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As a PCC practice, you can be confident that your EHR will be ICD-10-ready on Oct. 1. How far along your payers, clearinghouses and other third party vendors are in preparing for the new code set is another story, but one we also need to stay on top of.

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All our PCC EHR practices are now choosing problems and diagnoses from the SNOMED code set.

The shift from picking diagnoses using ICD-9, which served both clinical and billing purposes, to a fixed set of unfamiliar clinical codes is demanding, to be sure. Previously, your choice of  diagnoses went hand-in-hand with what service you provided and how much you should be paid for it. Now, the SNOMED codes you pick are for clinical purposes only, meaning your choice of diagnosis should directly reflect the condition of the patient.

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We've received several questions regarding the Business Associate Agreements practices must have to comply with changes under HIPAA's Privacy and Security rules. 

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Status lets companies consider more than the financial bottom line when making decisions

We're thrilled to report that PCC has been recognized under Vermont state law as a Benefit Corporation - a corporate model which gives "for profit" companies the ability to focus on solving social and environmental problems.

PCC's submission to become a benefit corporation was approved by the state this week. Company shareholders voted for the restructure earlier this year.  

"Going forward, we can now officially balance the interests of our employees, customers, environment, and community with that of our shareholders," PCC President John Canning said.

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With the Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights (OCR) poised to crack down on enforcing HIPAA's Privacy and Security rules, practices should plan now for a possible audit.