3 Medical Billing Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to outsourcing medical billing at your practice, we know it’s a big decision that shouldn’t be made hastily. If you have questions for your prospective medical billing firm (and you should), you need them answered—clearly and quickly.
What EHR Software Does NCG Medical Work With?
For many medical practices, there is a common fear that billing services may not work well with their current practice management or EHR software.
How Can Outsourced Medical Billing Help My Radiation Oncology Practice?
When it comes to radiation oncology insurance billing, there are many vital issues that hospital-based physicians and radiation oncology standalone facilities face on a day-to-day basis. And with growing pressures on reimbursements, the need to hire an outsourced medical billing company has never been more critical.
How Your Practice Can Receive Maximum Compensation for Medical Billing
When it comes to managing medical billing, there’s a lot that can get left on the table. Between rejected claims, failure to resubmit claims and other similar billing issues, your medical practice could be missing out on a lot of money.
Texting Patients: How to Handle Communication Preferences in a Digital World
It's no secret that today's generation of consumers is much different than 20 years ago (and even 10 years ago). Regardless of what we’re buying or who we’re engaging with, we want communication to be as quick and easy as possible—and preferably from our mobile devices.
3 Ways Radiation Oncologists Can Prevent Burnout
The healthcare industry is not always forgiving when it comes to workload and burnout. Long hours, high-pressure situations and continually growing administrative tasks can lead to a variety of problems: increased medical errors, low-quality patient care, higher risks for malpractice and much more.
Why Should I Use Expert Medical Billing Services?
When it comes to achieving and maintaining financial health, every medical practice needs an expert on their side to help make it happen.
40 Years of Medical Billing Success Stories at NCG Medical
Since 1979, NCG Medical has helped countless practices across various specialties with customized medical billing services that suit their specific needs. From radiation oncology and gastroenterology, to orthopedics and beyond, our team has provided many services, including practice-merger and contract negotiations, electronic health records, practice growth and much more.
NCG Medical: Outsourced Medical Billing That Feels In-House
For many medical practices, the idea of outsourcing billing services can be daunting—and understandably so. It’s a difficult task to just hand over all processes and trust a third-party resource that may or may not fully understand your industry. Plus, there’s also the risk that they may be difficult to get ahold of and may not have customized solutions that meet your practice’s unique needs.
How to Achieve a 95% Clean Claims Rate
Do you know what your practice’s clean-claims submission rate is? Because if it’s not currently 95% or above, you’ve got work to do.
6 Ways to Prevent Medical Billing Errors at Your Practice
Every successful medical practice needs a steady flow of incoming revenue to sustain business and growth. Part of that is ensuring there aren’t any billing errors causing damage to the bottom line.
A Brief Guide to Medical Billing and Coding Best Practices
At NCG Medical, our mission is to provide expert medical billing services that integrate seamlessly into your current practice management software or EHR. That’s why our team of in-house experts have a wide range of knowledge and extensive experience working with common softwares to best serve you and your practice without having to uproot all your familiar processes and resources.
7 Reasons You Need to Outsource Your Medical Billing Services
Medical billing is a standard service necessary for keeping your practice in good financial health. However, it can be difficult for in-house personnel to sustain speedy, error-free billing services in addition to the many critical responsibilities they hold.
NCG Medical: Experts in Your Practice Management Software
At NCG Medical, our mission is to provide expert medical billing services that integrate seamlessly into your current practice management software or EHR. That’s why our team of in-house experts have a wide range of knowledge and extensive experience working with common softwares to best serve you and your practice without having to uproot all your familiar processes and resources.
What Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management Services Are There?
The primary function of every medical practice is to provide care to its patients. However, every healthcare organization also has a critical secondary function—staying financially healthy. If you’re considering outsourcing your healthcare revenue cycle management, it’s important to educate yourself on the different types of services that are available and how they could apply to your practice to satisfy your financial needs.
What Is Medical Billing and Coding?
With increasing demand for healthcare services and decreasing reimbursement trends from insurance companies, medical billing and coding are more important than ever to ensure proper compensation to providers. Keep reading to learn more about the details of medical billing and coding.
How to Choose the Best Medical Billing Services for Your Practice
If you’re considering outsourced medical billing services for your practice, it’s important to know what to look for before deciding on a specific solution.
For many practices who’ve never used a medical billing firm before, the idea of handing everything over to an outside source can seem intimidating, but that’s often a problem of perception.
10 Reasons to Outsource Your Medical Billing
When it comes to thriving practices, it’s often that the in-house employees are the top contributors to that success. But regardless of talent, skill or capability, these individuals often lack the time and availability to keep up with the ever-changing tides of the healthcare industry.
Coding Abuse: Avoiding Enforcement Actions With Common Sense Protections
Submitting “clean” claims is something we emphasize here on the blog all the time – mostly in the context of ensuring forms and fields are filled out clearly for processing. But there’s another factor that makes a claim “clean,” too: its legality.
Implementing a New Medical Practice Solution? 3 Keys to Success
Has your organization decided to swap out your existing software stack for a smarter toolset? Congratulations – reaching consensus for a new solution is no easy feat (and often takes far longer than providers expect).
What Type of Medical Billing Firm Do You Need?
When they’ve never used a medical billing firm before, doctors and practice managers can be hesitant to outsource revenue cycle management. Often, it’s an issue of perception.
When billing operations are managed entirely in-house, leaders tend to believe that the practice has stronger “control” over its cash flow (even if their poor metrics prove otherwise). By outsourcing, the thinking goes, aren’t they just handing the reins over to someone else?
5 Best Practices for Boosting Clean Claim Ratios
Your practice’s ‘clean claim’ ratio is the average number of claims paid on first submission. How’s yours?
Every provider would love to reach a percentage above 95%, but it’s not really the number that matters. Practice budgets are tight, and your staff’s time is the most precious resource you have.
How Can Private Patient Advocates Help Providers' Performance?
It was 2007 when US News first called private patient advocacy an “ahead-of-the-curve” career path serving a “huge unmet need.” More than a decade later, the role private patient advocates play in the US healthcare system is still growing – and the unmet need remains.
Using Tech to Improve Patient Access & Practice Efficiency
When it comes to technology, healthcare providers may feel they have their hands full meeting the requirements of incentive programs. Beyond ensuring their solutions are able to report on MIPS and MACRA and meet Meaningful Use expectations, what else is there?
Tips on Making Prior Authorizations a Smaller Part of Your Day
Prior authorizations are one of the most time-consuming, onerous aspects of the fee-for-service healthcare system. Just as doctors: AMA research shows that 84% of physicians consider the burden of prior authorizations as high or extremely high.
How to Keep Cash Payments From Tripping Up Your Practice
Accepting cash payments is one way practices can broaden their revenue beyond traditional fee-for-service. For our readers in integrative health fields – such as acupuncture, massage therapy or chiropractic practice – accepting cash payments is typically a necessity (like it or not) given the challenges of insurer plans.
Pursuing the Right Software Set-Up to Get Your Practice Paid Quickly
Reaching the outcomes you want, in all walks of life, requires using the right tools. But in the medical practice environment, it can be hard to know if your solutions are hindering your success.
Negotiating with Payers for Better Reimbursements: 3 Tips
Small practices often feel like they have no leverage with payers. But while it’s true that large practices have a lot more power at the negotiating table, independent providers should always make sure their reimbursements are paid fairly – at rates that respect the quality of care delivered.
Considering Outsourcing Medical Billing? It Isn’t Always ‘All or Nothing’
Medical practice professionals are resistant to the word “outsourcing.” It brings to mind ideas of offshoring and offloading – packing up your processes and shipping them off to an invisible third party (and its thousands of employees) entirely separate from the in-house team.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. And in medical billing, it tends not to be.
Following Up on Unpaid Balances: New Tactics to Help You Collect
Non-paying patients are an unfortunate practice reality. And when money goes undeceived at the encounter, the odds of collecting only go down from there.
Should You Hire a MIPS Expert at Your Practice?
The doctors and nurses in your office are experts at what they were formally trained to do: diagnose and treat patients in their specialty. Your top coders, administrators, and billers have all earned expertise in their fields, too (whether through professional education on on-the-job know-how).
