March 2009 Newsletter

ACHM Association Updates

Online CME Now Available! WORK SMART: Simple Steps To Improve Patient Care
Conferences and CME Opportunities for ACHM Members
Annual Membership Meeting & Reception
ACHM Hyperbaric Certification Exam Update
Post a Job Opportunity in our Classified Section
CMET Wound Care Certification Examination
NEW! The ACHM Monthly Practice Update – TRAILER NOW AVAILABLE!
PRESSURE THE PANEL: Expert Answers to Hyperbaric Questions
What is the Mechanism for MD Certification in Hyperbarics?
Radiation Registry Extends Deadline to Include Case Data from 2008
Executive Committee Minutes

Industry Insights
New Edition of “The Most Comprehensive Reference Text” for HBO
Protect Patient Privacy M
edicare Recovery Audit Contractors: Don’t Be Left in the Dark

Billing & Coding Issue of the Month



NEW! WORK SMART: Simple Steps to Improve Patient CareWorking smarter in the face of rising costs.
The American College of Hyperbaric Medicine presents this vital information which explores the many operational issues that face hyperbaric and wound care practice. This video series points out the necessary elements in managing your practice for efficiency while maintaining the highest level of patient care. From billing and coding to strategic planning and staff management, each session is filled with valuable information for physicians, mid-level practitioners and administrative professionals dedicated to hyperbaric medicine and wound care. 5.75 CME credits are provided. Via partnership with WebCME, the ACHM has been able to make this educational offering available to our members at a significant 20% discount. ACHM cost $79.95 (non members $99.95). This translates to less than $15 per hour of CME. Please visit our website to view the trailer and purchase the course.

Conferences & CME Opportunities Available (Discounted Registration for ACHM Members)
The ACHM is proud to announce its endorsement of several conferences and meetings. ACHM members will receive a discounted registration fee for each of the following:

Southwest General Hospital’s 7th Annual Wound Management Conference
Saturday, March 21, 2009
OMNI San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade, San Antonio, TX  78230
This meeting is an excellent educational opportunity and will present many topics in advanced wound care and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. For more information call 210.921.3372 or go to

The ACHM 2009 National Clinical Symposium & Annual Membership Meeting
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Sheraton Philadelphia City Center Philadelphia, PA
The ACHM 2009 National Clinical Symposium will be held in collaboration with the APWCA National Clinical Conference, April 2nd – 5th, 2009, at the Sheraton Philadelphia City Center, Philadelphia, PA. As part of this clinical conference, the ACHM will present several co-sponsored symposia. The first is a Pre-conference Course, entitled Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: The Essentials of Program Startup. This 4 hour course provides a detailed explanation of the essentials of establishing and operating a hyperbaric program.  This course provides excellent information for those who are considering adding a hyperbaric program to their wound care center, as well as new insights aimed at improving current business practice to those already engaged in HBOT (Bob Bartlett and Jeffrey Niezgoda serve as faculty). The second co-sponsored special educational offering is entitled Critical Limb Ischemia: An Integrated Approach to Limb Salvage and the Hypoxia Wound on Saturday, April 4th. For more information call 215.364.4100 or go to

The Annual Membership Meeting and Reception will be held on Saturday, April 4, following the Critical Limb Ischemia Course. There is no fee to attend and all ACHM members and prospective members welcome. We will discuss current ACHM activities and goals, as well as provide an open forum to present new ideas and answer questions. This is a wonderful opportunity to network with other members and meet the current Board of Directors. To register for this reception, please contact Angela Kujath.

ACHM Hyperbaric Certification Exam Update
The ACHM will administer the Hyperbaric Certification Exam on Sunday, April 5th, 2009 at the conclusion of the APWCA/ACHM National Clinical Conference in Philadelphia. Please visit our website to register.

Post a Job Opportunity in our Classified Section
We understand that recruitment in the hyperbaric industry can be difficult. So we’ve created a classified section on our website. Sign up for our Corporate Membership for an annual fee of $500, and receive a 90 day listing in the classified section of our website. Our website receives over 2,000 hits per month, so your listing will be seen by hyperbaric and wound care practitioners throughout the country. We will also include your listing in at least one email blast to over 3,500 contacts. For more information about our corporate membership, click here. *If you do not wish to sign up for membership at this time, you may purchase a 30-day listing on our site for $250. This does not include a listing in an email blast. Contact us for more information.

CMET Wound Care Certification Examination
The ACHM endorses a physician specific wound care certification process. Dr. Bartlett and Dr. Niezgoda co-chaired a committee to create this comprehensive examination. The American Professional Wound Care Association also recognizes this as the physician certification process. This examination was developed after leadership of the ACHM and APWCA identified that hospital administrators and physicians alike were looking for physician specific certification. This is the first step in attempting to obtain wound care recognition as a subspecialty in medicine. The exam is administered by the Council for Medical Education and Testing (CMET). Physicians who successfully pass this examination are recognized and provided with a Certificate of Added Qualification in Wound Care. We encourage all physicians to sit for the certification process so that we can demonstrate interest that exists for specialty recognition. The next CMET Examination will be offered on Sunday, April 5th, 2009 from 8:30am – 1:30pm in conjunction with the APWCA2009 National Clinical Conference. Registration for the certification exam can be found online at Call (215) 364-4100 if you have additional questions.

The ACHM Monthly Practice Update
Billing, Coding, Business and Marketing Pearls of Wisdom
The American College of Hyperbaric Medicine is proud to introduce its monthly educational video series – “Monthly Practice Update”. Each month we will feature a different guest who will speak to a specific issue facing hyperbaric practice. This series will be broadcast on our website, and is free for ACHM members.  Click here to view the trailer.

