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November - December 2013 •
Volume 18, Issue 6

Moving Forward
President's Message
By Jud Neal, CHBME
As I write my last message to you as president, I am reflecting on all that has happened this year and how fast time flies by. I think about all the hard work our volunteers accomplish to make HBMA a better organization. I am thinking about the hard work that Brad Lund and all the people at ISAM have put forth as well as our support from Capitol Associates and all the other support staff. Click for more

Five Ways Social Media Provides Value to HBMA Members
HBMA Benefit
By Fran Cashen, HBMA Director of Marketing and Social Media
Successful organizations across the healthcare industry are turning to social media marketing to achieve their promotional and business objectives, but for HBMA it goes beyond simply extending our visibility. Our mission has always been to further the efforts of medical billing companies through education, advocacy, and collaboration, and we are leveraging the strengths of the most prominent social media outlets to further all three phases of that mission. Click for more

Tell Us How You Are Competing with Companies Charging Very Low Fees For Similar Services
By Billing Editors
I have found that the companies charging very low fees (such as 2–4%), are not providing the same services (or same level of service). You simply have to market yourself better and explain that to providers; it is called differentiation. What makes your company different? What are your strengths? Most potential clients will understand this, if you present it well. If they don't, you don't want their business... Click for more

Open Enrollment is Open... Now What?
Planning for the New Year Under the Affordable Care Act
By Jennifer Searfoss, J.D., C.M.P.E.
Starting on January 1, 2014, the grand experiment of insuring more Americans begins in earnest. For the new year, 30 million Americans will receive standardized coverage through new health insurance exchanges (HIX) or state Medicaid program expansion. According to a PwC Health Research Institute analysis, these patients are going to be more racially diverse, more likely to be single, and less likely to speak English. Click for more

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Third-Party Billing Company Payment Models
By Robert Liles, Esq.
For more than sixty years, third-party billing companies have supported physicians, specialty groups, and other clinicians who provide billable medical services. First arriving on the scene in the 1950s, changes to the billing company industry have tracked those of the health care providers they support. Click for more

You Need to Adapt in Order to Survive
How Your Company Can Prosper During the Healthcare Industry Chaos
By Patrick Phillips
The healthcare industry is facing a state of complete disorder and confusion: Uncertainty surrounding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the looming switch to ICD-10, EHR and "meaningful use" deadlines, hospital acquisitions of physician practices, new HIPAA rules, and Health Insurance Exchanges... the list goes on. It seems like a challenging time for medical billing companies – and it is. Click for more

If You Can Measure It, You Can Manage It
Do You Know the Financial State of Your Company?
By Michael K. Farmer, CPA, CHBC
Most of the clients who I work with use an electronic bookkeeping system, such as QuickBooks, to keep track of their finances. The majority of those do not do much beyond entering the deposits and checks in the checkbook, while others reconcile the balance. They have created a very powerful database and choose to ignore it when making financial decisions. Click for more

Help Physician Practices "Heal That Claim"™ by Taking Advantage of ERAs and EFTs
AMA Perspective
Published with permission of the American Medical Association (AMA)
Drowning in paperwork? The AMA's "Heal the Claims Process"™ campaign can help. This year's campaign goal is to help reduce the cost of managing the claims revenue cycle by replacing paper explanation of benefits forms (EOBs) and checks with the use of electronic remittance advices (ERAs) and electronic funds transfers (EFTs). Click for more

The Non-Leader in Each of Us
You Need to Train Your Leaders to Lead
By Kevin Herring
Very few workplace leaders end up in charge because they showed great leadership skills when they had no leadership responsibilities. No, in most cases, they got the nod because the boss could depend on them to get the job done; they were good worker bees. Click for more

Save Costs Through Technology
New Ways to Connect to Patients Without Statements
By Bill Marvin
How often has this scenario occurred in your office? A statement is printed and mailed to a patient for the amount owed. A month passes without receiving a payment, so your staff contacts the patient and learns that the patient never received the statement. Click for more

8 Ways to Exit Your Company
Choose the Path That Works for You
By Stephen Klein, CPA
According to Paul Simon, there are 50 ways to leave your lover. Not being as creative as Mr. Simon, we have only come up with eight ways for owners to leave their companies... Click for more

Transitional Care Management
Coding Corner
By Jackie Miller, RHIA, CCS-P, CPC, PCS
In 2013, Medicare began paying for transitional care management (TCM) as part of a multi-year strategy to recognize and support primary care and care management. In this month's column, we will review some of the most important coding and billing guidelines for TCM services. Click for more

Benefits of ICD-10
By Valerie Fernandez, MBA, CPC, CPC-H, AHIMA ICD-10 Trainer
The new, expanded code set of ICD-10 offers an opportunity to improve the reporting of services in all healthcare settings. Details related to acuity, laterality, disease etiology, disease stage, and episode of care will provide information that will enable carriers to appropriately assess both the complexity and quality of care, thereby ensuring that reimbursement is consistent with the care rendered. Click for more

Excel's Financial Functions
By Nate Moore, CPA, MBA, CMPE
Excel has a variety of built-in functions to calculate loan payments, lease payments, and other financial transactions. It is easy to calculate interest rates, the present value (how much a series of future payments is worth today), and future values (how much a series of future payments will be worth in the future) with Excel's functions. Click for more

Will EHRs Solve Your Clients' ICD-10 Challenges?
EHR Issues
By Ron Sterling
On October 1, 2014, physician practices – along with everyone else covered under HIPAA – will be required to start using ICD-10 codes in place of ICD-9 codes. This profound change in our industry will be challenging, as the ICD-10 coding system uses a very detailed level of specificity beyond ICD-9 to justify CPT codes. Click for more

Innovation and Creativity: Today They Are a Must
From the Road
By Dave Jakielo, CHBME
The status quo is no, no, no. Today's business environment changes by the hour, and you need to be willing to change right along with it. In days past, experience meant everything, but it certainly does not any more. For continued success, you will need a combination of experience and wisdom. When you have experience, you know what happened in the past, but wisdom allows you to adjust to what will be needed for the future. Click for more

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