All posts by Stephen Brighton

The Best Physician Software

Why AllScripts is the Best Physician Software for Your Practice

If you’re in need of a physician software to help you manage your practice, you know you need something that’s open, scalable, and seamless to form the foundation of continuous innovation. It must meet regulatory and best practice workflow standards, with custom tailored options that can cater to your practice’s unique needs, from EHR and financial management to population health management and precision medicine solutions. Oh yeah, and it should all happen on one platform. There’s one place that can happen, and that’s with Allscripts.

Because patient engagement is vital in attracting and keeping people in your practice, you have to make a positive difference in some way, with friendly service and accommodating office hours that appeal to patients. But it’s more than that; it’s about the total engagement of patients in your care so that you can give them the tools they need to increase the satisfaction of their experience. The key is to stay connected. The right physician software can help you do that.

What is Allscripts?

With the mission of building open, connected communities of health, Allscripts helps physicians just like you deliver smarter care with better precision to result in healthier patients and communities. With a variety of different solutions available, Allscripts can strengthen IT foundations through user-friendly clinical and financial processes that help you meet the demands placed on you every single day. Ranging from regulatory to quality demands, the goal is to embrace collaboration and coordination to boost the process of care delivery. Serving 45,000 practices, 180,000 physicians, and more than seven million patients, Allscripts is increasingly becoming the software platform of choice for physicians around the country. And it’s easy to integrate into your own practice.

Reasons to Choose Allscripts Physician Software

From easy navigation to security, the ideal patient portal system, particularly when it comes to medical billing, should empower people to embrace financial responsibility with simple bills they can scan easily as part of a seamless strategy that improves their overall feelings about their doctor’s visit or hospital stay. Here are some reasons why so many physicians are turning to Allscripts software.

Allscripts is:

  • The original open, connected health platform established in 2007.
  • The vendor-neutral patient engagement platform, whereby providers can communicate effectively and engage patients directly.
  • A portal for real-time analysis and action at the point of care to not only boost health but reduce costs as well.
  • A way to gather care coordination, patient engagement, connectivity, data aggregation and analytics in one place at the point of care.
  • An industry leader with three decades of experience.

Open-platform solutions like Allscripts FollowMyHealth® customize options to your own practice’s goals and needs. It’s easier than ever to access information, health plans, patient-care teams, and patient history. Isn’t it about time you encouraged patient participation by taking a more active role in their own healthcare experience? It will help you as well in the end. With the ability to access online or by an app, patients can send their physicians confidential messages, view laboratory results, make changes to their account, pay bills, and re-up their prescriptions.

From the viewpoint of compliance, providers can stay in touch with patients in terms of their care management so that they can more readily meet the requirements of their insurance companies. This is just one Allscripts software type. There are many more that your Allscripts software provider can customize to your unique needs.

Learn more about Allscripts Connected & Complete today at Medical Healthcare Solutions. Call us now at 800-762-9800 and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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Clean Up Your Medical Billing Before the End of the Year

Clean Up Your Billing Before The End Of The Year

As the New Year approaches, it’s time to take stock of the previous 12 months and make some adjustments in your billing approach. Take a look at what’s been working and, more importantly, what hasn’t. It goes beyond unpaid bills and into the realm of HOW you handle your accounts payable and receivable and how you can improve. The changes you make now will benefit you throughout 2018, increasing your bottom line, decreasing your stress level and boosting the smooth operation of your billing processes.

Are your administrative costs skyrocketing? Do you have outstanding A/Rs from the beginning of the year and even years past? Are the insurance denials piling up? How do you handle them?

Analyzing your billing process starts with taking a long hard look at performance. Many practices experience surprisingly low rates of reimbursement success, often times because billers focus their time and skills on the “easy” claims, leaving many challenging claims under-reimbursed, points out Healthcare Business Today. Is your current billing software effective? How quickly are you getting reimbursed? Is money being left on the table? It’s time to upgrade or change your billing procedures if you as a healthcare provider are not happy with the ways things have been going. Here are a few tips:

  • Engage in follow-up training if claims are continually being denied.
  • Analyze the reason codes to see why a specific payer constantly denies claims.
  • Analyze how the referral process works and find out what stop-gaps are preventing you from processing claims efficiently.
  • Go over your input processes. Are policy numbers being entered correctly? Is there a lapse in document processing?
  • Talk to your front- and back-office staff to introduce new policies and procedures if you are finding too many controllable errors.

