Understanding the Most Important Updates in the 2017 CPT Manual

As with every other annual edition, the 2017 CPT Manual includes many changes to the prior Current Procedural Terminology code set changes. (The manual is the AMA's official coding resource for procedural coding rules and guidelines, designed to help readers perform accurate claims submissions.)

Which changes matter most for your organization depends on your practice’s scope and specialty, since providers across the landscape of healthcare are subject to big updates for the new calendar year. All told, there are a total of 117 new CPT codes, 34 revised CPT codes, and 82 deleted CPT codes in the updated code set.

Topics: Meaningful Use Stage 2, Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

The Changing Landscape of Medical Practice Payment Models

From concierge practices and pay-as-you go clinics to accountable care organizations (ACOs) and patient centered medical homes (PCMHs), there are more ways than ever to operate your medical office from a business perspective.

Are some models better than others? In 2017, it remains hard to predict what the medical practice of the future will look like. While alternative payment models are becoming more commonplace, the U.S. healthcare and medical billing systems largely remain business-as-usual… meaning that fee-for-service still comes first.

Topics: Meaningful Use Stage 2, Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

Medicaid Reform: The Latest Updates Your Need to Know

For patients and providers across the country, the uncertain future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has many on pins and needles. Since 18 million Americans currently receive healthcare coverage under the ACA, any repeal or drawbacks to the ACA policies would have an immediate and complicated impact on the U.S. healthcare system.

But another potential policy initiative could impact far, far more American patients (and providers). Medicaid reform – which would affect the nearly 20 percent Americans enrolled in Medicaid – is a distinct possibility in the near future. Proposals currently circulating would reduce or eliminate coverage for millions of people.

Topics: Meaningful Use Stage 2, Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

Staying Independent? 3 Smart Tips for Your Practice

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, becoming a hospital-owned practice is an increasingly tempting offer for many independent practitioners. Small practices that cannot afford to invest in information technology, reporting, and other population health capabilities are at a disadvantage as more of their revenue is placed at risk under performance and value-based contracts.

Having an ally on their side to navigate those issues – as well as to help them manage an ever-more complex regulatory landscape, challenging employment environment, and changing patient expectations – can certainly be an asset to struggling practices. But going ‘owned’ comes with plenty of drawbacks, too, including a lack of provider autonomy and many restrictions on how a medical office operates as a business.

Topics: Meaningful Use Stage 2, Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

Patients as Payers? Adapting to the New Era of ‘Healthcare Consumerism’

Over the last two decades, health insurance costs of have grown in ways few could have predicted, with patients now paying for a full 25 percent of their medical costs out-of-pocket. High-deductible health plans purchased through the U.S. government’s Healthcare Marketplace (following the passage of the Affordable Care Act) are far from the only reason: Since 1999, insurance premiums have risen 213 percent for family coverage purchased through an employer.

Even following so many years of increases, many patients’ deductibles, copays, and coinsurance amounts are predicted to continue to getting higher in the years to come. And the growing amount of financial responsibility being placed on the shoulders of patients is beginning to turning the traditional relationship between patients and their providers on its head.

Topics: Meaningful Use Stage 2, Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

No More No Shows! Here's How to Promote Appointment Adherence

It may seem hard to believe, but missed appointments can be the top driver of lost revenue for many medical practices. Hard data on no-shows is hard to come by, but studies generally report non-attendance rates between 15% and 30% in outpatient clinics.

When patients don’t show up, it costs your practice more than just the reimbursements on the missed visit itself. Staff time essentially goes to waste, as well, as does your spending on technological resources and other office infrastructures. Then there’s the effort plugged into rescheduling a visit, and the longer wait times imposed on your patient base unnecessarily – potentially leading to lower overall satisfaction rates.

Topics: Meaningful Use Stage 2, Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

The Top 3 Medical Billing Issues to Watch in 2017

With the new year underway, there remain a multitude of question marks for medical billers and other members of the U.S. healthcare system. As 2017 marches onward, organizations need to continually pay mind to the trends, issues, and updates that will affect the effectiveness of their revenue cycle over the course of what is sure to be an eventful year.

To set your practice up for success, we’ve highlighted three major areas of concern for billers, coders, practice managers, and providers. If you’re struggling to prepare for these and other oncoming evolutions in 2017, consider outsourcing your back office operations to a trusted medical billing service with a strong background in your specialty.

Topics: Meaningful Use Stage 2, Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

How to Embrace 'Fiscal Stewardship' in the New Era of Healthcare

In the day-to-day management of a medical practice, the most important concern is (and always will be) patient care. But in the evolving landscape of U.S. healthcare and medical billing policy, providing responsible care involves considering far more than the effectiveness of treatment plans, prescriptions, and preventive services.

Following decades of arguments and advocacy, the landscape of healthcare is shifting ever closer to a fully performance- and quality-driven future. From the MIPS, MACRA, and Meaningful Use incentive programs to the embrace of ACOs, collaborative care models, and pay-for-performance and outcomes-based fee schedules, there’s an increased focus on the financial side of healthcare... a focus that affects both patients and providers.

Topics: Meaningful Use Stage 2, Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

3 Timely Tips to Keep Denials from Decreasing Your Income

The start of a new year is a wise time to revisit some of your practice’s most important metrics around financial health. Denial rate is one of the most significant indicators of your medical billing success – but unfortunately, it’s one of the most difficult elements of your billing operation to improve.

Denials eat up an estimated 3-5 percent of providers’ overall revenue (though for some practices the number is much, much higher). Denial rates between 5 and 10 percent are considered ‘average’ across the industry, but many practices experience rates far closer to 20 percent – often, without even realizing it – even though an estimated 90 percent of denials are preventable, and many can be easily reimbursed if practices follow up appropriately.

