Web-based coding tool now free to AUA members

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Linthicum, MD--AUA and Physician Reimbursement Systems (PRS) have teamed with Watson Pharmaceuticals to make AUACodingToday.com free to all AUA members and members of the AUA Practice Managers' Network.

Linthicum, MD-AUA and Physician Reimbursement Systems (PRS) have teamed with Watson Pharmaceuticals to make AUACodingToday.com free to all AUA members and members of the AUA Practice Managers' Network.

AUACodingToday.com a web-based coding aid designed specifically for urologists and their practices, has been available via subscription for 2 years. Thanks to an unrestricted educational grant from Watson, access to the site is free of charge through the end of 2005. Individuals who purchased a subscription previously will have their subscription extended by 12 months.

"It's the ultimate coding tool," said Ray Painter, MD, president and CEO of PRS. "The site brings together seven different databases that the government publishes and puts them into a single database."

"The key is that all of the rules have been rearranged by code, which is the way doctors and staff think," Dr. Painter said. "The database has a powerful search engine-you can search by words, partial numbers, descriptions, or just browse."

Rick Rutherford, AUA's director of practice management, said another valuable aspect of the site is its bundling edits feature. This allows a user to enter up to 20 procedures, and the site indicates which ones can be bundled.

The site also includes updated ICD-9 codes, Medicare rules by location, and notes from AUA. There is also room on the site for users to make notes on codes for their own personal use, which are then saved and available for viewing later, only by that user.

"We feel like it's always going to be a valuable tool," Rutherford said. "Coding is critically important to all practicing urologists in this country."

Dr. Painter said that while he hopes Watson will continue to provide the site to urologists at no charge beyond 2005, PRS and AUA will provide discounted subscriptions for AUA members at a discount if it does not.

"If we got doctors on the same page as far as information, and it's good information, then they'll get paid what they deserve to get paid," Dr. Painter said.

Dr. Painter said he hopes to have 70% of AUA members signed on to the site eventually.

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