PRESSURE THE PANEL: Expert Answers to Hyperbaric Questions
At the Annual ACHM Membership Meeting (being held in conjunction with the APWCA conference in Philadelphia, April 2-5) selected clinicians with extensive experience in hyperbaric medicine and wound care will spend time in a roundtable discussion answering your questions. This forum will provide discussion and debate of a variety of topics pertinent to the practice of hyperbaric medicine. We need you to submit your questions! Discussion topics and questions can cover any area related to HBOT. These may include clinical algorithms, practice development, billing and coding, wound care technologies or chamber safety.  Submit your questions today! We hope you can join us for this live discussion, but the Q&A will be recorded and posted online for viewing at a later date. Clickhere for more information about the Annual Meeting.

What is the Mechanism for MD Certification in Hyperbarics?
Dr. Bob Bartlett has drafted an answer to this frequently asked question. Read his answer here.

Radiation Registry Extends Deadline to Include Data From 2008
The American College of Hyperbaric Medicine Radiation Research Registry, established to collect statistical information on radiation related injuries treated with HBOT, continues to grow in case/data entry. The registry was initiated in response to a determination by national insurance providers that HBOT for radiation necrosis should be categorized at “experimental-investigational.” The information from the study will be used in our effort to advocate for reconsideration and reversal of this determination. The registry now exceeds 1500 cases and is the largest hyperbaric registry in the world. The data collection timeline has been expanded to include cases from January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2008. As of 1/15/2009 we were at 1512 cases. We need your help to push us over the top as our goal is 2,000 cases to complete the study. If you have already entered data, we thank you. Consider calling your colleagues to encourage additional participation. If you have not registered and participated, please do so. An interim review of the outcomes of patients enrolled in the RRR very favorably supports the utilization of HBOT for this group of patients. A pdf version of this review is available on line.  Visit our website for more information.

 Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
The ACHM Executive Committee held a meeting on Sunday, February 15, 2009, via conference call. The highlights of this discussion were ideas to increase resources available to ACHM members. These ideas included monthly video updates, links to industry articles and abstracts, and clinical guidelines and protocols. The complete set of minutes can be viewed on our website.


New edition of “the most comprehensive reference text” for HBO

hogrefebookThe 5th, fully updated, and expanded edition of the Textbook of Hyperbaric Medicine by K.K. Jain will be released in May. This textbook has become widely recognized as the best exposition available on the topic of hyperbaric medicine and the wide range of applications of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO). The previous edition of the text was reviewed as “the most comprehensive reference text of hyperbaric oxygen therapy” (P. Moore in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Vol. 34), “by far the most comprehensive textbook available on the topic of hyperbaric medicine and its clinical applications… I would recommend this textbook to anyone studying HBO” (John W. Calvert and John H. Zang in Journal of Neurosurgery, Vol. 102), and “a ‘must-read’ in the armamentarium of providers of hyperbaric medicine” (Thomas M. Little in Military Medicine, Vol. 169) In addition to explaining the basic principles of HBO therapy, and its application in carbon monoxide poisoning and decompression sickness, the textbook looks objectively and critically at its use in numerous other areas, such as stroke, neurological disorders, traumatology and wound healing, infectious diseases, rehabilitation and sports medicine, plastic surgery, emergency medicine, ophthalmology, obstetrics, pediatrics, organ transplantation, and as an adjunct to the treatment cancer. With over 2,000 up-to-date references and an extensive index, the volume is not just a textbook suitable for those seeking an introduction to this expanding field but also an invaluable resource for specialists. Also included is a chapter on hyperbaric medicine as a specialty, with recommendations on training, practice, and research. Hyperbaric facilities worldwide are also reviewed, with a further chapter on the considerable progress and expansion of the use of HBO in the United States. K.K. Jain, Textbook of Hyperbaric Medicine, 5th edition. 580 pages, ISBN 978-0-88937-361-7, US $199.00. For further information on this book and to place your order, please visit


Protect Patient Privacy

“Health system reform” is getting the kind of attention it hasn’t seen in this country since former President Bill Clinton’s first days in the White House. And for good reason. Everyone agrees there is no way we have the money or the physician workforce to continue to care for an aging population afflicted with chronic disease brought on by unhealthy lifestyles.Our goal, as physicians, is to make patient care better. No one else stands for our patients as we do. That is why it is important for us to be at the heart of the national health care discussion. You can start today by ensuring that “reform” doesn’t become an excuse for the government to browse through your patients’ records.


Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors: Don’t Be Left in the Dark

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) intends to implement the permanent Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program in phases beginning in March 2009.  Medicare providers should become informed about the RAC program and prepare for its implementation.  In this post, aspects of the nationwide RAC program are highlighted to assist Medicare providers in understanding the program. Click here for full article.


Billing & Coding Issue of the Month

Documentation Errors Cost! Denial rates are from between 10% to 14% for the most frequently billed wound care physician codes (11040-11044). The reason? Lack of documentation. All wound care documentation must include the type of anesthesia used, the level or depth of tissue debrided, wound description (diameter, color, presence of exudates or necrotic tissue, the vascular status, the narrative of the operative procedure, goals and response to treatment. Check you carriers LCD’s for local variation to documentation requirements. If you want to be reimbursed for your work, all your documentation must be done properly.

By | 2009-03-01T19:43:37+00:00 March 1st, 2009|Newsletter Archive|0 Comments

About the Author:

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.