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AMERICAN ACADEMY OF FAMILY PHYSICIANS CONDUCTS SURVEY ABOUT NEW HIPAA GUIDELINES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 02, 2003
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237, Ext. 5224
These survey results may give CMS administrators, software vendors, health plans, and others involved with the complex new electronic data interchange (EDI) standards insight into potential problems the US health-care payment system may face later this fall.
“These data were gathered from our most ‘online’ members, through e-mail contact and a web forms survey instrument,” explained David C. Kibbe, M.D., AAFP director of health information technology. Kibbe warns that the survey may not be representative of all of the AAFP’s sixty thousand active members. “We have made a concerted effort to raise our membership’s awareness of and preparation for the HIPAA transactions and code sets standards, so we are not surprised by the level of awareness, but we’re worried that testing of the transactions is not more widespread,” he stated. According to Kibbe, testing of the transactions from office computer to health-plan computer is the only way to assure that doctors’ claims won’t be rejected for minor format or content errors.
The data were collected as part of a series of health information technology surveys conducted by the AAFP to better understand what members need to implement the new HIPAA guidelines. Additional highlights from the survey:
- Eighty-five percent of the physicians indicated that they use practice management software (PMS) to send claims electronically from their offices to Medicare, Medicaid, or other health plans and payers.
- Respondents estimated that they currently file 84 percent of all claims electronically, and only 16 percent file paper claims. They expect the amount of paper claims filed to decrease slightly after October 16, 2003.
- Physicians in the survey currently use 235 different vendors’ PMS products. Only thirty-six physicians (3 percent) could not identify their PMS vendor or they didn’t know who their vendor is.
- Thirty percent of the PMS software used by the respondents are products of four well-known vendors.
- Respondents indicated that overall they were “very satisfied” (20.7 percent) or “satisfied” (42.5 percent) with their current methods of submitting claims to health plans. Only 13.5 percent were not satisfied with current methods.
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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org.
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