Staffing to Meet Demand: Is It Possible for Your Practice?
As technology delves deeper into every area of your practice operations, you may find yourself with extra resources on your hands.
Check-in kiosks in the waiting room might be freeing up staff time at the front desk, for example. Automated eligibility checks or claim-scrubbing software might be doing the same in billing.
3 Tips for Improving Your Patient Education Resources
For the modern medical practice, quality content can contribute to patient acquisition, retention, and treatment adherence. Providing useful resources to patients also creates an extra touchpoint between them and your practice – helping make the relationship more meaningful.
Best Practices for Analyzing Payer Reimbursements
Do you dedicate resources to analyzing payment accuracy? Lots of practices don’t – and are putting too much faith in payers to reimburse in full on every claim they complete.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Practices can create undue risk by maintaining poor standards around their day-to-day use.
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.
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.
Is Now The Time To Add Ancillary Services? 5 Questions
As reimbursements shrink and incentives get harder and harder to obtain, plenty of medical practices are looking for new income streams to supplement their revenue.
Should You Create a Sliding Fee Schedule for Your Practice?
Without exception, every medical practice faces issues related to patient payments. The challenges vary – ranging from patient financial hardship to lack of insurance to high deductibles, coverage gaps, and so many more.
3 New Strategies for Patient Acquisition
By creating a website, maintaining a Facebook page, and keeping your online contact information up-to-date, it’s fairly easy to make sure patients in need can find and reach your practice. And by supplementing those efforts with a bit of paid advertising or search-engine-optimization services, you can be more likely to stand out online compared to competing practices in your community.
Risk Adjustment: Could Your Coding Strategy Be Hurting Your Practice?
As the healthcare industry moves away from the traditional fee-for-service model and over to an increasingly value-based landscape, the role of coding is becoming more important than ever. And you don’t need to take our word for it; some high-level folks in the government are speaking a lot louder than we are.
5 Reasons Why a Medical Billing Firm is Your Practice’s Best Ally
As for any thriving business, your in-house people are your practice’s best asset. But no matter how talented and capable your personnel may be, they’re not enough to help your medical office navigate the ever-changing landscape of the healthcare industry.
EHR Implementations: What Works? What Doesn’t?
In 2017, some medical practices have more experience with EHR implementations than they’d care to. After first deploying solutions around the dawn of Meaningful Use (circa 2011), many have moved on from their initial selections.
Net Collection Rate: Understanding Your Practice’s Most Important Metric
For physician practices and their medical billing firms, net collection rate has always been a metric with huge implications for financial success. But in today’s healthcare environment, it’s more important than ever before.
Which Medical Billing Metrics Should You Measure? 5 KPIs for Your Practice
In a recent post, we called the net collection rate your practice’s most important metric. And we stand by it!
Since the net collection rate measures just how much money you receive against funds owed for services rendered, it speaks to the success of nearly every aspect of your practice.
3 Tips for Minimizing Your Medical Practice’s Cybercrime Risks
Security-, privacy-, and cybercrime-related concerns are especially problematic for medical practices. In the event of a breach or data theft, it’s not just the healthcare organization that gets affected – it’s potentially every one of their patients (not to mention their business partners, contractors, employees, and so on).
Medical Debt Reality Check: Unpacking New Findings on Patient Responsibility
Inside almost any medical practice, patient collections are an ever-present concern. Since the priority of collecting every dollar from non-paying patients can consume the day-to-day efforts of practice managers and their medical billing teams (or medical billing firms), the issue often gets outsourced to medical collections agencies.
Medicare Fraud: Doctor Convicted for Multi-Million Dollar Scheme
Instances of fraud in the U.S. healthcare system are anything but rare. Across the entire medical billing landscape, estimates put amount of health care expenditures lost to fraud between 3 and 10 percent.
Are ‘Bankruptcy Claw-backs’ a Threat to Your Practice’s Finances?
Whether it’s selecting a medical billing firm to manage the revenue cycle, minimizing your embezzlement risk with employees, or monitoring for potential cyber threats, managing your practice’s financial health is an ongoing priority. That financial health depends on income from a variety sources, including patient collections, payer reimbursements, and incentive payments (such as those for Meaningful Use), among others.
HIE Time: Why the Stock Market is Paying Attention to Medical Billing
No matter the makeup of your investment portfolio, most financial experts advise everyday investors against paying heed to the day-to-day whims of the stock market. (Whereas active day traders and large firms can win profits by reacting to short-term market fluctuations, most non-professional investors benefit more from sustaining a long-term outlook and strategy.)
Modernizing Medical Billing: New Ideas Outside the Incentive Programs
The U.S. healthcare system has a long-held (and well deserved) reputation as one of the most expensive, inefficient, and wasteful areas of our economy. For individual medical providers, the costs and complexities of medical billing, in particular, are so entrenched that they seem commonplace… and they also seem unlikely to change anytime soon.
Making Patient Collections More Compassionate: 3 Tips
What’s the most compassionate area of your healthcare practice? If you’re like most medical professionals, the answer is on the clinical side (as it should be).
The encounter room is the number one place where providers need to be kind and empathetic to their patients. However, it’s far from the only part of the office where those values are important.
Benefits of Bringing Physician Assistants & Nurse Practitioners into Your Practice
Around medical offices around the country, a familiar waiting room refrain is being heard a little less often these days. Instead of being called once “the doctor is ready” for them, many patients are hearing “the physician assistant [or nurse practitioner] will see you now.”
Debunking Medicaid Myths: Has Access Declined Under the ACA?
Given what a divisive policy issue it is (and has always been), myths about Medicaid have abounded for decades. Some of those myths have been incredibly damaging to the program’s perception, among patients as well as among the general public.
Negotiating Medical Bills? Prep for More Patient Payment Conversations
How does your organization feel about patient financial responsibility?
For some providers, the itemized total on an EOB is the last word – it’s essentially here’s what the payer covers, here’s what the patient owes, end of story. For others, the patient payment amount is a little less firm… and perhaps open to negotiation.
Should a Certified Coder be Your Next Hire?
Since the implementation of ICD-10, healthcare groups have had to become far more diligent about their billing and coding procedures. Thanks to ICD-10’s increased demands around specificity, it’s more important than ever for providers to prioritize accuracy in the coding function in particular.
3 Ways to Improve HCC Capture for Value-Based Payments
To capitalize on value-based payment opportunities, medical practices and other healthcare groups must underpin their medical billing and coding efforts with strong policies and processes that comply with VBR (aka ‘value-based reimbursement’) expectations.
Can Your Practice Benefit from Entering a Joint Venture?
To stay competitive in today’s evolving healthcare market, medical practices of all sizes need to stay on the lookout for smart opportunities to broaden their business potential. What growth avenues is your group pursuing?
With Healthcare Hacking on the Rise, Boost Your Digital Security
As they manage the day-to-day activities of a bustling medical practice, providers and practice managers like to assume that the supporting elements of their business are running smoothly. That is, that their technologies are working effectively, their accounting measures are meeting compliance, their security measures are adequately protecting their data, and their medical billing service is managing the revenue cycle to success.
5 Timely Tips for Adjusting to MACRA
The Quality Payment Program (QPP) from CMS, which includes the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act or ‘MACRA,’ is yet another step toward a more value- and outcome-driven healthcare environment than the traditional fee-for-service landscape.
How Technology Can Help Providers Better Understand Patients
For many of today’s top businesses, departmental functions such as marketing and sales have become highly data-driven and technologically savvy. With the help of sophisticated technology systems, those businesses can apply a laser focus on their customer base – understanding who their buyers and users are, what appeals to them, and how they interact with the brand or company.
Outsource Wisely! 5 Key Questions as You Pursue a Medical Billing Service
Despite the many advantages that medical practices can achieve by outsourcing their back-office operations to a trusted medical billing service, providers and practice managers often struggle to determine if outsourcing is the right approach for their organizations.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
3 Ways to Stay Out of Hot Water for 'Surprise' Medical Bills
When it comes to hot-button healthcare issues, the problematic prevalence of balance billing is near the top of the list. Consumers have been decrying the practice for decades – and regulators are (finally) raising a flag at the high amount of ‘surprise’ medical bills being sent to patients around the country.
