inquisitive emcee to pepper the event with some interview questions, quiz challenges and humor.
  • Add pun-filled snack bowls or candy around the office and inboxes.  Think someone is “Extra” special?  Print cards to let them know and give out Extra gum.  The place would go “Nuts” without them?  A Payday or candy bar with nuts may help that messaging.  Want to thank them for their commit”mint”?  Peppermint Patties should do the trick.  You get the idea.

Therap DSP Appreciation Therap DSP Appreciation2

  • Stop by with lunch, donuts, coffee – a visit from an admin team member just to say “Thank you” goes a long way!

Therap DSP Appreciation1

 

Whatever your agency plans this year, most staff are delighted that someone took the time to thank them.  Many of us at Therap worked as Direct Support Professionals, as have most administrators in our field.  Recognition by our colleagues and supervisors is immensely gratifying.  The encouragement and reminder that we’re making a difference in our jobs, and appreciation for all we do above and beyond that job description can be downright motivating!

 

We’d love to hear stories of what you have planned this coming week (and a few other agencies would as well!)  Let people know in the comments!

 

– Stephen

By |2016-11-03T11:10:37+00:00September 11th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on DSP Recognition Week

Upcoming Security Risk Assessment Tool Review for ANCOR members

Therap is offering a one hour review of the Security Risk Assessment Tool as it applies to security questions & using an EHR, this Thursday, September 10th at 12:00 pm EST.

In this one hour orientation and review of the tool, we’ll be reviewing a number of the more technical EHR questions and addressing how Therap addresses the security risks and accessibility of protected health records, along with some key questions to keep in mind when conducting your own risk assessment to comply with the HIPAA Security Rule.

This seminar is an ANCOR exclusive for members using or interested in Therap.  For non-ANCOR members we’ll be announcing a course later in the Fall.

 

If you haven’t already but wish to attend, please register for the seminar now!

 

– Stephen

By |2015-09-08T18:28:48+00:00September 8th, 2015|Categories: Risk Assessment|Comments Off on Upcoming Security Risk Assessment Tool Review for ANCOR members

A Few Keyboard Shortcuts that will Make Documentation Easier

Throughout most of Therap, you’re easily able to save your work as you go along with a handy Save button.  I find it prevents the occasional rash bouts of madness and screaming after losing a long document.  However, there are a couple places where you just haven’t added enough mandatory fields yet to get that item saved.  Take the General Event Report (GER), for instance.  If you start typing a General Event Report and haven’t got to the point where you can select its priority of High, Medium or Low, where does Therap store this?  How is it displayed on a Dashboard that sorts GERs by High, Medium or Low notification?  It can’t be, and therefore cannot be saved (and retrieved later) without the basic required fields filled.

If you’re typing a long T-log or General Event Report and you haven’t reached that save point yet, you do have another option though, taking you less than a second to save your data on screen should you have to run or lose the internet connection:  select and copy.

If using a mouse, this is a little burdensome because you have to stop typing your document.  And any action that takes us from our work to periodically save is not going to be well-used or well-loved.  And in this case, computer programmers have built in functions that allow us to continue working while completing a virtual save of our documentation in the form of keyboard shortcuts.  The three you’ll need to know for this are the select, copy and past shortcut commands.

For those of you using a PC, they’re these three key combinations:

Therap Ctrl A

Holding the Ctrl (Control) key while typing the A key is going to highlight all text.  On many pages it selects everything on a page.  Throughout most of Therap, it selects everything typed in the text box.

Immediately after selecting your text, hold the Ctrl key again and type the C key.  You’ve copied everything you just highlighted.  You may go throughout Therap and as long as you do not hit Ctrl + C again, your copied text should remain readily available for most catastrophes, even the loss of internet connection.

Click to resume typing.

If you don’t lose connection or an emergency doesn’t happen that demands you leave the computer, you’re all set.  You can hold the Ctrl key + C again to copy some blank space or text if you’re using a shared computer and do not want to leave your copied text readily available to paste, but should you lose your connection or get an application error message, you can easily hold the Ctrl key and the V key this time to paste whatever the last text you’d selected and copied previously.

If you’re using a Mac, the functions are very similar.  Except you use the Cmd (Command) key since Apple keyboards don’t have a Control option.  Here’s your trinity of keyboard shortcuts:

Therap Cmd A

If you’re using this method to help save your work, share it with your colleagues or review this at the next team meeting.  And if you’re not using it, consider it for longer entries.  It’ll make a huge difference and takes just a second or two to complete the first two functions to select and copy your text as a safeguard.

So go save.  Save time.  Save text.  The next t-log you save might just be your own.

