Medical Billing News

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.

But the healthcare system is a somewhat different story. Mobile texting’s rise in the world of hospitals, medical offices, and medical billing companies has been shakier than in many other industries, thanks to valid, worthwhile concerns over patient privacy and the sensitive nature of healthcare information at large.

Even if your healthcare establishment has a highly limited relationship with texting (i.e., it’s “frowned upon,” or only used for patient reminders and alerts), it’s worth revisiting what is, and isn’t, ok when it comes to texting among doctors, patients, and staff. Keep the following tips in mind whenever you unlock your smartphone to ping someone in your medical practice’s orbit.

Topics: Medical Billing, Revenue Cycle Management, Practice Management

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.

And nowhere should those expectations be more clearly defined than when it comes to dealing with insurers. Ever-changing and illogical as they sometimes may be, payers have nothing but medical billing rules. Working with payers successfully requires your practice to adhere to rigid guidelines, so making sure your staff knows, understands, and follows those guidelines is vital to your bottom line.

Maintaining and enforcing office-wide policies about payers’ is undoubtedly a huge part of your HR program. But what happens when payer rules collide with patient care?

Topics: Medical Billing, Revenue Cycle Management, Practice Management

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.

The death knell and possibility for Medicare going broke and its sister program, Medicaid, has been sounded regularly for decades by politicians, government entities, and special interest groups alike. Their claims that Medicare is headed for bankruptcy are largely overblown, but they’re not entirely without merit: Healthcare spending overall has decreased in recent years, but in 2014 Medicare spent over $613 billion to cover care for 54 million beneficiaries. Projections of Medicare costs are highly uncertain, especially when looking out more than several decades, so it’s likely that the program will continue to eat up an ever greater portion of the federal budget and the economy.

Even more concerning may be the structural flaws leading the program to misallocate and misuse funds. A recent Government Accountability Office report found that $60 billion (10 percent of Medicare's budget) was lost to waste, fraud, abuse or improper payments in 2014.

Beyond that misspent 10 percent, however, what’s plaguing the Medicare program moving forward? What forces will have the greatest impact on Medicare’s solvency in 2016 and beyond? For any healthcare group, revenue cycle management entity, medical billing company, or Medicare-covered patient interested in the future of the program, these are the top issues to keep an eye on.

Topics: Medical Billing, Revenue Cycle Management, Practice Management

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. Just how challenging? In a recent survey of 400 adults who purchase their own health insurance, ConnectedHealth found that more than half of those polled felt choosing a health plan was more complicated than solving Rubik’s Cube.

Depending on their employer coverage or familiarity with the Affordable Care Act and the state and national healthcare exchanges, your patients may see your practice as their only resource for navigating the complexity of open enrollment. But given that patients and providers have far different financial concerns, that’s a tricky spot for practices to find themselves in. What should, and shouldn’t, you say?

The key to assisting your patient base through the open enrollment rigmarole (without compromising your ethics) is to stick to providing fact-driven information, and to stop short of telling patients which plans to pick. Here’s what we suggest:

Topics: Medical Billing, Revenue Cycle Management, Practice Management

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.

Topics: Medical Billing, Revenue Cycle Management, Practice Management

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.

The challenges of working with insurers are well-documented, and many of the practices trying new approaches to payment are doing so with success. But what’s a practice to do if it’s not interested in changing its model? Cutting payers out of the revenue cycle is a non-starter for many traditional medical practices and healthcare groups – especially those with small or aging patient populations.

How do you optimize revenue without making a major change to the structure of your medical practice? By leveraging the power of vendor allies.

Topics: Medical Billing, Revenue Cycle Management, Practice Management

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.

The bright side: 17 million more Americans are insured now than were pre-ACA, meaning your potential patient base is larger than ever. But due to the higher costs they face, high-deductible patients are far less likely than employer-covered ones to actually pursue care, follow through on treatment plans, and return for follow-up visits.

As such, it’s vital for your practice to take a proactive approach to patient awareness and education in order to seize your share of the newly-covered-patient market without hurting your income. Here are some of our recommendations as a medical billing company to help you embrace the high-deductible reality.

Topics: Medical Billing, Revenue Cycle Management, Practice Management

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.

Yet as a medical billing company we know that just because the transition has so far gone smoothly doesn’t mean the ICD-10 struggle is over. Medical practices are still experiencing an adjustment period, as billers and coders get familiar with the new code set and doctors and medical practice managers await its impact on their reimbursements.

As the repercussions of ICD-10 begin reverberating through the U.S. healthcare system, here are the top issues we’ll be keeping an eye on. (If you’re worried ICD-10 will take a bite out of your income stream, contact a medical billing service to see how they can help you avoid potential problems.)

Topics: Medical Billing, Revenue Cycle Management, Practice Management

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.

Topics: Medical Billing, Revenue Cycle Management, Practice Management

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.”)

Of course, that’s what you should do... but it’s not ALL you should do.

Whether you’re running a group practice or a single-practitioner practice, your front- and back-office operations produce a wealth of useful data that you’re likely not utilizing to full advantage. Try these three techniques, then get creative to see what other applications you can come up with.

Topics: Medical Billing, Revenue Cycle Management, 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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