More than 285 hospitals registered to hear about how to track the RACs, as presented by Arpana Narain, a regulatory analyst for Strategic Management and the lead author for the “2009 Recovery Audit Workbook;” and Carla Engle, a contributing author to RACMonitorEnews and product manager for MediRegs®, a Wolters Kluwer Company. The questions voiced at the end of the provider-only Webinar reflected uncertainty, confusion and even trepidation on the part of many of the registrants, all of which brings us to a review of helpful articles you’ll read in Thursday’s RACMonitorEnews. By the way, we’re going to be repeating the same Webinar live next Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET. You can register to join us on the home page.


In one article, you’ll explore the complexities of the RAC initiative; in another, you’ll have a chance to measure your facility’s RAC preparedness and to reset your efforts. This and more should make this week’s edition a compelling read.


Devil in the Details Revealed


If nothing more, the RAC initiative is fraught with details, in which, of course, you can expect to find the “devil,” reports Patricia Dear, RN, in this Thursday’s RACMonitorEnews. Quoting the late U.S. Navy Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, the “Father of the Nuclear Navy” who is credited with the saying “the Devil is in the details,” Dear exposes a labyrinth of issues in her article, “The Devil is in the Details, and Hospitals Need More Details.” In it, she suggests that the finer details could have a detrimental effect on the bigger picture. Says Dear in her article, “I have been in working in healthcare, as a nurse originally, and now in the compliance, medical coding, reimbursement and legal arena for more than 30 years. Details in healthcare always have mattered, however with increased emphasis on medical necessity for clinical and payment purposes, and on specificity for coding, billing and payment accuracy purposes, the devil is TRULY in the details.”


Think You’re Prepared? Think Again


If you think you’re prepared for the RACs, think again, cautions Camille Cohen, MBA, CHC, and the compliance manager for 3M Health Information Systems — hardly a first-time writer on the subject of compliance. In her article, “Confident You Are Ready for the RACs?” appearing this Thursday, Cohen admonishes providers not to “kick back and wait” for the RACs.


Cohen then provides an all-too-real context when she describes the current state of readiness by most providers. As she describes what others are doing, you can judge where your facility is in terms of correcting problems and  working with case management and physicians to shore up processes. Even with all the most diligent preparatory efforts being made, including the organization of RAC teams, you’ll be astonished when she says why, with all of this preparation, healthcare providers may feel ready to kick back and wait for the RACs. But not so fast, Cohen warns. Systematically, she’ll review what you need to do to be prepared in this Thursday’s RACMonitorEnews.


More to Come


We’re also working on stories from some of your favorite contributing editors – Leo D’Orazio, MBA, FACHE, Carla Engle, MBA, and Linda Fotheringill, Esq.- all of whom will weigh in with their RAC-focused perspectives.


A Personal Note


RACMonitorEnews is an electronic mosaic of finite pieces of binary code. Unless you physically print an article, it resides electronically – temporal at best – on your computer. Hit the “delete” key and it’s all but gone. Not so with the printed healthcare journals and the daily newspapers.


That is why I am pleased to report something of rich footnote – albeit electronically. An associate of ours and an avid follower of the news and information on RACMonitorEnews, Mark Spivey, is a journalist of the first order. Spivey is a reporter at the Courier News in Somerville, N.J. He works for a daily newspaper – emphasis on paper and daily – and he just completed a series of articles exposing substandard living conditions existing at some of the 29 apartment buildings in Plainfield, N.J. owned by one real estate company, Connolly Properties. The city is abuzz about the series, which is far from its conclusion, having already served to help spark a city Inspections Division investigation and a state Department of Environmental Protection investigation into the company and some of its practices.


Congratulations, Mark.


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