Correcting Problem Areas

Many of these issues result from lack of time and too many other responsibilities taking center stage. Take a look at your staff: are they overworked? Are errors being made simply due to a stressful and chaotic work environment? Is there simply no time during the day for your existing staff to handle all the billing procedures correctly and comprehensively? This is a common challenge facing many hospitals, doctors’ offices and ERs — especially towards the end of the year when things get crazy.

One way to solve that and make a resolution for the new year: partner with an outsourced medical billing company that can handle all your billing needs in one place and on one platform. It’s a win-win for your staff, who can concentrate on the tasks they were actually hired to do, and you get paid more often and more smoothly because of a streamlined approach. An outsourced biller can ensure:

  • Insurance can be verified before visits.
  • Patients are billed on time and consistently.
  • Codes are authorized promptly and properly.
  • Clinical notes are used for negotiating denied claims.

It’s time to start the new year off right — with an improved process that ensures success for the upcoming months. Call Medical Healthcare Solutions in Andover today at 800-762-9800 for help.

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Get Paid For What You Deserve With A Medical Billing Company

As a healthcare provider, you know you need solid medical billing practices in order to keep things organized and get paid for the services you render, but have you ever stopped to think why it’s so important to your bottom line and indeed survival in this industry? You know full well most people don’t pay for their services with a wad of cash. That means they need to be billed. Yes, many people are responsible for co-pays but that money is a mere fraction of the full amount owed to your practice. The balance must be billed to the insurance company for reimbursement.

As a healthcare provider, you may depend heavily on revenue cycle management, submission of claims on a timely basis, payment from insurance companies, and balances paid by patients for their portion of the bill. While this is how things work in an ideal world, you’re often left waiting weeks, months and even longer to get what you deserve.

Why Are You Struggling With Billing?

You may ask yourself this question every once in awhile. Why can’t you just get paid for the services you have rendered? The main reason why so many practices, especially small ones, struggle with this task is because they are trying to save money by handling it in-house. You may have a receptionist who handles medical billing in her spare time, in between checking in patients, taking down contact and insurance information, and handling any number of administrative tasks.

So what ends up happening? Billing mistakes happen. Oversights are made. Timely follow-up on critical issues falls by the wayside. As a result, you don’t get paid — or at least you don’t get paid when you should.

Why Efficient Medical Billing is Essential

Bottom line is, you need to bill out as quickly and efficiently as you possibly can. In order to stay in practice, you need constant streams of revenue coming in to meet payroll and other expenses. Just like a lawyer, contractor or consultant, you depend on timely payment in order to make a living. You’re not being greedy or unreasonable. You provided the service; you earned the money. But too many physicians are waiting far too long to receive payment.

An efficient, outsourced medical billing service is imperative if you’re going to get claims submitted in a timely manner and make sure that the billing contains all the information needed for processing, such as correct codes for services, treatment, procedures, and surgeries.

Enjoying a healthy revenue cycle management process means you need to hire the right people with the right skills. Often times, that means hiring an outsourced medical biller who has the experience, qualifications, and skills to tackle coding and billing head on, every single day — not just on a lunch break, after-hours or in between checking patients in.

Streamlining your medical billing starts with an efficient billing service. Everything will fall into place from there. It’s time you got your house in order. Call Medical Healthcare Solutions today!

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Top Challenges Physicians Are Facing Today

Top Challenges Physicians Are Facing

In 2017, physicians are facing certain challenges this year more so than others. From MACRA to prior authorization requirements, physicians now have more to deal with on their plate in addition to staying at the height of their industry career-wise. Here are some of those biggest challenges.

MACRA

A transformative healthcare event, unrivaled in probably about a decade, took effect January 1 but many physicians are unsure what the compliance requirements are. To review, MACRA stands for Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act. It was passed in 2015 as a sweeping way to fundamentally change the way our country evaluates and pays for healthcare. Essentially, it establishes a whole new method to pay physicians for caring for Medicare beneficiaries, including funding for technical assistance to providers, new development and testing measurements, new requirements for data sharing, and new federal advisory groups, according to the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement. With the goal of restructuring U.S. healthcare, MACRA is based on two new reimbursement structures: the Merit Based Incentive Payments Systems (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs).

Many physicians haven’t gotten on board yet. With a migration from volume to value, it’s necessary for physicians to get educated about the process now before they get buried by it.

