SCGhealth Blog


Gimme 15 Minutes-How are New Medical Codes Made?

Friday, February 23, 2018

Join us on Monday, March 12, 2018 at 12:00 PM for a free webinar event covering how medical codes are made.

Have you ever wondered about the process that goes into making a new CPT code? What about the decision making behind ICD-10 (and soon ICD-11) codes? In this webinar Jen will tell you everything you want to know about the when, what, who and why behind the creation of medical codes.

If you are interested in this free event, you can register here. After registering, you will receive an email about how to access the webinar.

Won’t be available for the event? No worries! All our past webinars are posted to our YouTube channel. Keep an eye on our events schedule so you can keep your calendar free for the next one.


Gimme 15 Minutes: Double Event Day!

Friday, February 02, 2018

By Audrey Landers

Join us on Monday, February 12 for two educational webinars hosted by SCG Health CEO Jen Searfoss!

Attesting to Advancing Care Information (Meaningful Use) and Improvement Activities
The first event will be held from 12:00 PM – 12:15 PM EST, you can register for free here.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services launched an updated website for eligible clinicians to attest to their 2017 data for the Advancing Care Information and Improvement Activities categories of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). This Gimme 15 Minutes webinar demonstrates the new website and how eligible clinicians and their authorized staff may attest to activities in 2017.

If you want to do some reading beforehand, you can read our blog post which explains what attestation means and its importance.

OIG Work Plan Highlights for Compliance
The second event will be held from 12:30 PM – 12:45 PM EST, you can register for free here.

Every year, the Office of the Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services gives a heads up to what they are interested in looking more into for recoveries, fraud and waste. This Gimme 15 Minutes webinar covers the highlights of the December 2017 publication and what it means for medical practices.

If you want to do some research beforehand, you can check out the December updates here.

We hope you’ll join us for both events, but if you have to miss one or even both, you can still view them later. All our past webinars are posted to our YouTube channel. Keep an eye on our events schedule so you can keep your calendar free for the next one.



Gimme 15 Minutes- Pass-Thru Billing

Friday, January 26, 2018

By Audrey Landers

Join us on Monday, February 5, 2018 at 12:30 PM for a free webinar event covering pass-through billing.

SCG Health founder and CEO Jen Searfoss will be discussing the general health plan reimbursement policy prohibiting pass-thru billing and practical solutions for medical practice managers.

If you are interested in this free event, you can register here. After registering, you will receive an email about how to access the webinar.

Won’t be available for the event? No worries! All our past webinars are posted to our YouTube channel. Keep an eye on our events schedule so you can keep your calendar free for the next one.


Gimme 15 Minutes- Attesting to Advancing Care Information (Meaningful Use) and Improvement Activities

Friday, January 19, 2018

By Audrey Landers

Join us on Monday, January 29, 2018 at 12:30 PM EST for a free webinar event about the ACI attestation.

SCG Health founder and CEO Jennifer Searfoss will be demonstrating how to use the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service’s (CMS) newly updated website to attest to their 2017 data for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System.

If you want to do some reading beforehand, you can read our blog post which explains what attestation means and its importance. 

If you are interested in this free event, you can register here. After registering, you will receive an email about how to access the webinar.

Won’t be available for the event? No worries! All our past webinars are posted to our YouTube channel. Keep an eye on our events schedule so you can keep your calendar free for the next one.


Gimme 15 Minutes- Pass-Thru Billing

Friday, January 05, 2018

By Audrey Landers

EDIT 1/15/18: This event has been rescheduled to Monday, February 5, 2018 at 12:30 PM EST. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause for attendees.

Join us on Monday, January 15, 2018 at 12:30 PM for a free webinar event covering pass-through billing.

SCG Health founder and CEO Jen Searfoss will be discussing the general health plan reimbursement policy prohibiting pass-thru billing and practical solutions for medical practice managers.

If you are interested in this free event, you can register here. After registering, you will receive an email about how to access the webinar.

Won’t be available for the event? No worries! All our past webinars are posted to our YouTube channel. Keep an eye on our events schedule so you can keep your calendar free for the next one.


Gimme 15 Minutes- MIPS Low Volume Exception Explained

Friday, December 29, 2017

By Audrey Landers

Start the New Year off right and join us on Monday, January 8, 2017 at 12:30 PM EST for our first Gimme 15 Minutes webinar event of 2018!

Physicians may be exempt from meeting certain requirements in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) if they receive too few Medicare payments or too little reimbursement from the federal payor. Tune in to this free event to hear SCG Health founder Jennifer Searfoss' introduction to this Low Volume Exception, and what it could mean for providers in 2018.

If you are interested in this free event, you can register here. After registering, you will receive an email about how to access the webinar.