Topics: Meaningful Use Stage 2, Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

What You Need to Know About Medicare & Medicaid Exclusion

Among most doctors and other healthcare professionals, concern over Medicare and/or Medicaid exclusion comes down to compliance: To avoid civil money penalties (or ‘CMPs’), providers are supposed to check that their employees and contractors are not on the Medicare exclusion list of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

With fines on the rise, the failure to properly screen for excluded employees or contractors is a significant risk for providers that should not be ignored. But screening new hires against a list of excluded persons isn’t the only way doctors need to stay on guard.

Recent incidents show that it isn’t just employees who can be barred from involvement with Medicare & Medicaid; doctors themselves can also become excluded from participating in the programs altogether. In November 2016, a New Jersey-based OB-GYN was barred from Medicare and Medicaid for twenty years for submitting false claims.

Topics: Meaningful Use Stage 2, Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

Don't Lose a Cent

We can help with medical billing 

NCG Medical are experts at medical billing services. We can help protect your bottom line. NCG's billing and revenue consulting division employs highly-trained accounting and billing specialist - including CPAs and MBA-trained staff - to assure your practice gets the reimbursements it deserves.

NCG's revenue cycle consulting helps in the following key areas:

  • benchmarking practices success against local and national standards
  • creating workflow optimized operations
  • aligning technology with clinical activities
  • indentifying missing revenue, and educating staff and providers
  • and many more

With regulations changing, rates constantly decreasing and compliance requirements evolving, we understand that your medical billing and processing is tougher than ever.

Contact us today to schedule your billing checkup, 800-959-1906.

The Stimulus

Under the HITECH Act – a provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – physicians who implement EHRs and meet HHS meaningful use criteria may be eligible for HITECH incentives of $44,000 or more.

Meaningful Use

The Recovery Act specifies the following three components of meaningful use:

1. Use a certified EHR in a meaningful manner such as e-prescribing.

2. Use certified EHR technology for electronic exchange of health information to improve quality of healthcare.

3. Use certified EHR technology to submit clinical quality measures.

Testimonials

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for introducing us to NCG Medical and the Perfect Care EMR system. It has been an answer we were looking for. The new system was easy to install without having to retrain the staff on a new system. Your staff has been a pleasure to work with. Laura has been amazing with the implementation right up to the point of attestation for the incentive check, which, by the way, we received. As promised, we received $18,000 per doctor for five providers within 90 days.

- Jan L. Delnero, Business Administrator, ATLANTIC GASTROENTEROLOGY ASSOCIATES, P.A. Read More Testimonials

Our office has been with NCG Medical for a decade now, and our experience has always been positive.  When we decided to switch over to Perfect Care EHR everyone was very helpful in the process.  At the end of the year we did receive our $18,000 incentive check. It went very smooth and easy!

- Peter C. Smith, M.D. Read More Testimonials

Our practice is a multi-specialty clinic with family medicine, chiropractic, and podiatry specialties. Perfect Care has been a perfect match for all our doctors. The successful attestation of our five doctors with Perfect Care EHR was the icing on the cake!

- Randy Glisson, D.C. Read More Testimonials

I have been working with NCG Medical for several years. Perfect Care EHR is the only way to maintain continued productivity, excellent service, and a medical practice that will run smoothly no matter what requirements or mandates face the health care industry. As practice manager, it is my responsibility to make sure the business runs smooth. I want to thank the staff at NCG Medical for guiding me through these last several years.  Perfect Care EHR is an asset to any practice.

- Sherri L Maetozo, MD      Read More Testimonials

We have met "meaningful use" easily, NCG and Perfect Care EHR support team guided us through the attestment and we are awaiting our "incentive" checks three months after installation.  It's a wonderful team to work with!

- Novik + Stawicki Medical Associates, P.C. Read More Testimonials

The NCG Medical service that we receive is excellent and the personnel we work with are fantastic. All my questions are answered quickly and followed up with additional resources to ensure that my practice is successful…true picture of great customer service.

- Brian Deonarine, MD Read More Testimonials

As an administrator of a busy general surgery practice it was my responsibility to find the very best EHR system. I looked at more than eight EHR systems and NCG Medical’s Perfect Care EHR fit all of our needs. We are so happy with our decision.

- Surgical Associates of Central Florida Read More Testimonials

Our Perfect Care program was easy to learn and use! NCG's knowledgeable staff took what could have easily been the most nightmarish ordeal and helped us transition seamlessly into an EHR system that works for us, without affecting our office productivity, resulting in an $18,000 incentive. Thanks NCG!

- Kenneth Hawthorne, MD Read More Testimonials

Our experience with NCG Medical and Perfect Care exceeded my expectations.  As we were trying to beat the deadline to receive the incentive, NCG took over and handled everything quickly and professionally. They were able to accomplish all of what was required and had my office trained and working in plenty of time – all with no loss of productivity or change in any workflow.  

- Advanced Eyecare and Laser Center Read More Testimonials

My office has been using Perfect Care EHR for five months. I’m a solo doctor and see on average 50 patients a day. With Perfect Care EHR I never saw a loss in productivity and I have already received $18,000 in incentives.

- Mainland Eye Read More Testimonials

I have been a user of Perfect Care EHR for about seven months.  I’m totally satisfied with the system operation and the outstanding service.  As promised, I received the $18,000.00 incentive in December of 2011, without any problem.  I have used another vendor in the past and never received the quality of service as I do now. I can't imagine why anyone would use another vendor.  I fully endorse the Perfect Care program and its staff.

- Joseph S Fisher, MD, PC, FACP, FACE Read More Testimonials

Contact Us

We're a privately-held company headquartered in sunny Orlando, Florida. Please feel free to contact us using any of the means below.

800.959.1906

PCFWSales@ncgmedical.com

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