Smart Strategies for Managing Your Practice's Online Reputation
NCG is committed to helping customers improve medical billing performance to help achieve profitability and practice success. But in today’s healthcare landscape, practice profitability involves a lot more than just the revenue cycle.
Stay Out of the HIPAA Spotlight as OCR Sets Small Breaches in its Sights
Meeting the many privacy and security stipulations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, is always an important objective for medical practices and provider groups. But sometimes, it’s more important than usual… and now is one of those times.
3 Strategic Planning Tips for Your Practice in 2017
2016 has been a tumultuous year across the healthcare space: With new changes coming down the pike thanks to programs like MIPS and MACRA – and the impact of the ICD-10 transition still reverberating through the medical billing function – medical practices have faced down a lot of challenges this year… and are ending 2016 on a note of uncertainty, as well.
Avoiding Five Common Causes of Claim Denials
If there’s one metric most likely to drag down your medical practice’s income stream, it’s your claims denial rate. If you’re like most providers, you’re no stranger to the consequences: According to the Medical Billing Advocates of America, every 1 in 7 claims is denied across the healthcare industry.
What Makes a Great Medical Billing Company?
When a practice considers outsourcing its medical billing function, there are plenty of options to choose from. You can work with a large organization, a small billing company, a technology provider, or otherwise, but it’s ultimately not about a billing firm’s size, scope, or software – it’s about service… and more specifically, the quality of that service.
What are the chances the ACA will be repealed, modified or changed significantly, in 2017?
With the dust settling on the most contentious election in recent memory it’s time to sort out what the new political landscape will mean for healthcare, namely how will the Affordable Care Act (ACA) be affected.
The Link Between Patient Engagement & Reimbursement
Especially in the increasingly value-based landscape of medical billing, boosting patient engagement levels is a priority of most modern medical practices. But even for those organizations that have yet to embrace the shift to quality over volume, patient engagement remains far more valuable from a financial perspective than most organizations realize.
Is Your Tech Ready for MACRA? Time to Find Out
In the increasingly value-based world of healthcare, providers’ success will hinge on their quality of service – not their fees and volume. The latest driver of the “value-first” evolution is MACRA, or the the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act.
5 Tips for Thriving in an ICD-10-Only Landscape
With October 1, 2016 now behind us, we’re living in a new “ICD-10-only” era. Even though the updated diagnostic code set became the norm in fall 2015, the CMS’ one-year grace period (in which providers could still utilize unspecified codes for Medicare fee-for-service claims) has come to a close.
Five Major Forces Impacting Payer Performance
At NCG Medical Billing, we’re committed to helping our customers achieve high first-pass resolve rates and prompt payments on their claims. But we’re far from the only entity involved in the revenue cycle.
Thinking of Joining an ACO? 5 Things You Need to Know
Over the last few years, accountable care organizations or “ACOs” have taken off throughout the U.S. As of the end of January 2016, Leavitt Partners had identified 838 active ACOs with service in all 50 states and the District of Columbia… which means no matter your geographic location, joining an ACO is an option available to your practice.
How to Keep Costs Down in an EHR Implementation
Even as the healthcare industry grows more and more driven by – and welcoming of – technological change, there are plenty of doctors holding onto their paper-based processes for as long as they can. The hardest thing to give up: Those trusted manila-folder medical records.
3 Surprising Consequences of the Shift to ICD-10
Following years of arguments, delays, and controversies, the shift to the ICD-10 code set has gone relatively smoothly since its mandated transition date of October 1, 2015. Almost a year later, the code set’s full implementation is almost upon us: On October 1, 2016, the ICD-10 “grace period” comes to an end.
Rethinking Your Collection Strategies for High-Deductible Plans
As high deductibles increasingly become the norm among employer-sponsored and individually-purchased coverage plans alike, practices face greater financial pressure than ever to collect patient balances rather than count on payers to pony up the lion’s share of payment.
Can a Practice Management Organization Help Your Practice?
Amid the evolving health insurance market, many providers are facing down a choice: indemnity versus managed care.
Of course, doctors aren’t required to pick one or the other. But with managed care plans on the rise now that many consumers are responsible for a greater portion of their individual care costs, most practitioners that want to earn revenue from managed care patients have little choice but to buy in to a physician-hospital organization (PHO) or sell out to a larger group or hospital.
3 High-Cost Healthcare Trends to Watch Out For
According to the latest projections from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. health spending will rise nearly 6% for the next 10 years. That’s not necessarily directly due to healthcare-industry developments – in fact, a significant portion of the uptick will stem from economic growth and population aging – but with health spending poised to increase at a pace 1.3% greater than the gross domestic product, external forces will certainly play a role in rising costs.
A Case of the MIPS: Preparing for the Newest Quality Reporting System
Another year, another new healthcare development, another new acronym. This time it’s MIPS – the CMS’s new Merit-based Incentive Payment System, which will have its first performance year in 2017.
Maintenance of Certification: 5 Questions on the Value of MOC
If you’re looking to start a contentious discussion among pediatricians or internal medicine practitioners, bring up Maintenance of Certification (MOC) – one of the most divisive issues facing specialists today.
The 2016 OIG Work Plan: 3 Takeaways for Medical Practices
Knowing that fraud, waste, and abuse are huge problems across the healthcare space, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) publishes a workplan outlining the ways it plans to combat those issues each year. Given that the OIG is the organization charged with preventing and investigating financial mismanagement by providers, the workplan should be required reading for physicians and medical practice managers – if only so they know what concerns to watch out for in medical billing and coding.
5 Smart Tips to Shorten Your Average Days in A/R
When it comes to your revenue cycle, continuous improvement is the key to success. Small enhancements to your medical billing operations can make a big difference in the consistency of your revenue stream by helping you dodge reimbursement delays and denials.
Digital Patient Engagement: How it Affects Revenue Cycle Management
As the healthcare industry continues its shift toward outcome-driven care and value-based payments, practice-payer collaboration is key to revenue cycle success. But with so many payment-related and regulatory concerns to account for – from PQRS reporting and incentive program requirements to weighing the benefits of joining an ACO – it’s important for every provider to ensure that patient satisfaction remains a top priority.
Waiving Your Way into Trouble – Writing Off Patient Co-Pays Is Costly
Freebies and discounts are a time-honored American business tradition. In many industries, throwing in something “on the house” is a sound marketing tactic or a built-in aspect of business as usual (at least for mattress salesmen waiving the cost of the bed frame when you buy the deluxe model, or for lawyers and accountants who usually charge $120 an hour, “but in your case…”).
Note Language & Denials: Using Precise Documentation to Avoid Delays
Note language is an aspect of the practice of medicine that bridges both the administrative and clinical sides of the house. As a responsibility, documentation falls on the priority lists of practitioners – doctors, physician assistants, or nurses. Yet the consequences of providers’ documentation decisions fall on their support staff of coders and medical billers, whose job is to get practices paid by insurers.
Choosing a New PMS? Consider its Impact on Medical Billing
Upgrading from a legacy practice management system (PMS) to a more modern solution can be hugely rewarding for providers, but it’s not without its challenges. Like all technology purchases, selecting a PMS vendor is a time-consuming process that can be riddled with system limitation issues and frustrating negotiations.
Simplification & Consolidation Will Lead To Efficient Medical Billing
A wide-ranging national discussion of ‘reforming’ (or otherwise improving) the American healthcare system has been loud for years – and thanks to our current election cycle, it’s reached a higher decibel level than ever.
New OCR Guidelines Help Providers Navigate the HIPAA Privacy Rule
In many practices across the U.S., “HIPAA” is a term thrown around often. Providers and administrative staffers carefully protect patient records out of over-concern, at times cracking wise about the “HIPAA Police” coming to get them for violations.
CMS Releases Proposed Rule on MACRA Implementation
Yesterday the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its anticipated proposed rule which details how the Agency intends to implement the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APM) Medicare reimbursement methodologies which will replace the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate Formula (SGR).
