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GroupOne Health Source Practice Management Blog

      

The GroupOne Health Source Blog

 Answers and Insights Every Healthcare Professional Needs.

 

Kaitlyn Houseman

Kaitlyn's interest in health and technology drove her to GroupOne where she works as the Marketing Specialist. She is constantly connecting healthcare professionals to expert advice on all things healthcare practice management by developing eBooks, writing blog posts, and conducting webinars.

Email: [email protected]

Author's Posts

Seeking Additional Revenue? Utilize a Medical Billing Firm

by Kaitlyn Houseman on June 21, 2011

     
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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, EHR

7 Tips to Maximize Your Collections on an EHR

by Kaitlyn Houseman on June 20, 2011

by GroupOne’s EMR Billing Experts

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, eClinicalWorks, EHR, Denial Management

CMS: More Exemptions Needed for Docs to Avoid e-prescribing Penalties

by Kaitlyn Houseman on June 13, 2011

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed giving physicians additional "hardship" exemptions that will prevent them from being penalized by Medicare for not prescribing electronically this year. The only catch is that the proposed rule won't be finalized until sometime after July 25, when the comment period ends. With a deadline for obtaining an exemption set for Oct. 1, doctors will have roughly two months to apply for an exemption.
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Topics: EHR, CMS

EHR Certification Can Be A Challenge

by Kaitlyn Houseman on June 10, 2011

For the last 12 months, one of the biggest tech challenges for practices has been achieving meaningful use through of a certified EHR. Note the word “certified.” Getting an EHR to achieve certification is not always an easy feat for practices that had EHRs pre-meaningful use, judging by the results of our 2011 Physicians Practice Technology Survey.

Of the 642 physician practices — both hospital-owned and independent — who answered a question about whether their existing EHR Is certified under CMS’ rules governing eligibility for stimulus, just 60 percent answered a definitive “yes,” while 11 percent said “not yet” and 23 percent said “not sure.”

It should be noted that independent practices were more certain of their EHR’s certification status (only 15 percent of independent practices answered “not sure” versus 38 percent of practices that are part of a hospital or integrated delivery network).

Often the vendor is to blame for those practices whose EHR certification status is in limbo. A handful of smaller EHR vendors were bought out by bigger corporations, so patches and upgrades weren’t available for those legacy systems. In other cases, the vendor is slow to roll out updates.

Then there’s the issue of finances — the money a practice must fork over to upgrade its EHR to make it eligible for federal stimulus dollars. According to our survey, 13 percent of practices paid more than $10,000 on their EHRs or other technology to do this.

Either way, if your practice purchased an EHR more than a year ago, don’t wait until the end of 2011 to see if your system is up to snuff (meaningful-use ready). Doing that could cause your practice to miss key deadlines and lose out on some of the incentive dollars.

Recently, healthcare consultant Susanne Madden, president of The Verden Group, told us the most important thing you can do if you have a pre-meaningful use EHR is to assess whether your system is appropriate for your practice's long-term goals.

“Practices need to talk to their EHR vendors," said Madden. "What are they doing? When are they doing it? How's this going to roll out? What are the costs going to look like? And really be able to make a good, solid assessment on what the costs are going to be for the practice. Then compare it to some of the options out there in the marketplace."

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Topics: EHR, Incentive Programs

Analysis: Internal vs. Outsourced Medical Billing Functions

by Kaitlyn Houseman on June 10, 2011

Cost of Medical Practice Billing Functions - Internal vs. Outsourced Billing Analysis

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, EHR

Office Manager Embezzles $1.2M Over 11 Years

by Kaitlyn Houseman on June 9, 2011

A news story out of North Carolina proves that regular audits may not be enough to prevent embezzlement, and that longtime medical office employees aren't necessarily trustworthy. According to The Star newspaper, Marlene Rice Hoyle, 45, has been charged with embezzling $1.2 million from Jones Family Practice, where she worked for nearly 20 years, most recently as office manager.

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, EHR

HIPAA HAPPENS

by Kaitlyn Houseman on June 2, 2011

HIPAA HAPPENS is a film produced by the Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas to highlight the pitfalls many health care professionals make in violating HIPAA laws. HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. For more information about HIPAA please visit http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/

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Topics: EHR, CMS

Benefit of Outsourced Medical Billing: Increased Cash Flow

by Kaitlyn Houseman on May 19, 2011

Medical practices seeking additional revenue should consider partnering with a professional medical billing firm.

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, EHR, Denial Management

Meaningful Use Changes: #1 Patient Interaction

by Kaitlyn Houseman on May 9, 2011

Patients Will Be More Involved in Their Care

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Topics: Patient Portal, Incentive Programs

Series: 5 Ways Meaningful Use Will Change Your Practice

by Kaitlyn Houseman on May 3, 2011

Complying with Meaningful Use regulations can earn additional revenue for your practice through the Medicaid or Medicare Stimulus programs -- but it also can change the way your office operates and the way you interact with patients.  Over the next  few weeks, GroupOne will look at 5 important ways that the Meaningful Use criteria will alter the future of your practice.

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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

Five Meaningful Use Helpful Hints

by Kaitlyn Houseman on April 14, 2011

Below is information on Meaningful Use that might be of interest to you and your practice:

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Topics: Incentive Programs

Differences between the Medicare & Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs

by Kaitlyn Houseman on April 6, 2011

Stimulus payments have begun but do you understand the differences between the Medicare and Medicaid Stimulus programs?  Consult the following chart to make sure you sign up for the correct stimulus program. 

Medicare

Medicaid

Federal Government will implement

(will be an option nationally)

Voluntary for States to implement (may not be an option in every State)

Payment reductions begin in 2015 for providers that do not demonstrate Meaningful Use

No Medicaid payment reductions

Must demonstrate MU in Year 1

A/I/U option for 1st participation year

Maximum incentive is $44,000 for EPs

(10% bonus for EPs in HPSAs)

Maximum incentive is $63,750 for EPs

Meaningful Use definition is common for Medicare

States can adopt certain additional requirements for Meaningful Use

Last year a provider may initiate program is 2014; Last year to register is 2016; Payment adjustments begin in 2015

Last year a provider may initiate program is 2016; Last year to register is 2016

Only physicians, subsection (d) hospitals and CAHs

5 types of EPs, acute care hospitals (including CAHs) and children’s hospitals

Please note: AIU = Adopt, Implement and Upgrade

CAH = Critical Access Hospital

HPSA = Health Professional Shortage Area

For any questions regarding the Medicare or Medicaid EHR Stimulus Programs do not hesitate to visit the GroupOne Stimulus section of the website or send an email to [email protected]  Learn more about these Meaningful Use Stimulus programs by registering for a free eClinicalWorks Demonstration.

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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

Half of Insurance Claims Appeals Are Successful

by Kaitlyn Houseman on March 17, 2011

As many as half of all health insurance claim rejection appeals are successful, according to a Government Accountability Office report that studied insurer rejection rates, the AP/Washington Post reports.

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, Denial Management