Medical Billing News

Rethinking The Patient-Provider Relationship: 3 Insights That Can Help Grow Your Practice

As a medical billing firm, we’re constantly thinking about how to help our clients improve their financial performance and get more of what they’re owed. And most of that advice is about your operations and services – from your coding strategy to your fee schedule.

But in the healthcare environment, providers provide much more than care. Your practice’s role in each individual patient’s life is significant, and your long-term or ill patients may see the relationship as a huge part of their lives. So when you think about improving your financial performance, we encourage you to think beyond the revenue cycle to the entire experience a patient has when they interact with your practice.

Findings from a recent Weatherby Healthcare survey gave us some fresh food for thought on how providers can rethink the patient relationship and retain more patients (or expand their practices) in the process.

Topics: Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

The Importance of Tracking (and Lowering) Days in Accounts Receivable

How well do you know your cash flow when it comes to accounts receivable? Many practices allow A/R to be a black box of misunderstanding.

Accounts receivable (the money owed to your practice for services rendered and billed) is a high-touch area of every medical practice. So if you have a large number of administrative staffers managing different patient accounts or specialties, it can be hard to gain a holistic understanding of how long it’s taking you to get paid.

That’s why many practices *think* their A/R is a-ok, even when incomes fluctuate from month to month. But if patient visits are stable, incoming cash should be too – which is why it’s vital for medical practices to understand how many days pass between the bills going out, and the payments coming in.

Topics: Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

Boosting Patient Retention: 3 Ways to Keep Patients Coming Back

Growing your practice is a great idea, but it’s also an expensive one. It costs practices far more money to win new patients than to keep those they already have; one healthcare exec has estimated that it costs 90% less to get current patients to return for future care than it does to attract new ones.

But when you keep patients around, the benefits add up. In fact, a small number of highly engaged, loyal patients may account for the vast majority of your revenue: Across the industry, estimates say that 12% to 15% percent of a practice’s most loyal patients represent 55% to 70% of its appointments.

That loyalty doesn’t emerge out of nowhere. A patient’s likelihood of coming back is impacted by all of the interactions he or she has with your practice – spanning your office, staff, services, and general state of affairs. Here are three key ways of enhancing your odds of retaining patients.

Topics: Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

How Much Are Claim Rejections Costing You?

How clean are your claims? According to the Medical Group Management Association, medical practices should strive for a 95% “clean claims” rate – meaning all but 5% of claims get to payers with no mistakes (and get paid) upon first submittal.

Alas, few practices reach that target. Most providers receive first-pass reimbursement for somewhere between 75% and 85% of claims they bill, and tend to see that as an acceptable state of affairs. Is it?

Every claim that is not paid on first submittal wastes a practice’s precious time and resources: The MGMA estimates that the cost to re-work a claim that has been rejected or denied ranges from $10 to $25 per bill.

That may not sound like much on a case-by-case basis, but it adds up in a big way. If you submit, say, 300 claims each month and ~25% are routinely rejected or denied, that means around 75 encounters per month need to be processed at least twice.

Topics: Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

What’s Next For The Affordable Care Act?

At last count, about 11.8 million people had signed up for 2018 coverage through the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace.

The high number – amounting to 96% of 2017’s total – surprised many: Americans had a halved timeframe (compared to the year prior) to select marketplace coverage for 2018 year, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) deployed a much-reduced advertising effort than in earlier eras of the ACA’s existence.

Consumers’ continued interest in accessing and buying non-employer sponsored health coverage is good news for providers, making it more likely for patients to pursue care. But is the ACA still headed for trouble? Despite the many protections “Obamacare” has received over the years, certain government leaders continue to advocate against it.

Topics: Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

3 Takeaways From Major HIPAA Settlements of 2017

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced nine HIPAA settlements in 2017 – resolving allegations against a number health systems, insurance providers, and remote monitoring companies. Taken together with one additional non-settlement enforcement action (in which a $2.3 million civil monetary penalty was levied), the OCR secured over $19.4 million in fines and penalties.

The total number of nine settlements was four fewer than 2016, representing a shift in HHS’ attitude about enforcement: The OCR has said it was more eager to resolve enforcement actions informally in 2017, provided the covered entity or business associate corrected its compliance problems.

And that’s an important note to cover before we comb through the enforcement actions for takeaways, because it shows how preventable the year’s most headline grabbing settlements really are: The most commonplace security gaps of any medical practice or hospital can be filled, and settlements can be avoided if you take steps to fix them.

As we’ll run down in the three sections below, it’s largely the most egregious examples of PHI mismanagement that cost providers millions in penalties.

Topics: Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

CVS & Aetna Team Up: 3 Implications for Providers

The proposed $69 billion merger between CVS Health and Aetna could be one of the most game-changing healthcare transactions ever: Combining the country's largest pharmacy with one of its largest health insurers will have deep and long-lasting effects on patients, providers, and payers alike.

The deal has yet to reach regulatory approval, but doctors and practice managers are wise to prepare for its impact. The two companies say the merger will to lead to better chronic disease management and an overall reduction in health care spending for Americans… which it certainly might, in the long-term.

But in the short-term, its implications for providers could be more negative. Here are a few of the potential near-term consequences.

Topics: Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

Is Your Technology Putting Your Practice At Risk?

Sadly, some docs still believe that so long as their systems have firewalls and password-protection, they’re safe.

ted systems, practices can create undue risk by maintaining poor standards around their day-to-day use.

HIMSS and the ONC have risk assessment checklists that every practice should run through (in addition to investing in end-to-end security audits annually). But common-sense security checks are important too! By asking yourself and your team the following five questions, you can quickly get a sense of whether your technology – or the way you use it – is leaving you more vulnerable than you need to be.

Topics: Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

Smart Communication Tactics For Getting Paid & Reducing Bad Debt

According to survey results from technology company West, 56% of patients’ payments are delayed at least some of the time, for any number of reasons.

Topics: Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

Why Your Practice Needs A Risk-Based Audit Plan

Following the implementation of the new 60-day payback and six-year lookback requirements, it’s clear the government has higher-than-ever expectations of practices when it comes to self-policing overpayments.

But that’s far from the only area of risk facing providers when it comes to liability.

Topics: Practice Management, Medical Billing Company

Expert Medical Billing Services: So You 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 medical billing and coding 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
  • identifying 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.


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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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