How Better Transparency Can Bolster Medical Billing
From inside the healthcare industry, providers and their medical billing teams have a framework for understanding of how the billing process works. From outside, however, it’s an entirely different story. Both insured and uninsured patients face huge challenges navigating the business side of the American healthcare system – in part because few have the luxury of thinking about the “business side” when their need for care arises.
The 60-Day Rule: Understanding the New Requirements for Overpayments
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) services has done its fair share of confusing people, but a proposed rule issued back in February 2012, under Section 6402 of the Affordable Care Act, may take the cake as its most cryptic communique ever.
Spring Cleaning at Your Practice: Optimizing Tasks & Workflows
With April well underway, we’ve entered the season of renewal. Just as April showers bring May flowers, practice improvement efforts in April can reap positive impacts over the rest of the year.
Will 2016 be the Year of the Patient Advocate?
While it’s unfair to make broad generalizations about physicians as a demographic, it’s safe to say that doctors (almost always) tend to believe they’re right. Whether due to their extensive educations or the oft-decried “god complex,” it’s no dig to say that doctors see themselves as harbingers of good judgment – the best judgment – when it comes to all things patient care.
Billing for Telemedicine: The Tips You Need to Know
Telemedicine is an excellent advancement for the healthcare system at large, since it helps underserved communities get the medical attention they deserve even when a local physician is unavailable.
Navigating Tax Time at Your Practice: Don’t Miss These Tax Deductions
Running a medical office is an expensive effort. It’s a labor of love, of course, but a costly one – with a million different kinds of practice expenses falling into dozens of different accounting buckets.
Can ‘Automated Intake’ Help Boost Medical Practice Performance?
As technology increasingly infiltrates every aspect of medical billing, patient care, and practice management, one piece of day-to-day medical office operations has been largely spared: check-in. Even many technologically savvy practices, clinics, and hospitals still handle patient arrival with the same tools they always have – a printed paper sign-in sheet and clipboard-bound ink pen.
Tips for Success in the New World of Patient Collections
Change is a constant in medical billing and practice management – and Q1 2016 has had change to spare: Meaningful Use is in transition; the impact of ICD-10 is still reverberating; and new programs like MACRA are still making their debut.
Insurers Facing New Pressure on 'Doctor Directories'
It’s a scenario medical billing professionals know all too well: A patient mistakenly believes a provider is in-network for his insurance and is stunned upon receiving a bill replete with out-of-network charges.
Is Mobile Texting a Do or a Don't in the Healthcare Environment?
From employees texting bosses to business owners texting customers, many of the unwritten rules and tentative boundaries that once defined who, and what, accounted for “appropriate” texting behavior have largely fallen away. Overall, that’s a welcome development for most folks who find the convenience, clarity, and quickness of texting preferable to voice-to-voice conversation.
3 Best Practices for Patient-Friendly Medical Billing Statements
The shift toward a more consumer-driven healthcare environment has impacted nearly every aspect of patient care and medical practice management. In the short period of time since U.S. healthcare reform ‘took off’ around 2011, hospitals and medical offices have grown accustomed to many new norms.
Value-Based Payments: Time to Start Shifting Away from Fee-for-Service
Way back on January 26, 2015 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a goal of tying 30% of their traditional (fee-for-service) Medicare payments to quality or value through alternative payment models, such as ACOs (accountable care organizations) and bundled payments, by the close of 2016. The close of 2016 seemed far away at the time… but a year later, it’s right around the corner.
Not So Fast: The End of Meaningful Use Isn’t Imminent After All
Many healthcare industry stakeholders thought they got a belated Christmas gift on January 11, when Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced that the Meaningful Use program would “now be effectively over and replaced with something better.”
Patients or Payers – Which Come First at Your Practice?
A high-functioning medical establishment – like any other business – should ideally operate like a well-oiled machine. Your office policies should be clearly defined, your staff should be trained to follow them, and your employees should be motivated to execute their responsibilities in line with expectations.
ICD-10-Produced Problems: How to Manage the Ongoing Impact
After all of the industry-wide infighting and regulatory postponements that marked the years leading up to the mandated shift – at long last – to exclusive use of the ICD-10 code set, the implementation phase has finally passed. And despite the extensive bickering and delays, the switch ultimately went by with less of a bang than a whimper.
Medical Billing in 2015: 4 Takeaways from the Year that Was
Before launching into the new year, it’s important to reflect on the developments and trends that made medical billing in 2015 so important to the healthcare industry at large!
Boosting Practice-Payer Collaboration in 2016
Happy New Year! With the dawn of 2016 comes the annual ritual of resolution – personally and professionally. A new year presents a new opportunity for improvement at your medical practice, particularly when it comes to how well you play with others.
Is Medicare Going Broke? 3 Trends to Watch
When President Johnson signed Medicare into law on June 30, 1965, he said: "If it has a few defects, I am confident those can be quickly remedied." Quickly is a relative term… but more than fifty years later, more than a few defects remain.
Balance Billing: Why It's Coming Under Scrutiny
The “first do no harm” dictum for doctors has at least one exception: the wellness of their patients’ finances. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the least welcome surprise patients face in the U.S. healthcare system—the unexpected medical bill, typically delivered courtesy of one all-too-common practice: “balance billing.”
Open Enrollment Is Upon Us. How Should You Handle It With Patients?
Open enrollment is upon us once again. How can two simple words create so much complexity?
Every November-December, medical practices, insurance companies, patients, and medical billing services face down healthcare’s least favorite season - and every year it seems to get more challenging for all parties involved.
Fee-for-Service / Private-Pay: Physicians Grapple With Changing Models
From low reimbursements to high deductibles to non-paying patients, doctors and medical practice managers have plenty to be frustrated about when it comes to the business of healthcare. Yet interestingly, their chief complaint has little do with earning less money than they deserve – it has to do with the trouble they go to in order to get it.
Vendor Allies: The Partners Who Help You Optimize Payment Performance
Amid dwindling reimbursements, ICD-10 challenges, and the rise of high-deductible health plans, medical practices are increasingly pulling away from payers. Some are switching to concierge care, others are testing the waters with self-pay patients and rate-card pricing, but almost all physicians and medical practice managers are expressing frustration at the changing healthcare landscape.
Using Patient Satisfaction Surveys to Boost Practice Performance
In our experience as a medical billing company, doctors and practice managers are often hesitant to treat their patients like customers – or to refer to them as such. To some it feels unethical to view a patient encounter as a transaction, since it can lead to seeing patients as an income stream rather than as human beings seeking care, treatment, and outcomes.
The New Meaningful Use Rules: What You Need to Know
Medical office professionals, healthcare technology providers, and medical billing companies alike were eagerly awaiting the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’) latest announcement on October 6th, in which they released the finalized modifications to the Stage 2 rules of Meaningful Use and the updated Stage 3 regulations. (In addition, they announced a 60-day public comment period about Stage 3 of the EHR Incentive Program as it relates to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.)
How to Keep High-Deductible Health Plans from Hurting Your Revenue
Since the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the rise of high-deductible health plans has shown no sign of stopping. As patients increasingly purchase low-cost, high-deductible coverage from their national or state healthcare exchanges, practices have had to face the issue head on – deciding up front which plans to accept, which to turn away, and how to handle the overall impact on patient relations.
ICD-10 Deployment Takes Off! 3 Key Issues to Watch Out For
After years of postponements and preparations, the vastly expanded coding methodology known as ICD-10 is officially, actively in play for medical practices across the U.S. Like other highly publicized calendar dates (Y2K comes to mind) the October 1, 2015 ICD-10 deployment date came and went without a major glitch, and even the groups most vehemently opposed to ICD-10’s government-mandated implementation have been mostly silent in the weeks since.
Best Practices for Better A/R Management
With ICD-10 finally upon us, it’s time to face the consequences. Some predict the impact will hit claim's denial rates the hardest, with jumps as high as 50-100% estimated in the early days of the transition.
As such, there’s no better time to get your Accounts Receivable in order. Capture more of what you earn by making sure to follow these two best practices.
3 Surprising Ways to Put Data to Work for Your Medical Practice
To keep the wheels turning at your practice, you periodically review reports on many different aspects of your operations: patient encounters and no-shows; per-provider performance metrics; revenue cycle effectiveness. If you’re like most doctors and medical practice management, you review your data with a dual mindset: a reflective approach (“How did we do last quarter?”) and eye for improvement (“Let’s do 10% better this time.”)