 

–  Stephen

By |2016-11-03T11:10:37+00:00September 2nd, 2015|Categories: Computer Skills, Tips|Comments Off on A Few Keyboard Shortcuts that will Make Documentation Easier

Fashion Tech – The Changing Landscape of How We Support

My family recently gifted me a fitbit for my birthday.  It’s just a small wristband activity-tracker, charting my steps and distance traveled, active calories burned, sleep patterns, and staircases climbed, and relaying that information back to integrated apps.  It won’t tell me how long I have to wait for the A train on a hot subway platform, or let me know what the shortest route to the nearest Mister Softee ice cream truck is, but I’m sure someone is working on those features for the next-gen model.  And if not, get on with making those, please!

The last few weeks of wearing and playing with this new activity-tracker has led my thoughts in some pretty interesting directions though:

  1. It’s unnerving how incredibly driven we are by small, fairly frivolous self-imposed goals.  I’ll go out of my way to rush through another 3000 steps back-and-forth in my apartment or around the neighborhood at 11:30 at night just to meet an arbitrary step-count goal that only I will see or feel accomplished for having achieved.  Why would take five more posts (at least), but more interestingly,
  2. Technology, but especially Wearable Technology (WT), is rapidly changing our view of ‘normative’, and it’s going to mean really cool possibilities for all of us.  Really, really soon.

I think it’s pretty significant just how far we’ve come in incorporating technology into our daily lives, and we’re only beginning to scratch the surface.

Let’s recall that this was cutting edge wearable tech not so many years ago:

Therap Casio

It was amazing.  You could add.  Subtract.  Multiply.  Divide.  There were probably other functions, but I was a kid in the 80s and we mostly just came up with half-clever insults to display if the numbers were read imaginatively upside-down.  Still, incorporating a calculator into your daily wear made some things a little easier.  Tipping percentages at restaurants, or handling long-division and calculus in the many daily life situations where either were needed.  …  I’m sure I just didn’t have as many interesting daily life situations.

Fast-forward a few decades (and a lot of quirky gadgets) and we’re beginning to see just how this new technology is shaping up to change the way we interact.  Most of us carry smart phones or tablets, taking the internet everywhere with us.  The displays and chips are becoming smaller and more flexible, companies are queuing to promote the next wearable smartphone bracelet or wrap-around tablet.  Or the iWatch.

Which makes me wonder how we’re responding to all of these changes in our field, some fantastic, others a little more disruptive.  Do we have the right policies in place to address the technology available?  Are we incorporating the most useful technology for individuals served and staff providing services?  I worked at a safe home where direct support professionals were asked to leave their cell phones in the car (at the time, they were a much less distracting:  text messaging was in infancy, phone plans limited how many texts you could receive/send, and you could only really play a game of “digital snake” on your FlipPhone 2 if not on a call.  Oh and they had the not-as-cool-as-the-Casio-C80 calculator).  The thinking behind the policy was sound – no distracted staff on personal calls, no texting at work.  But how could you be reached in an emergency?  Calling that home at 9:30 at night, when any of eighteen potentially-assigned staff working that evening, was also not ideal for a personal home setting, even if the phone calls directed to a removed office space.  And as phones became better integrated with useful functions (maps, directions, recipes through the internet, traffic and weather alerts), the policy made less sense, and was amended.

Innovations are pushing the bounds of what’s possible.  Last week the White House announced a $171 million investiture in a wearable, flexible hybrid manufacturing smart hub in Silicon Valley.  This just one of many recent grants promising to promote more integrated Wearable Tech, from polo-shirts with micro-sensors that can screen your vitals to smart-bandages that can notify nurses of the ideal conditions to change the dressing.  Designers are developing clothing with built-in cameras – imagine how an affordable camera, internet access and an earpiece could allow an employment specialist to work remotely with someone when they request on-the-job assistance?  Or noninvasive technology in clothing that replace door alarms for individuals at risk of wandering without supervision?  Obviously there will be questions to ask on privacy, boundaries, and rights.  We won’t get it all right the first time.  Google Glass received a lot of criticism as an invasive technology, especially with concerns over face recognition.  But imagine a visual aid device for someone requiring visual, verbal or demonstrative cues in certain situations – with staff assistance or device recognition to assist in that situation?  Is there really doubt that the world of information won’t make it either into our hands or as wearable technology sooner rather than later?

It’s a promising and brave new world, and I have another 1500 steps to make my latest arbitrary fitness goal.  Till next time!

