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Insights to guide your practice. 

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4 Major Insurance Payers Share Policies on Reimbursing ICD-10 Claims

by Kaitlyn Houseman on October 19, 2015

While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a year's grace period this summer when it comes to claims coded with ICD-10, not all large commercial payers are following suit.

According to the CMS announcement, during the 12 months immediately following the October 1, 2015, date, “Medicare review contractors will not deny physician or other practitioner claims billed under the Part B physician fee schedule through either automated medical review or complex medical record review based solely on the specificity of the ICD-10 diagnosis code as long as the physician/practitioner used a valid code from the right family.”

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, ICD-10

Top 15 TED Talks for Doctors

by Kaitlyn Houseman on October 17, 2015

Have you ever felt discouraged or uninspired? Maybe you feel overwhelmed with the small amount of time you have to learn about new advances in science and technology. If you don't have much time these days to explore new ideas in the health care, science, and technology fields then you're in for a real treat.

We've rounded up 15 TED talks surrounding some of the most remarkable ideas behind the advances in science and how they're shaping health care. Each TED talk is under 30 minutes so you can favorite them and listen later using the TED app. They're great for some quick inspiration and learning during lunch, on your way home or even when trying to squeeze in some cardio at the gym.

Did we miss one that you've found inspiring? Let us know in the comments below.

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Topics: Medical Business, Practice Management

6 Ways to Work Well with Difficult Patients

by Kaitlyn Houseman on October 12, 2015

Unfortunately, every medical practice has some of "those" patients: ones who are rude, disrespectful, noncompliant, or who behave inappropriately. Difficult patient encounters are made of three elements: the situation, the patient, and the physician.

Situational components may include language barriers, the presence of multiple people in the exam room, or having to break bad news to a patient. Difficult patients may be angry, defensive, frightened, grieving, or manipulative. And though it can be hard to admit, physicians play a role in difficult patient encounters too, by behaving defensively or arrogantly, for example. Having a plan for coping with difficult patients is important. Following are 6 steps you can take to improve difficult patient encounters.

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Topics: Practice Management, Patient Engagement

Payment Disputes: What Are Your Next Steps?

by Keith Lage on October 10, 2015

Payment disputes are a fact of life for most medical practices. With the increasing number of high deductible health plans, Americans are struggling over medical debt and putting more of their take-home pay into medical costs than ever. A survey by NerdWallet found out that Americans pay three times more for third party collection of medical debt than for credit card and bank debt combined. In 2014, around 20% of American adults were contacted by debt collection agencies because of medical bills.

Even when Americans expect sizable medical bills, they're often surprised by just how sizable they are. The NerdWallet survey found that 63% of Americans say they've received medical bills that were higher than they expected. From 2010 to 2013, American median household income fell by $2,300, yet healthcare expenses during that time increased by $1,814, and out-of-pocket healthcare spending is expected to experience annual growth of double the GDP growth for the next several years. It's no wonder billing disputes between medical practices and patients are so common. Here's what you can do to prevent and cope successfully with billing disputes.

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management

7 Tips to Help Your Practice with Flu Season

by Kaitlyn Houseman on October 8, 2015

In the United States, flu outbreaks can start in October and last until May. The official "flu season" arrives when certain key indicators rise and remain elevated for several weeks. Though it varies from year to year, flu activity in the US usually peaks from December to February.

By preparing both your practice and your patients for flu season, you can keep your practice running efficiently and make sure your medical billing stays on track, even if you experience a large influx of patients during flu season. Here are 7 tips to help your practice with flu season.

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Topics: Practice Management

CMS and ONC Release Final Rules for EHR Incentive Programs

by Kaitlyn Houseman on October 7, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently announced the release of final rules for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs and the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria. The rules will be published on October 16, 2015, and are currently on display in the Federal Register. 

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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

Lost in Translation: Reducing Errors in Medical Transcription

by Kaitlyn Houseman on October 6, 2015

The process of medical transcription is how the files representing patient histories, diagnoses and treatments are built. To perhaps oversimplify, healthcare practitioners dictate the particulars of their interaction with patients and medical transcriptionists may transcribe the oral dictation or edit reports that are generated by speech recognition software.

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, Practice Management

Collecting from Patients in a Difficult Economy

by Kaitlyn Houseman on October 2, 2015

Despite the fact that more Americans have health insurance, many still struggle to pay their medical bills due to the increasing number of high deductible health plans.  Collecting from self-pay patients can be also be costly for a medical practice since it typically takes more time and hassle. 

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, Patient Engagement, Self-Pay

Protecting Against Credit Card Fraud at Your Practice

by Kathy Kuhn on October 1, 2015

One way healthcare providers increase medical billing collections is by allowing multiple payment options, including credit cards. But it's important that medical billing professionals understand credit card fraud and know how to prevent it. Credit card fraud costs credit card issuers millions of dollars each year, because consumers generally aren't responsible for fraudulent use of their cards.

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, Practice Management, Self-Pay

Post ICD-10: What to Expect After October 1st

by Keith Lage on September 30, 2015

Tomorrow ICD-10 will replace the current classification system, ICD-9. Whether you're ready or not, ICD-9 codes will no longer be accepted on claims. Claims with ICD-9 codes after October 1 will be denied without payment. While surveys indicating readiness for the ICD-10 transition vary, one thing is for sure: ICD-10 will dramatically impact medical billing and cash flow. 

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, ICD-10, Coding

Be Wary of the ICD-10 Grace Period

by Kaitlyn Houseman on September 28, 2015

With ICD-10 just 3 days away, healthcare providers and practices should be gearing up for the biggest change in healthcare to occur in decades. However, there seems to be a lot of debate and confusion surrounding the CMS announcement of a “grace period” with ICD-10. If you haven’t yet heard of the “grace period” it is intended to alleviate some of the concern surrounding the additional time physicians will need to spend on documenting with the new ICD-10 code set.

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, ICD-10, Coding

Retail Medical Clinics: How they Affect Your Private Practice

by Kaitlyn Houseman on September 27, 2015

The first retail medical clinics started opening about 15 years ago, and by the end of 2015, there will be an estimated 2,800 of them in the United States. The largest chain of retail clinics is CVS's Minute Clinic chain, with over 800 locations in CVS pharmacies. By the end of 2013, more than one-third of medical patients had visited a retail clinic at some time.

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Topics: Practice Management

What Will ICD-10 Do To Your Cash Flow?

by Kaitlyn Houseman on September 26, 2015

The change from the ICD-9 coding standard to ICD-10 will affect healthcare provider cash flow from several different angles. In fact, you could do everything "right" in the lead-up to ICD-10 and still face problems with revenue cycle management. But knowing where and how ICD-10 will make an impact can help you prepare and do your best to minimize problems.

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, ICD-10

Will ICD-10 Cause the Extinction of Paper Superbills?

by Kaitlyn Houseman on August 26, 2015

Paper superbills have been as much a part of many medical practices as stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs over the past few decades. And despite increasing prevalence of electronic health records (EHRs), more than half of physician practices today still use paper superbills. That's because they're flexible and powerful and do their job well.

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, ICD-10

What the Twitter-Google Partnership Means for Physicians

by Kaitlyn Houseman on August 25, 2015

Earlier this year, Google and Twitter announced that Tweets would be integrated into Google's search engine real-time results. This may give you a feeling of déjà vu, and that's because Tweets used to be integrated into search results until a few years ago, when Twitter stopped allowing it. With a change of heart, Twitter is giving Google more real-time content and in return Google is likely giving Twitter more traffic as well.

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Topics: Practice Management, Marketing

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