Should You Be Concerned About Insurance Switching Patients?
If there was one issue that shaped the narrative of health insurance reform under the Affordable Care Act the most, it was that of individual patient coverage: who would get to keep theirs, who would lose theirs, and who would switch.
Lean Medical Practice Management: Is It Right For You?
Disruptive technological innovation is impacting industries as disparate as manufacturing, finance, travel, transportation, and of course, healthcare. From EHRs, document management to practice management systems, dozens of new products and tools – many built by upstart young technology companies – are changing the face of medical office administration as we know it.
Breaking News for Meaningful Use in 2015
On October 6, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released their revised final rules to both Stage 2 and Stage 3 measures. Most importantly, Stage 2 Meaningful Use attestation for 2015 is now a 90-day period rather than the initial 365-day requirement.
Could Virtual Visits Boost Your Revenue?
Physicians and medical practice managers face a lofty challenge every day when it comes to balancing what’s best for their patients with what’s best for their bottom line. There are times when it feels like mutually beneficial solutions are hard to come by, but there may be one going unconsidered: telemedicine.
Three Surprise Benefits of a Medical Billing Service
When considering the switch to outsourced medical billing services, doctors and medical practice managers typically focus on the most obvious benefits: lower overhead costs, decreased demand on staff, improved and more consistent cash flow.
ICD-10 Update: How CMS is Easing the Big Transition
On July 6, the stuff of comic book legend happened: Two antagonists joined forces for the benefit of their shared community. But we’re not talking about Batman, Catwoman, and Gotham here – this time, it was the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the American Medical Association (AMA).
MIPS 101: Understanding the New Merit-Based Incentive Payment System
Just when you got comfortable with every other incentive program - from Meaningful Use of EHRs to the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) to Value Based Modifier payment structures (VBM) - here comes another: MIPS, or Medicare’s new ‘Merit-Based Incentive Payment System.’ The introduction of MIPS may be a blessing for medical practices, since, it merges the other three programs into one.
Overwhelmed With A/R? Here's How to Get Streamlined
If you don’t revisit your processes and procedures for Accounts Receivable regularly, they can easily get out of hand. Your practice is collecting from thousands of patients and potentially dozens of payers - and without regular maintenance, your A/R won’t stay a well-oiled machine for long.
4 Simple Ways to Grow Your Patient Base
Thanks to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, there are nearly 17 million more insured individuals in America’s health insurance system than there were in September 2013. There’s arguably never been a better time in history for medical practices to boost their revenue by bringing in new patients. How is your practice capitalizing on the opportunity?
Concierge Care: Is It Right for Your Practice?
Depending on who you ask, concierge medicine is one of two antithetical things: an elitist, small-minded approach to practice management and patient care; or a more egalitarian, logical solution to the problems of today’s healthcare system.
How to Simplify Physician Credentialing
If credentialing a new physician is on your practice’s to-do list, it’s probably the line item you’re dreading the most. There’s not a medical professional among us who wouldn’t describe the physician credentialing process as tedious, time-consuming, and burdensome – the kind of onerous medical practice task that feels like it sucks up way more office energy than it should.
Could Non-Compete Agreements Help Your Practice Compete?
Brace yourselves: The physician shortage is coming for your practice. According to a recent report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the U.S. will face a shortage of as many as 90,000 physicians by 2025 as the ‘boomer’ generation ages.
How to Launch a Profitable Private Practice
Across the country, physicians are increasingly seeing the value of independence. Whether escaping hospital employment or breaking out of group practice to go solo, more and more doctors are heading into private practice.
Denying Denials: 3 Simple Ways to Bolster Denial Management
The only way to keep your practice afloat is to make sure your revenue stream stays steady. If you’re not paying close attention to your denial rate – and making headway toward improving it – you’re putting your practice at risk.
Optimize Scheduling to Improve Practice Returns
If things at your practice feel like they’re falling off the rails – you’re overly busy and understaffed, your denial rate is soaring, your revenue is stagnating – the unlikely culprit may be sitting on the counter at the front desk. Your appointment book (or online appointment calendar) could be the source of all of your problems.
What Productivity Metrics Should You Measure?
How committed is your team to making your practice the best it can be? From your medical billing department to your clinical staff to your front desk reps, everyone involved in day-to-day business around your office should be motivated to help you become a top-of-the-line medical establishment.
Reduce Practice Risk Through the Do's and Don’ts of Documentation
Even in today’s increasingly complex healthcare environment - where technology and new laws impact almost every aspect of medical billing and practice management - one of the most valuable tools to protect your practice is the most simple: your pen.
Revisiting Eligibility Checks: Are You Doing Them Wrong?
We can’t stress it enough: checking a patient’s insurance in advance of each and every encounter is the number one way to avoid medical billing issues. So why do so many practices neglect them?
Is Your Practice at Risk for a Payer Audit?
Even if everyone at your practice loves surprises, there’s one surprise that’s unwelcome: a payer audit. Being audited by Medicare or another government payer is a top fear of many medical practices… one that almost always feels like a threat.
What High-Deductible Health Plans Do to Your Bottom Line
Opinions about the Affordable Care Act – and all of its repercussions – continue to vary widely among stakeholders in both the health care industry and the public at large. One of its most prominent (and provocative) consequences has been the rise of the high-deductible health plan.
Navigating New Medicare Modifiers: Meet XE, XP, XS & XU
It’s not just ICD-10 that’s requiring medical billing and coding to get a lot more specific! In August, Medicare made it clear to providers that they recognized the inadequacies of the 59 modifier (“distinct procedural service”) and introduced four new modifiers to ideally be used in its place: XE, XP, XS & XU. If your billers and coders are saying “X what?!” then it’s critical they get more familiar with the new medicare modifiers.
Considering Participating in an ACO?
As a medical billing company we are seeing the health care industry evolve, value-based care is becoming increasingly important to the governmental powers that be. But it matters to practices, too! If delivering enhanced, collaborative care to your patients is a growing priority for your practice, you may be captivated by the opportunity to participate in one of the most successful initiatives in the value-based care movement: the ACO, or Accountable Care Organization.
How to Hire Great Staffers for Your Medical Practice
As you look around your practice, you likely see many areas where you could invest in new resources: technology, infrastructure, new devices. But what about your human resources?
Take Action by July 1 to Avoid 2016 Medicare Payment Adjustment
Payment adjustments for eligible Medicare-eligible professionals that did not successfully participate in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in 2014 will begin on January 1, 2016. Medicare eligible professionals can avoid the 2016 payment adjustment by taking action by July 1 and applying for a 2016 hardship exception.
Why Are Docs Opting Out of Meaningful Use?
The Meaningful Use program – designed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to speed up adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) – is not everyone’s favorite initiative. But just how unpopular the program is across the healthcare industry may surprise you.
How to Craft a Better Medical Collection Letter
One of the most frustrating aspects of medical billing and practice management is patient collections. It’s a touchy situation – one in which you need to be firm in your approach but sensitive to the many concerns at play (patient financial hardship and medical-issue severity among them).
Is Your Practice Ready for the Google Search Update?
The Mobile Friendly Google Update
Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 21, Google is making a major update to its mobile search algorithm that will change the order in which websites are ranked when users search for something from their phone or tablet. As your business partner we wanted to make you aware of this change so you can stay ahead of your competition.
SGR and Doc Fix Update
Last evening, by a vote of 92 – 8 the Senate passed H.R. 2, legislation that would permanently repeal and replace the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate formula (SGR). There were six amendments offered during floor consideration and all were defeated. Therefore, the Senate has passed the bill in the identical form as the House passed version.
Could Group Visits Boost Your Revenue?
Shared medical appointments or “group visits” have long been an option for medical practices, but in recent years they’ve been on the rise. The American Academy of Family Physicians estimated that the number of physicians performing group visits rose from 5.7 percent in 2005 to 12.7 percent in 2010.