Won’t be available for the event? No worries! All our past webinars are posted to our YouTube channel. Keep an eye on our events schedule so you can keep your calendar free for the next one.


Don’t trash that! What you do with your records can come back to haunt you

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

By Marla Durben Hirsch 

If you don’t want to end up in legal hot water, make sure you have solid record retention policies – and that you follow them. 

California health system giant Sutter Health has learned this lesson the hard way. Several employers and labor unions sued Sutter in 2014 for charging inflated prices in violation of the antitrust laws. The lawsuit was recently designated a “class action” lawsuit, making the number of plaintiffs much larger. 

Sutter has now been found guilty of inappropriately destroying 192 boxes of documents in 2015 that were to have been evidence in the lawsuit. The documents were subject to a “litigation hold,” which means that they couldn’t be destroyed during the dispute. According to Sutter’s own record retention policy, the boxes weren’t slated to be destroyed until 2035. The plaintiffs asked the court to impose sanctions on Sutter. 

Sutter claims that the shredding was a mistake and routine, done on the spur of the moment. The judge didn’t buy it. He said that the shredding was intentional, that the individuals involved knew of the litigation hold, and that while sometimes it’s okay to destroy records early, there was “no good explanation for this specific and unusual destruction here.” 

There was also an incriminating email written by a Sutter employee that said, “I’ve pushed the button…I’m running and hiding… fingers crossed that I haven’t authorized something the FTC [the federal agency charged with enforcing antitrust laws] would hunt me down for.” Sutter claimed that the FTC reference was a “joke.” 

The judge was not amused. He ordered Sutter to produce back up tapes and may consider issuing an adverse jury instruction. Note that in many cases a court imposes money penalties on the offender; the plaintiffs in this situation didn’t request that. 

So how long do I keep this document?

What Sutter did crossed the legal line. But the rules regarding record retention are confusing, particularly in the complicated world of health care. 

For instance, the length of time a small business needs to keep a record for tax purposes depends on the action, expense or event which the document records. Some records need to be kept only three years; others indefinitely. And even once the deadline passes for IRS purposes, a business may still need to keep a document for other reasons, such as for insurance or creditor requirements. 

Health care records are governed by additional laws. HIPAA’s security rule requires that records containing patient protected health information be held for six years from the date of creation or date when it was last in effect, whichever is later. Hospitals need to retain a cost report for at least five years after the closure of the cost report. State medical record retention laws vary widely by type of medical record. They also typically have different retention periods based on the age of the patient (usually records need to be held for a time after the child reaches the age of majority). 

While it may be tempting to hold onto most or all records indefinitely, that’s not necessarily the best practice, either. For one, there’s the cost of storing them, particularly boxes of paper records. And there’s a risk. For example, if you hold onto medical records beyond the legally required time period and then suffer a breach, you have more records potentially compromised and more patients to notify. 

Record retention gets even more dicey if the records become relevant in an investigation or lawsuit and then can’t be destroyed. Even an innocent disposal may have negative consequences.

Takeaways: 

This is a particularly confusing issue for providers. Make sure that you:

  • Have record retention policies that comply with federal and state law. You may need to confer with your medical association or obtain outside help. 

  • Follow those policies; tread carefully if you’re going to change the rules midstream.

  • Remember that how you dispose records is also important. Lax disposal can subject you to HIPAA and other violations.

Still Confused?

For further explanation, please watch our Gimme 15 Minutes webinar on this topic or check out this infograph we've made.


December events: Physician Prescribing Data and Rules for No Shows

Friday, December 15, 2017

By: Audrey Landers

Join us for our last two events of 2017. SCG Health CEO Jen Searfoss will be covering two different topics as part of our free Gimme 15 Minutes webinar series.

Pharma Data on Physician Prescribing will be held on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 12:30 PM EST. We’ve written before about how accepting gifts from pharmaceutical company sales reps can affect prescribing habits. In this Webinar, Jen will be discussing the Sunshine Act, the Open Payments public disclosure of physician payments by pharma, device manufacturers and GPOs and how to review that information.

Register for the Pharma Data on Physician Prescribing webinar here.

Medicare & Medicaid Rules for No Shows will be held on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 at 12:30PM EST. No show patients can be an expensive and disruptive burden for medical practices. While many offices have instated missed appointment charges to help combat this issue, the differences in policy between Medicare and Medicaid can complicate things. Join us and learn more about these rules and SCG Health’s advocacy for consistent rules for all Medicare and Medicaid patients.

Register for the Medicare & Medicaid Rules for No Shows webinar here.

Won’t be available for the events? No worries! All our past webinars are posted to our YouTube channel. Keep an eye on our events schedule so you can keep your calendar free for the next one.




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