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July - August 2012 •
Volume 17, Issue 4

Advocacy: CMS and Washington, D.C.
President's Message
Don Rodden, CPA, CHBME
July is a time when we reflect on our independence and freedom: rights to work, worship, vote, and speak freely, to name a few. For those who live in societies who don't know freedom (aka, Syria), freedom is an incredible and illusive dream that evokes such passion that citizens are willing to step into harm's way and even lay down their lives if necessary to claim it. Click for more

SPOTLIGHT ON! Sherri Dumford
ISAM Staff Profile
By Billing Editors
You first started with HBMA as a regional chair. How have you found that your experience with that position impacts your current position? Many long years ago, an HBMA member asked me if I would consider working to develop the Southeast Chapter of HBMA. That was way back in 1999, as I recall... Click for more

Topic:Pros and Cons of Using Patient Portals for Patient Payments
By Billing Editors
HBMA Members sound off on important issues in the field. Click for more

Difficult Clients
And How You Dealt With Them
By Billing Editors
This new feature highlights those clients who pose problems for billing companies. Please feel free to send any stories you have to All contributions will remain anonym Click for more

ICD-10 Delay
Where the Industry Stands
By Shelly Guffey and Dawn Duchek
On April 9, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a proposed rule that would delay the ICD-10 compliance date a full year to October 1, 2014. There was an official comment period for the industry to weigh in before HHS's final decision is made. Of course, providers and others impacted by the change have already been sharing their opinions on the impact of a delay. Here is what we have heard. Click for more

Cooperative Exchange Working to Resolve Version 5010 Issues
Feature Story
By Tim McMullen, JD, CAE
Working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to facilitate members' contacts with Medicare Administrative Contractors Click for more

OIG Alert on Physician Reassignment
OIG Alert
By Michael R. Burke, Esq.
February, 2012, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services ("OIG") issued an "OIG Alert" designed to alert physicians to exercise caution when reassigning their Medicare payments to individuals or entities that submit claims to Medicare on the behalf of said physicians. The OIG Alert resulted from settlements recently reached by the OIG with eight physicians who violated the Civil Monetary Penalties Law by causing the submission of false claims to Medicare from physical medicine companies. Click for more

New AMA Resources Help Physicians Take Charge of Their Data
The Increasing Importance of Physician Data
Published with permission of the American Medical Association (AMA)
It is often said that knowledge is power, and in our increasingly technological world of medicine, the primary source for obtaining that knowledge is data. Payer claims databases, patient registries, patient satisfaction survey results, data analytics engines, electronic health records, and a host of other systems and technologies are revolutionizing the way in which healthcare is chosen, delivered, and funded. Click for more

Remembering What Not to Forget in 2012
Feature Story
By Eddie Williams, MBA
In the middle of a very busy day last week, I received a phone call from a friend regarding a meeting with a potential client she had referred me to. Sounding very bewildered, she said, "I just got a phone call that you missed your appointment with the customer I referred you to today?" Click for more

Choosing the Right Clearinghouse
Five Essential Qualities
By Bill Marvin
In the healthcare billing industry, the clearinghouse you work with has a huge impact on your business. The more efficiently your clearinghouse processes and returns your information, the faster you and your clients will get paid and the more payments you will collect. Therefore, knowing the right qualities to look for in a clearinghouse is crucial to the success of your business. Click for more

Guidance On Health Insurer-Payer Relations
AMA Perspective
Published with permission of the American Medical Association (AMA)
Billing companies can share the following information with their clients about resources from the American Medical Association (AMA) to help physician practices with health insurer-payer relations. Click for more

Using QR Codes to Accelerate Online Patient Payments
By Mark Snow, Chief Marketing Officer, PSC Info Group
With the popularity of smartphones, mobile commerce is fast becoming an effective way to do brisk business. Recognition technologies such as Quick Response (QR) codes and mobile tags give companies a new way to reach customers wherever they are – instantly. Click for more

Three Mindsets for Growing Your Business and Sales
By Ron Karr
If I ask you not to think about pink elephants, what will you think about? Be honest! You're thinking about pink elephants! But why would you, when I asked you not to? Click for more

The Personal "Front"
Home and Retirement
By Lee R. Phillips, Esq.
Business is where you make your money and home is where you have your family and want to retire. This final installment of my series will concentrate on ensuring that you protect your personal residence and provide for your retirement. This will not be your standard retirement advisor's pep talk. Click for more

California Workers' Compensation Physician Practice Engagement Campaign
AMA Perspective
Published with permission of the American Medical Association (AMA)
The AMA encourages billing companies to share the following information with their physician practice clients. Billing companies can join the campaign to promote workers' compensation electronic billing (eBilling) by contacting for more information. Click for more

CMS Selects New ICD-10 Implementation Date
Coding Corner
By Jackie Miller, RHIA, CCS-P, CPC, PCS
On April 9, CMS issued a proposed rule calling for a one-year delay of the ICD-10 implementation. The proposed rule had a 30-day comment period, so by the time this column appears in print, CMS should have already issued the final rule. Chances are good that it will confirm the proposed October 1, 2014 implementation date. Click for more

Using Excel Tables to Manipulate Billing Data, Part 2
By Nate Moore, CPA, MBA, CMPE
The May-June 2012 issue of Billing introduced tables in Excel, a powerful tool that is used to sort, filter, and organize data. Now that you are familiar with the basics of creating and using tables to sort and filter data, we will take your skills to the next level with features found in the Table Tools Design tab. To follow along with the data in this example, look for the download link with the May-June Billing article. Refer to the "Tables (Part 1)" article if you need help with table basics. Click for more

ICD-10 Committee
Compliance Issues
By Holly Louie, RN, CHBME, PCS
The 5010/ICD-10 Committee was established in 2009 in anticipation of the tremendous breadth of work that would be required by HBMA members to successfully implement both the 5010 transaction standards and ICD-10 coding changes. The committee was built with broad representation from both our members and vendor community, with committee members also having designated external organization liaison roles... Click for more

HIPAA Security and Privacy Exposure
EHR Issues
By Ron Sterling
In the flurry of activities associated with EHRs, ICD-10, and other healthcare industry challenges, many organizations have not maintained proper attention to evolving HIPAA Security and Privacy issues. Of particular importance to your billing service are changes to HIPAA Security and Privacy that were included in the HITECH Act, making Business Associates responsible for liability and remedy of HIPAA Privacy and Security issues. Penalties for these breaches have been increased to a maximum of $1.5 Million. Click for more

How to Market Your Medical Billing Services, Part 1
From the Road
By Dave Jakielo, CHBME
Today, the medical billing marketplace is more competitive than ever, and if you are not proactively marketing your services, you may find your clients slowly slipping away. For the first time in the billing industry, companies are losing clients even when they are doing a stellar job. Click for more

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