Start Preparing Today to Prevent ICD-10 Denials
October 1, 2015 – and with it, the mandated shift to the ICD-10 code set – is right around the corner. Though the implementation date has changed before (three times since 2009), there seems to be no postponement on the horizon this time around.
The 5 Questions You Must Ask a Medical Billing Service
If your practice is struggling with its revenue cycle, it may be a smart decision to outsource back office operations to a medical billing company. But the billing service you select will become more than just a technology vendor – they’ll become a partner in your financial success.
Can Patient Education Improve Your Revenue ?
Medical practices are under pressure from so many formidable factors – dwindling reimbursements, crammed schedules, changing healthcare laws and regulatory requirements – that sometimes even the simplest efforts to improve financial performance end up on the low end of your priority list (if they make the list at all).
Do You Know If You Are Upcoding?
Your practice would (hopefully) never deliberately overcharge patients, but you may be guilty of doing it nonetheless. Upcoding – the practice of coding and thereby billing at a higher level of service than is appropriate for services or procedures rendered – is a much more pervasive problem than most medical practices realize.
5 Tips for More Productive Medical Billing
Timely, accurate, and full reimbursement is the most important metric for keeping the lights on at your practice. But only around 70 percent of claims submitted are processed and paid on the first submission – leaving a whopping 30 percent unprocessed, returned unpaid, or requiring additional energy and time from your staff for resubmission.
Stop Risking Your Revenue
Are you failing to spot the top risks to your revenue? With payer reimbursements continuing to decline, providers and medical practice managers know that they can’t afford to let revenue slip through the cracks. Yet many are losing money without even realizing it, simply because they aren’t noticing areas where they’re underperforming, making mistakes, or operating inefficiently.
Medical Billing Tips: Put an End to Underpayments
Practices tend to consider their contracts with payers to be binding commitments… but are they? Data from the American Medical Association shows that most insurance companies pay practices just 86-92% of their contracted rates.
Medical Billing Tips: How to Resolve Patient Billing Problems
Your practice does a lot for your patients’ physical health, but are you doing anything for their financial health? Medical billing can cause a lot of headaches for patients, especially if they feel that their provider isn’t doing enough to help them understand their bills and resolve problems that come up.
Negotiating Payer Fee Schedules? Here Are 5 Tips to Help!
As your practice’s year comes to a close, now is the time to review your financial performance and consider the factors that impacted your revenue – including your payer contracts.
Practice Management Tips - Streamline Collections
How to Streamline Collections to Boost Your Revenue
No matter how many patients you serve and how low your denied claims rate, any and all unpaid balances weigh down your revenue stream and overall practice management. Since collecting past due balances can be complicated, many practices keep unpaid copays and other bills on their books for far longer than they should.
How and Why to Perform a Medical Billing Audit
If you’re happy with your practice’s reimbursements and you haven’t seen a recent spike in denials, you may feel like your medical billing operations are coasting along just fine. But is fine good enough?
Healthcare Analytics and Medical Billing Services
Medical billing services typically know how to dodge the manual errors, timing issues, and outright mistakes that frequently cause claim denials. (Denials due to ineligibility, missed filing deadlines, and plain old miscoding are common across all specialties.)
Practice Management Tips - Update Your Medical Billing Policies
Is it Time to Update Your Medical Billing Policies?
Like many other areas of your practice, your medical billing is likely a matter of routine. If your staff members know how to do their jobs well, your billing department may run like a well-oiled machine. But is that machine operating at optimal efficiency?
Considering A Medical Billing Service? 5 Questions You Need To Ask!
As the end of the calendar year approaches, many practices perform self-audits to determine areas where their practice management systems and processes can improve. Billing and compliance roles are often at the top of the list.
Medical Billing Tips - Simplify Payer Enrollment
Using CAQH to Simplify Payer Enrollment
Working with payers is not always easy. (Denied claims, long remittance times, and coverage disputes have likely caused more than a few headaches at your practice.) But thanks to an initiative from the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH), provider enrollment with payers is a little simpler than it used to be – giving you less reason to reach for the ibuprofen.
Medical Billing Services - Key Performance Indicators
In today’s ever changing healthcare environment, many small medical practices are struggling to stay afloat. Do you have one of those practices? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Most physicians feel that they are working harder than they have ever worked before but getting paid diminishing returns. Fighting for every dollar seems to be the trend.
A Survival Guide to PQRS Reporting
Over the last few years Meaningful Use and ICD 10 have received most of the attention from the press and professional societies, but in our experience it is PQRS requirements that most practices are failing in their preparation and reporting.
Top 5 Medical Billing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)
Running a cost-effective, efficient medical practice requires a steady and reliable revenue stream… and that’s something you can’t achieve if your billing efforts aren’t optimized for success.
Medical Billing Tip: Keep Your Practice on Track for ICD 10
Now that the Department of Health and Human Services has pushed the ICD 10 compliance deadline to October 1, 2015, your practice’s ICD 10 implementation plan might be the furthest thing from your mind. But while you don’t need to be in a mad rush to make intensive ICD 10 arrangements, it’s important that you stay on pace to adopt the new coding standards with minimal disruption to your business.
Medical Billing Tip: Consider Time-Based Coding for E/M
Sometimes a visit goes long – an extra five or ten minutes – and it throws off your morning schedule. Other times, a visit goes way too long – an extra 20, 40, or even 60 minutes – and it practically wrecks your entire day’s schedule.
Meaningful Use Stage 2 Webinar
According to the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), 408,000 eligible providers have received EHR incentives totaling close to $6.5 billion, but it seems that the program is losing some of its initial momentum.
Medical Billing Tips - Provider Credentialing
All medical billing is predicated on physicians being credentialed, but the process has become increasingly difficult due to payer and state-specific requirements. Here are three tips to make your provider credentialing easier:
Introduction to PQRS Webinar
Did you know this is the last year CMS will offer a 0.5% incentive payment for successfully participating in the PQRS program? Are you aware that penalties will increase from 1.5% to 2% for not participating?
If not, watch this informational webinar and see just how easy it is to succeed in PQRS!
Reporting PQRS via Registry – Do you Know How?
If you answered “Yes” to this question, congratulations you should be receiving your 2013 payment any day now! Use this blog as a reference to ensure you reported your PQRS measures via registry correctly. If you answered “No,” then this information is just what you need to know for the 2014 reporting period.
Revenue Cycle Management Tips - Top Tools For Medical Practice Managers!
Running a medical practice in today’s day and age is becoming quite the challenge for many. Multiple layers of government compliance programs, decreased payments from insurance programs, staff management needs and most important, customer service and patient care.
Physician Billing Best Practice: Prepare for Meaningful Use Audits
NCG Medical is more than an Orlando medical billing company, we also develop practice management software, document management software and electronic medical records (EMR) to aid all aspects of revenue cycle management. Lately we have been hearing more and more from EMR users about government Meaningful Use (MU) audits.
3-Steps To Choosing a Medical Billing Company
Deciding which medical billing company to work with and what corresponding billing services to outsource is more than just comparing rates. When considering outsourcing you hand over a critical component of your management. It is vital you choose a vendor that you view as a partner, and is invested in the success of your practice.
Physician Billing Best Practices
You've probably heard many times before that if you want to have predictable cash flow you have to have great revenue cycle management.
Medical Billing Service Tips: Split Names into Columns in Excel
As part of NCG's Medical Billing Services, I regularly find myself working with large patient lists in Excel. In those lists, it is very common for the patient’s first, middle, and last names to be combined into one single column.
Participating in the Physician Quality Reporting System
By Daniel H. Green, MD, FACOG
The Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), encourages the reporting of quality information. PQRS gives participating eligible professionals the opportunity to assess the quality of care they are providing to their patients, helping to ensure that patients get the right care at the right time.
How Will the Proposed New Timeline for the EHR Incentive Program Affect Your Practice?
Wondering what you need to know about proposed extension of Stage 2 and updates on Stage 3 timeline? CMS and ONC recently announced the intent to change some deadlines when it comes to the EHR incentive program. Here's what's important to note:
In a Year of Seismic Change, NCG Medical Will Help Your Practice Thrive
Medical practices will encounter unprecedented changes in 2014. The ICD-10 transition and Stage 2 of Meaningful Use are hitting the calendar the same year. Both will cause administrative and financial trials for practices.
