July 2021
New medical decision making and coding job aids, updated coding eLearning course, and three upcoming webinars

The RHNTC is excited to share an updated module for the Coding in the Reproductive Health Care Environment eLearning course, as well as new job aids on medical decision making, telemedicine, and evaluation and management (E/M) coding. In addition, we’ve included resources below to help you observe National Minority Health Mental Awareness Month. This month’s Grantee Spotlight highlights a TPP grantee’s successes using virtual programming this past year.  

Don’t forget to register for upcoming webinars on police violence and maternal health, the 21st Century Cures Act, and coding updates. 

RHNTC Updates NCTCFP Updates
*UPDATED* Coding in the Reproductive Health Care Environment: The Fundamentals of Coding eLearning (Module 1)
[1 hour]

This updated eLearning course provides an overview of the purpose of coding and how codes are used to document services provided during a medical visit. The course includes new guidance for evaluation and management (E/M) codes that went into effect on January 1, 2021. Coding for telemedicine visits has been added to this course. This course is intended for clinicians and billing staff with no prior medical coding experience. Register for the course.

*NEW* Elements of Medical Decision Making During Family Planning Visits Job Aid
[instant download]

This new job aid provides family planning visit examples for each element of medical decision making. This job aid also reflects changes to E/M codes that went into effect on January 1, 2021. Download the job aid.

*NEW* Coding for Telemedicine Visits Job Aid
[instant download]

This job aid provides family planning providers with guidance on coding for telemedicine visits including both audiovisual (A/V) and telephonic-only visits. It is important to make sure your family planning agency follows state and federal guidance and reviews payer-specific policies, as guidance for telemedicine visits may change in the future. Download the job aid.

*NEW* Evaluation and Management Codes Job Aid
[instant download]

This job aid provides family planning providers information on two types of visits: problem-oriented visits and preventive medicine visits. Guidance in this job aid reflects changes to evaluation and management (E/M) codes that went into effect on January 1, 2021. Common modifiers used in family planning visits are also included. Download the job aid.

How Police Violence is Linked to Disparities in Maternal and Infant Health: What Can Family Planning Providers Do? Webinar
[1 hr]

Join us on Thursday, July 29 from 3–4pm ET for a webinar describing how police violence and racial inequities in maternal and infant health are concurrent and compounding public health crises. The webinar will feature Dr. Rachel R. Hardeman, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Hardeman will draw on the themes of “Stolen Breaths,” a Perspective piece she co-authored that the New England Journal of Medicine published in July 2020. She will explore how solutions to racial health inequities are rooted in the material conditions in which those inequities thrive. She will also present specific recommendations—related to workforce, training, and data—for dismantling structural racism in the field of sexual and reproductive health. Register for the webinar. 

21st Century Cures Act Information Blocking Rule: Implementation and Implications for Family Planning Programs Webinar
[1 hr]

Join us on Tuesday, August 3 from 3–4pm ET for a webinar providing family planning programs with an overview of the 21st Century Cures Act information blocking rule, which prohibits actors from blocking the exchange of electronic health information and seeks to increase the ease and choices available for patients to access their data. Speakers will provide an overview of definitions and exceptions that are critical to understanding and complying with the rule. Speakers will also review the implications for information about adolescent family planning, as well as other types of information. The session will conclude with a discussion of specific policies, both at the state and program levels, and how family planning programs can implement those policies. Register for the webinar. 

What’s New with Coding? Updates for Title X Family Planning Agencies Webinar
[1 hr]

Join us on Thursday, August 5 from 3–4pm ET for a webinar covering the coding guidelines for problem-oriented E/M visits that went into effect on January 1, 2021. Dr. Michael Policar and Ann Finn, billing and coding consultant, will review the 2021 changes to E/M coding, discuss coding for telemedicine visits, and share case studies in family planning that demonstrate correct E/M and ICD-10 diagnosis coding. This webinar is intended for Title X clinicians and billing staff who have experience with coding but desire a deeper understanding of the 2021 modifications that focus on utilizing either total time or medical decision making in choosing the E/M level for each visit. Participants are encouraged to submit questions in advance during registration. Register for the webinar.


Engaging Parents and Caregivers in a Virtual TPP Program

“Try to understand parents' individual needs and build rapport and relationships with them from the beginning so they feel comfortable and connected with the program facilitators. Look for ways to make virtual connections easier and less stressful for parents, including minimizing technology barriers.” —Maria Tena, Prevention Supervisor, Touchstone Health Services

A switch to virtual programming over the last year has made it more challenging for Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) programs to engage parents and caregivers. But Touchstone Health Services in Phoenix, Arizona—a TPP20 Tier 1 grantee replicating Making Proud Choices, Positive Action, Safe Dates Active Parenting of Teens (APT)TM, and Positive Parenting Program® (Triple P) curricula—has successfully transitioned many of its programs to virtual implementation and adapted its parent and caregiver engagement strategies. 

It took time and iteration for Touchstone to achieve these successes. When schools in the community first transitioned to virtual learning, Touchstone staff distributed a flyer to parents and caregivers that explained the availability of virtual classes. Unfortunately, the flyer alone didn’t compel parents and caregivers to join the program.

Touchstone enlisted the schools’ parent volunteer coordinators to connect with parents and caregivers and gather insights into their barriers to participating. The parent volunteer coordinators discovered that technology difficulties—such as not having a computer or not knowing how to use a computer—were the main reasons why parents and caregivers didn’t get involved. To address these barriers, Touchstone set up a system that enables parents and caregivers to borrow school iPads to participate in the workshops, created technology guides to help families use the virtual workshop platform, and offered families one-on-one technology support as needed. Touchstone also held regular meetings with parent volunteer coordinators to determine recruitment strategies and convenient workshop schedules. 

Since its TPP20 program began in August 2020, Touchstone has engaged more than 125 parents and caregivers in its virtual APT and Triple P workshops, both of which rely on family involvement. Many parents and caregivers experienced a learning curve in using the virtual platform, but they also expressed interest in continuing to build their technology skills. 

Most importantly, many parents and caregivers who participated in Touchstone’s TPP programs shared positive feedback, specifically about how they applied the activities from the sessions. One parent said, "The program has helped me understand my teen and I learned how to deal with conflict." Others said: “[The program] helped me communicate better with my children and talk to them about how to stay healthy” and "Thanks to this program I learned to establish rules and consequences at home. This really helped with my family functioning."

For more ideas on how to virtually engage parents and caregivers, TPP Program grantees can refer to the Strategies for Engaging Parents and Caregivers Tip Sheet and Increasing Access to TPP Program Activities in a Virtual Setting Job Aid.

Register by August 9 for the 2021 Virtual National Reproductive Health Conference!

Have you registered for the 2021 Virtual National Reproductive Health Conference yet? Between the plenary conference sessions, on-demand breakout sessions, and pre-conference sessions, attendees can receive up to 32 continuing education contact hours, including CNE, CME, RX, CPH, and CHES/MCHES credits. Register by August 9th to secure your spot!

Archived Clinician Café: Addressing Hypertension in Family Planning Settings

The NCTCFP’s recent Clinician Cafe focused on hypertension in family planning settings. The event archive includes recorded Zoom chats with experts on hypertension, podcasts on the epidemiology of hypertension and its connection to reproductive health, case studies, an introduction to the RHNTC Hypertension Prevention and Control Improvement Toolkit, and the opportunity to earn 1.5 CNE or CME credit through journal articles. This Clinician Café was co-produced with the RHNTC with funding from the Office on Women’s Health. Explore the Café now.

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