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November - December 2011 •
Volume 16, Issue 6

A Summation of My Year as HBMA President
Message from the President
By Jackie Willett, CHBME
October was another productive month for HBMA. Your board of directors, committee chairs, newly elected board members, and ISAM staff met for two and a half days to strategically plan for our association's future. The essential purpose of this meeting was to formally understand the status and determine the goals of HBMA and to produce our strategic plan for the future. Click for more

SPOTLIGHT ON! Survey Committee
HBMA Committee Profile
By Karen Olson, CHBME
With all of the recent changes in healthcare, tracking valuable data in order to assist HBMA members in operating their businesses has become more complex. The HMBA Survey Committee strives to tackle this challenge. Established in the fall of 2005 by Past President Bing Herald, this committee has sought to maximize the exchange of meaningful industry information among HBMA members through the analysis and dissemination of surveys for the past six years. Click for more

HBMA Members Sound Off on Billing Issues
Billing Editors
Pros and Cons of Using iPads vs Droids (phones & tablets) Click for more

Our Changing Healthcare System
Feature Story
By David N. Gans, MSHA, FACMPE
After many years of stability, the United States healthcare system is undergoing a series of changes that will affect who has health insurance, how doctors are paid, and how physicians relate to hospitals and insurance companies. Some of the changes are the result of healthcare reform while others are due to market forces completely unrelated to the federal legislation. Click for more

Leader, Manager, or Follower
What Role Do You Play in Your Work?
By Harriet Di Cerbo
There has been a lot of discussion in recent years about the differences between managers and leaders. For many, it's been valuable food for thought in looking at how to effectively supervise others, but there are important questions in this discussion that we can ask of ourselves, individually. How does the idea of leadership apply to everyone, even those who aren't in managerial positions? Click for more

Bleak Outlook for Seniors, Baby Boomers
Medicare Patients' Access to Physicians Remains in Jeopardy as Boomers Enter the Program
Published with permission of the American Medical Association (AMA)
Without congressional action on long-term Medicare physician payment reform, Medicare rates may be cut nearly 30% after March 1, 2012, while practice costs continue to rise. These cuts come at a time when Medicare physician payment updates have already fallen 20 percent below increases in the costs of caring for seniors... Click for more

The Growing Cost of Repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) Formula
AMA Perspective
Published with permission of the American Medical Association (AMA)
Each time Congress has taken steps to stop imminent across-the-board cuts in Medicare payments for physician services, the cost of permanently repealing the broken formula has grown... Click for more

Go Electronic
AMA Perspective
Published with permission of the American Medical Association (AMA)
Your practice can save significant administrative time and expense by electronically performing routine functions such as verifying patient eligibility and contacting a health insurer about the status of a claim. And the AMA "Heal the Claims Process"™ campaign is devoted to helping you do just that. Click for more

Four Tools of Financial Foundation
Feature Article
By Lee R. Phillips, JD, US Supreme Court Counselor
The standard small business owner's life is easily profiled: graduate from school, kiss the books goodbye, start working for someone, figure out you're smarter than the idiot you are working for, and start your own business. Hopefully, you make money! Click for more

Paper vs. Electronic Planners?
Feature Story
By Kimberly Medlock, CPO
If you are busy and want to be productive with your time, using a planner tool is a necessity, not an option. The busier you are, the more organized you have to be, and getting things out of your head and onto paper (or screen) is the smartest way to help you do that. So this leads to the question: Should you use a paper or electronic planner? Click for more

Why We Leave. Why We Stay?
The Truth Behind Job Satisfaction and Creating an Outstanding Workplace Culture
By Michelle Ray
Workplace surveys conducted by Manpower, Inc. indicate that despite an economic slowdown, there has been a steady increase over the past two years in the number of individuals who plan to look for new job opportunities. Even if the trend reverses, the impact of workforce mobility and knowledge transfer on organizations cannot be understated... Click for more

More on the 2012 Procedure Code Changes
Coding Corner
By Jackie Miller, RHIA, CCS-P, CPC, PCS
Last issue's coding column discussed 2012 CPT® changes related to evaluation and management (E/M), radiology, and cardiology services. In this column we'll discuss some additional changes that may affect billing professionals and their clients. Click for more

Moore Filling, Works Great!
Software Issues – Excel
By Nate Moore, CPA, MBA, CMPE
If you haven't used the fill handle in Excel, you'll be filled with thanks for the tons of time this little trick will save you with some common Excel tasks. If you're still using Excel versions prior to Excel 2007, you're in luck! The fill handle is available in earlier versions of Excel. Click for more

Payer Contracting
Tackling the Task and Staying the Course
By Penny Noyes
With skyrocketing costs and declining payer reimbursements, practices are struggling to find ways to increase – or just maintain – the bottom line. Practices can improve their revenues through an aggressive payer contracting strategy. How? Click for more

Compliance FAQs
Compliance Issues
By Karen Collier, Esq.
Three frequently asked questions about compliance. Click for more

Competing in an EHR-Driven Business Environment
EHR Issues
By Ron Sterling
Electronic health records (EHRs) are changing the service needs and management focus of many physician practices and healthcare organizations. These changes are being driven by Medicare and Medicaid incentives and demands from patients and healthcare providers for more timely and efficient patient management and communications. Click for more

Planning Your Future – Where Do You Go From Here
From the Road
By Dave Jakielo, CHBME
A universal truth in the medical billing industry today is that the marketplace has never faced more uncertainty. However, as everyone knows, with uncertainty there can be both threats and opportunities. Click for more

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