Consider Section 179 Deduction Before It Sunsets
Bottom-Line Saving Tip:
If you’re looking to make capital improvements, including the purchases of hardware and software to help your office, you might want to take advantage of a valuable tax deduction before the end of the year.
Keep Your Business's Revenue Cycle Moving with a Smooth Transition to ICD-10
Your business’s revenue cycle moves like a fine oiled car, and you’ve worked hard to tune each part. With the transition to ICD-10 approaching, avoid stalling out - seek help! Without proper planning, your revenue cycle is headed straight for a crash after the October 1, 2014 ICD-10
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Are you getting paid what you want?
If you are working harder and taking home less money than you did a year ago - it is time for a checkup on your business financials.
Are You Managing Your AR Effectively?
Let NCG Medical clean-up overdue receivables. Running a medical practice is tough enough without having to worry about receivables creeping past 60, 90 or even 120 days.
It’s time for your annual checkup and NCG is accepting walk-ins!
With the calendar pages flipping from June to July – we have reached the halfway point of 2013. Now is the perfect time for a financial checkup of your practice so you can fine tune the health of your operations. NCG provides complementary billing
Alert: Inspector General Demands Physicians Improve Records for NPI Files and PECOS or Face Losing Medicare Revenue
HHS investigation says poor records can signal Medicare fraud. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) is sounding the alarm on inconsistency in practitioners’ records: clean up inaccuracies or face not getting paid for your work.
Alert: Government stepping up audits for Meaningful Use Compliance
Meaningful Use audits are happening and NCG wants you to be prepared and prevent your practice for being at risk of losing EHR meaningful use incentive money.
Does Medicare Know You’re Writing Electronic Prescriptions?
Bottom-line saving tip: submitting the G-code is the pathway to avoiding a two-percent Medicare penalty. The deadline for the 2013 eRx program is less than a month away. This is your final chance to submit electronic prescriptions and avoid a penalty of 2 percent on your Medicare reimbursement starting next year.
Have You Heard of Appointment Reconciliation?
When waving good-bye to a patient, what do you see walking out the door? Is it money?
Save Time and Money: Verify Patients First
Your time and your staff’s time are valuable. But your practice is wasting everyone’s time if you’re treating patients prior to checking on their insurance eligibility and coverage.
Ignoring PQRS Could Cost You $$$
Most practices are unprepared: but there is still time to act.
Sometimes, being in the majority is bad. According to recent financial audits completed by NCG Medical, nine out of 10 physician offices are ignoring the compliance requirements for PQRS.
Monitoring Your AR: How Is Your Practice’s Health at 90?
Living beyond 90 is great when it comes to patient age, but on the balance sheet, bills older than 90 days can mean financial stress for your practice.
Will EHRs soon be in the clouds?
Last week the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT, part of the Department of Health and Human Services requested ideas to accelerate electronic health record exchange between providers, due to challenges with health information exchanges (HIEs).
Florida Governor Announces His Push for Medicaid Expansion
Florida Gov. Rick Scott recently introduced a potential major shift for healthcare in the sunshine state when he announced that he will urge the Legislature to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid.
New Children’s Electronic Health Record Software Announced
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), with backing from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have announced the development of a new software that can help better Electronic Health Records (EHRs) for the care of children.
Patient Deductibles Are Rising: What Does This Mean for Your Office?
With patient self-pay of deductibles already difficult for doctors to collect, and health plan deductibles continuing to rise the amount you collect from a patient is important.
NCG Medical Reaches Milestone for Medical Billing Services
More than 100 medical practitioners seek NCG Medical’s expertise to maximize their bottom line.
EHRs Prove to Be a Gold Mine for Medical Research
Electronic health record adoption continues to rise in physicians efforts to convert from hand written doctors notes to electronic records. The goal remains the same – improve efficiency and cut costs.
Is Central Florida the Next “Medical Battleground?”
With new economic realities and the ever-changing healthcare reform, the trend of consolidation in health care has begun transforming the practice of medicine. According to estimates from Accenture, a consulting firm, the percentage of independent doctors nationwide now rests at 39 percent, down from 57 percent in 2000.
Doctors Moving to Electronic Health Records Increase
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the percentage of doctors who have switched to electronic health records (EHRs) has increased to 72%, climbing steadily in recent years.
Consolidation – A Trend Changing Healthcare As We Know It
Recently, healthcare has been changing rapidly. The way of doing things has changed because of the new legislation and the ever changing medical innovation forming new trends in the industry.
Benefits of Electronic Health Records Are Seen After Super Storm Sandy
When Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast, many physicians learned the benefits of electronic health records (EHRs) in ensuring safety of patient records. In the storm’s wake, as patients bounced between hospitals and other care facilities
Florida to Pay Medicaid Primary Doctors at Higher Rate
NCG Medical would like to give primary doctors in Florida a heads up; with healthcare reform Medicaid doctors will now get paid at higher Medicare rates.
The NFL Tackles EHRs
The 32 teams that make up the National Football League (NFL) will now run on an electronic health record system to better care for game-related injuries and better diagnose the all-too-common concussions.
Look for New Ways to Maximize Practice Revenue in 2013
By Antonio Arias
You have spent years building your practice into a profitable business with a good client base.
What Does the President’s Re-election Mean for Electronic Health Records?
With President Barack Obama’s re-election most of the remaining uncertainty regarding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has been lifted and will continue to move forward. Health IT adoption, on which health reform depends
Electronic Health Records – What We Can Do Now that We Couldn't Do Before
Before electronic health records (EHRs), all the research and results for medical findings all came from years of clinical studies. It involved treatments based on what worked for the statistically average patient. Now, the knowledge about
Electronic Health Records Aid in Diabetes Control
A recent study released in the Annals of Internal Medicine says Electronic Health Records (EHRs) improve both care and overall outcomes for patients with diabetes.
Rome Was Not Built in a Day: EHR Incentives Are Working
Federal incentives for meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs) have become a topic of political debate. Recently, several House Republicans called for immediate suspension of EHR incentives. Health IT groups fired back, defending incentives.
NCG Clears the Air to Negative EHR Accusations
With physicians and hospitals implementing electronic health records, recently there has been a lot of negative press regarding the adjustments. NCG Perfect Care is here to clear the air by addressing the issues head on.
National Health IT Week
This week marks 2012’s National Health IT Week (Sept. 10-14). Nationwide reform for a system-wide adoption of health information and technology is not possible without raising awareness. National Health IT Week brings the community of health information technology together to educate and inform how Health IT is a vital piece of doctors today providing, monitoring and improving health care services.
Healthcare Technology Helps Returning Veterans
With the Iraq War officially ended and Afghanistan scheduled to pull back by 2014, scores of service members are beginning to head home. In an article in the August edition of Healthcare IT News, Secretary of Veteran Affairs Eric K. Shineskistated, “As the tide of war recedes, we have the opportunity and responsibility to anticipate the needs of returning veterans.”
Perfect Care EHR Supports New Stage 2 Rules for Electronic Health Records
Federal officials announce final regulations for the second stage of Meaningful Use, NCG’s Perfect Care is in compliance every step of the way.
EHRs Prove to Help Evidence-Based Medicine
Through EHRs, physicians will be able to access a patient’s full medical history, such as allergies and family history, with the click of a button. They will also have schedules and reminders at their fingertips, for example, when a patient might be due for their next mammogram.
Practices Nationwide Looking for Replacement EHRs that Can Quickly Qualify for Federal Dollars
While many practices are just beginning their path to meaningful use with electronic health records, more and more practices are looking for replacement EHRs.
Survey Reports Doctors Are Warming to Electronic Health Records
A national survey carried out by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, reports the perceptions and practices of nearly 3,200 doctors using electronic health record systems.
Electronic Health Records Help Make the Shift from Volume to Value Systems
For years the healthcare industry has been talking about making a switch from systems that reward volume-based providers to value-based providers. The Supreme Court’s decision to overhaul
Electronic Health Records Help Fight Epidemics
A recent article in The New York Times addresses an unexpected benefit of electronic health records – the ability to help catch and manage epidemics in real time.