 

– Stephen

By |2016-11-03T11:10:37+00:00September 2nd, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Fashion Tech – The Changing Landscape of How We Support

Therap Florida Conference cancelled due to Tropical Storm Erika

Attention Florida Conference Attendees:

 

The Therap September Florida Conference has been cancelled due to Tropical Storm Erika. Our thoughts are with our users and their families in Florida. Additional information about a rescheduled date will be announced in the future

By |2015-08-28T17:01:26+00:00August 28th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Therap Florida Conference cancelled due to Tropical Storm Erika

Checking in from the Therap Multi-State Provider Conference

Over the next two days, Therap is hosting its annual Multi-State Provider Conference in Southbury, Connecticut – definitely our smallest conference of the year, but really ground-breaking in some of the concepts and discussions that come out of these two days.  I love the opportunity to hear the perspectives and experiences of some truly talented Therap administrators attending this conference!

 
Multi-State Provider agencies face some really unique challenges in using systems, not least of which is how do you build standards that universally meet two, five, or even thirteen separate state regulations?  What data is compared and how do you administer a dozen Therap provider accounts from one oversight account?  If billing is handled by the state-affiliated accounts, what data is sent to the main office, and if not, how to process claims from vastly different state Medicaid Management Information Systems without devoting days to Claims Processing for your billing department.

How do you manage a caseload of 4500 individuals across multiple states, what does a To Do list even look like or is there a different level of alerts and reports you should see at that sheer number of individuals to review?  What is the effect of not uniformly implementing Therap across regulatory borders, and how does that affect central operations?

For any provider, implementing Therap is a dedicated project involving a committed team and a clear vision and achievable milestones.  The agencies attending this week’s conference in Southbury have developed sound implementation guidelines that they’ve repeated again and again in state after state (or are in the process of doing so).  These large multi-state providers are looking not only at state regulations and national outcome measures, but comparative data from different jurisdictions with different requirements for what that data should look like.  Very, very challenging stuff!

 

– Stephen

By |2016-11-03T11:10:37+00:00August 27th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Checking in from the Therap Multi-State Provider Conference

Making Peace with Your Backspace Key

I think we’ve all been here:  mid-way through writing an amazing t-log or incident report, a lengthy, wordy, epic piece that would make Tolstoy openly weep, as you haphazardly type the next sentence, you quickly reach for the backspace key to correct a mistake..

And you’re whisked to the previous page.  Your paragraph gone as quickly as you could blink.  You curse the gods, Therap, the known universe.  But the text you were typing is lost to time.

 

Don’t despair, there is a solution for this.

 

First, it’s not a Therap issue you’re encountering, but a feature of your browser.  By default, your backspace key acts as your browser’s back page shortcut.  This usually isn’t an issue as you type within a text box, but should you accidentally click your cursor outside of the text box (which happens inadvertently with laptop mouse touchpads), that backspace-as-back-page feature in enacted.

 

To avoid this, you can adjust your browser settings.  Check out the instructions for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome on this page.

 

Since changing my settings to a less-used key, I’ve slept easier at night.  And with a little time and therapy, am learning to love my backspace key again.

 

– Stephen

By |2016-11-03T11:10:37+00:00August 20th, 2015|Categories: Tips|Comments Off on Making Peace with Your Backspace Key

Therap Training Academy: Self- Paced, On demand Training Courses

Good Mtherap-training-academy-adorning! My name’s Kara Candelori, and I’m the Assistant Director of Customer Support here at Therap. I’ve  been with the company for 8 years now and am excited to  share with you our new Training Academy. As a  former Residential Director and Classroom Coordinator, and  someone who’s worked with the Training Management  System module specifically, I can certainly relate to how  important training is for folks. I wanted to develop a useful tool with the Academy that would help save agency time, and often sanity, in training and retraining staff on Therap modules; while also providing the consistency of quality across the board in the content of what staff would be trained on. ​I believe our Training Academy can meet those needs, while also making it easy for staff and supervisors to track progress and run reports. I’d love to assist any of you with any questions or concerns on how to use this at your own agency, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Here’s some more information about this new resource:

Therap’s Training Academy offers free, on demand training courses to all users. Need to train staff or yourself on GERs, Tlogs, Provider Administration, ISP data, MARs and more? No problem! Let Therap Trainers do it for you, and supervisors at your agency can then track staff progress and run helpful reports. Every user who takes a training will also receive a certificate of completion and will also have the opportunity to take quizzes to test comprehension and retention. Great tool for self training, team meetings, training new staff, retraining existing staff, corrective actions, etc.

Learn more here about all the courses that Therap has to offer and get training today!

 

By |2018-02-25T11:33:41+00:00August 9th, 2015|Categories: Training Academy|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on Therap Training Academy: Self- Paced, On demand Training Courses