Electronic Health Records Go for the Gold in the Summer Olympics
For Team USA, racing against a digital clock is nothing new. Now it’s time for digital health records to race ahead of its paper counterpart.
Harvard Study Reflects Drop in Malpractice Claims with Electronic Health Records
The study reveals doctors who switched to electronic health records had fewer malpractice claims than doctors who use paper records. The study, conducted by the Harvard School of Medicine and published in the June 25 online edition of Archives of Internal Medicine, offers evidence that electronic health records improve quality control and prevent mistakes.
Obamacare Ruling May Accelerate E-health Spending
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the primary provision of the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare” will accelerate the industry's massive investment in information technology.
The Cloud Provides Health Care IT Solutions Above the Ongoing Technology Scrum
Don’t look now, but some current major players in the tech world may actually be doomed.
Experts predict the move away from personal computers is surging, with everyone from doctors to schoolchildren making the switch from PCs and laptops to smart phones and tablets.
New EHR Numbers Show Progress - More Than One Third of Doctors Have Now Attested for MU
Nearly 18 months into the incentive program for electronic health records and a growing minority of doctors are qualifying for meaningful use. The latest report shows 36 percent ofphysicians have attested that they’re using electronic health records in a meaningful way under federal guidelines.
CMS Warns that EHR Non-compliance Penalties Could Be More Severe
The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services is giving new motivation to doctors by stating that penalties for not using EHRs in future years could be more severe than many think.
Practicing in Underserved Areas Can Mean More Stimulus Money for Electronic Health Records
The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently noted that qualified medical professionals who serve in rural areas can receive a 10 percent bonus in stimulus funding for meaningful
Doctors Stare Down EHR Deadline: Risk Losing Thousands
Tick. Tick. TICK. The clock is ticking for doctors who want to receive maximum federal incentives for electronic health records. We have been saying it for months that the time for doctors to join the EHR movement without losing money is quickly running out.
NCG Medical Agrees to Defer 80 Percent of Costs for Its Industry-Leading Electronic Health Record Solution
Doctors who buy Perfect Care EHR can pay for the program with their first incentive check.
Perfect Care EHR Tops National Average for Getting Doctors Electronic Health Record Stimulus Money
Perfect Care EHR qualifies medical professionals for incentive payments in less than 100 days.
5010 Update to the HIPAA Electronic Transaction Standards
As a valued NCG Medical client, we want to assure you that you are prepared for the upcoming 5010 transaction requirements. The NCG Support Team will contact your office prior to the deadline to perform the necessary update for 5010 transactions.
NCG Medical Provides EHR Solutions for Physicians
Doctors looking for a certified selection in ambulatory electronic health records technology can now turn to NCG Medical.
NCG Medical, a leader in health information technology and practice management solutions, has earned national certification by the Office of the National Coordinator for both its Perfect Care EHR and Perfect Care EHR Lite electronic health records solutions.
NCG Medical Named Qualified EHR Vendor for PaperFree Florida
PaperFree Florida serves doctors in the Tampa region:
ORLANDO, Fla. (March 23, 2011) – NCG Medical, a global leader in electronic medical health records, has been named a qualified vendor for Electronic Health Records (EHR) for PaperFree Florida.
NCG Medical Now Offers Two Certified Electronic Health Records Solutions
Perfect Care EHR and Perfect Care EHR Lite Both Earn National Certification:
Orlando, Fl. (March 16, 2011) – Doctors looking for a certified selection in ambulatory electronic health records technology can now turn to NCG Medical.
NCG Medical Receives ONC-ATCB Certification by Drummond Group
ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 18, 2010) – NCG Medical Perfect Care EHR Meaningful Use Edition has received Complete EHR Ambulatory certification—deeming the Electronic Health Record (EHR) software capable of enabling providers to meet the stage 1 meaningful use measures required to qualify for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Ponce School of Medicine Names NCG Medical as Preferred Vendor
Ponce School of Medicine Names NCG Medical as Preferred Vendor for Electronic Health Records for Puerto Rico:
Miramar, Puerto Rico (January 18, 2010) – NCG Medical Systems, Inc., a global leader in electronic medical health records, has been named a preferred vendor by the Ponce School of Medicine Regional Extension Center in Puerto Rico.
NCG Medical to Handle Electronic Medical and Health Records for eHealthConnecticut’s Regional Extension Center
ORLANDO, Fla. (November 15, 2010) – NCG Medical Systems, Inc., a global leader in electronic medical health records, is expanding its operations in Connecticut.
NCG Medical Selected by Indian River County School District’s Adult and Community Education School
NCG Medical Selected by Indian River County School District's Adult and Community Education School – Medical Coder/Biller Program: Selection Driven by Ease of Use, Interoperability Features.
NCG Medical Software Picked by Lake-Sumter Community College to Run Health Information Management Program
Orlando, FL – July, 27, 2010
NCG Medical, a leading provider of electronic health records software (EHR), announced today that Lake-Sumter Community College (LSCC) has licensed NCG Medical's electronic health records system Perfect Care EHR to support its Health Information Management programs. Lake-Sumter Community College is the third academic institution in the state of Florida to license Perfect Care EHR.
NCG Medical, Perfect Care EHR Achieves Preliminary ARRA 2011 Certification from CCHIT
Altamonte Springs, FL
ORLANDO, FL – December 11, 2009
NCG Medical announces that their Electronic Health Record, Perfect Care EHR® has been inspected by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®)and is Preliminary ARRA 2011 certified, meeting proposed Federal standards supporting the achievement of 22 of 26 proposed 2011-2012 Meaningful Use Objectives for Eligible Providers under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
NCG Medical Announces Its Participation in Preliminary ARRA 2011 Certification Program
Altamonte Springs, FL
ORLANDO, FL – October 7, 2009
NCG Medical announces Perfect Care EHR’s® participation in The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology’s (CCHIT®) new certification program.
NCG Medical scholarship: UCF Program Prepares Students for a New Era in Health Care
As the national debate on health care reform rages, the University of Central Florida this week launched a new program that will prepare students for jobs considered essential to
NCG Medical Donates $1.25 Million to UCF HealthCare Informatics Program
Altamonte Springs, FL
ORLANDO, FL– April 12, 2009
NCG Medical, an Electronic Health Records (EHR) company based in Central Florida, has donated software and technical support valued at $1.25 million over five years to the University of Central Florida.
NCG Medical’s dChart EMR Receives CCHIT Certification
Software complies with 100 percent of certification criteria.
Altamonte Springs, FL
The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHITSM) today announced that NCG Medical is CCHIT CertifiedSM for its product, dChart EMR and meets CCHIT ambulatory electronic health record (EHR) criteria for 2006.
New Software Integrates with Statewide Immunization Registry
New Software Allows Florida Pediatric Practices to Upload Patient Records Directly to Statewide Immunization Registry
Altamonte Springs, FL
For pediatric practices utilizing the Florida SHOTS immunization registry, the days of manually entering patient data into the system are over.
NCG Medical Announces Its Membership in the Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Program
Altamonte Springs, FL
NCG Medical, today announced it is a new member in the Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Program, Gold Certification is the highest classification in the Microsoft Certified Program.
NCG Medical Systems' software, services chosen by east coast medical
Contract marks company's 25th new customer this year for immediate release
Altamonte Springs, FL
Medical practice software developer NCG Medical Systems, Inc. announced today that it has signed a contract with Orlando-based EastCoast Medical Network
NCG Medical Systems Voted No. 1 in Customer Satisfaction
Altamonte Springs, FL
NCG Medical Systems, Inc. announced today that its Perfect Care® practice management software was ranked No. 1 in customer satisfaction, according to the 2004 Computer/Web Site Utilization survey conducted by the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM).
NCG Medical, IQMax Partner to Offer Physicians Enhanced Mobile Healthcare Solutions
Altamonte Springs, FL
Going mobile assists physicians in providing patients better care. Medical software provider NCG Medical Systems Inc. announced today it has signed a private label contract with IQMax Inc., a mobile healthcare software solutions provider, to provide physicians with mobile software solutions that will improve the quality of care and reduce potential medical errors.