Prior Authorizations

These requirements have increased quickly recently, with no signs of stopping. Prior authorizations can be the bane of many a physician’s existence, but the good news is there are many products and services available that can speed up the whole process. In addition, value-based payment models can cut down on how many drugs and procedures require approval before coverage kicks in from payers. Prior authorizations are necessary due to the higher costs and complications of medication. Technology like e-prescribing software can help through integration with electronic health record systems.

Negotiations

Negotiating with payers is necessary as more and more payers consolidate. As a result, physicians must face narrow provider networks and declining reimbursements. It can be frustrating to agree to one-sided contracts in order to keep up with their patient head count, but the prospect isn’t all grim. Physicians are advised to concentrate on the value and success they provide to their patients, outlining why the payer needs them to be on board. Come up with a pitch whereby you outline all the value your practice provides and how you’ve maintained quality consistently. It’s also not a bad idea to come up with a spreadsheet, updated weekly, that you can use to keep track of payer contracts, termination clauses, rate of payment speed and common codes for reimbursement rates. Now you have something concrete to reference when you feel the squeeze from payers.

Patient Frustration

Patients are understandably upset about rising healthcare costs. As a physician, you are often on the front line of these complaints, even though your hands are tied. You don’t set the prices yet you hear first-hand how frustrated your patients are with the system. With deductibles rising 40 percent last year alone and co-pays rising nearly 70 percent, patients are opting not to come into the office unless they have no other choice. They’re choosing not to fill prescriptions or they’re skipping important procedures due to the potential price tag involved. Educate your patients on cost and do some research on where they can get the same services or medications at a lower cost. Cross-analyze labs, pharmacies and even hospitals for the lowest prices on common services.

Maintaining Motivation

With all these compliance rules and regulations, it can be disheartening to keep up the good fight. You got into this career because of the joy you received from helping people. Dissatisfaction with strict compliance rules, as well as increased workloads and less time interacting with patients, can put a big damper on your job satisfaction. There are things you can do, though, to combat burnout, such as making changes in your work environment and engaging in stress reduction techniques in order to restore the work-life balance. One of the contributing factors to physician burnout has to do with dealing with the minutiae of administrative work. One solution is to outsource your medical billing services to a company like Medical Healthcare Solutions contact. We provide comprehensive medical billing, electronic health records and practice management services for physicians just like you. Call us today at 800-762-9800.

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HIPAA: Why You Need It

As an urgent care provider, you need to be quick in everything you do. From service to patient care and yes, even to billing — how you handle your processes can make or break your business. And with competition so high these days within your industry, you can’t afford to fall behind. One of the most important factors with your business, as you know, is customer satisfaction. Another factor is your own bottom line. With urgent care medical billing, you can achieve both goals: satisfying your customers and improving on how you collect payment.

However, it’s not enough to just have a good urgent care medical billing service in your corner. They must also know the ins and outs of HIPAA and how to apply them to their daily operations. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) made history in 1996 when it provided the first nationally-recognizable set of regulations for the use and disclosure of patient health information. Since then, those regulations have formed the basis of healthcare, from doctor’s offices and ERs to ambulatory services and hospitals. Privacy is at HIPAA’s heart, and nowhere is privacy more important than in urgent care settings.

Emergency room medical billing is complex, with services being rendered at any one time by radiologists, cardiologists, respiratory therapists and all staff members. That’s a lot of patient information to keep straight, let alone safe and secure. That’s why you need an experienced HIPAA-compliant medical billing company to offer value-added support AND put confidentiality at the forefront. With so many ER and ambulatory services happening at one time, it’s impossible to stick to just one area of coding. Knowing all the coding specialties is a must, which is why any medical billing service worth its salt will have certified coders on staff who are experienced in a range of specialties.

Some sample services may include:

  • Hospital/inpatient coding
  • Payer-specific coding
  • Emergency room services
  • Hospital coding protocols
  • Audits
  • Temporary emergency medicine coding services to cover staff on vacation or sick leave
  • Physician documentation training
  • Compliance reviews

From patient enrollment and insurance verification to audit and claim submission, there are many balls to keep in the air, especially in an urgent care setting. Payment posting, accounts receivable collection and analysis, insurance authorization: all of these areas require dedicated professionals to ensure that no step is missed. Breaches in patient confidentiality can be a direct violation of HIPAA rules and regulations. Your organization can be hit with heavy fines and disciplinary measures, cutting into your bottom line. As an urgent care provider who can’t afford a hit like that, it’s in your best interests to ensure you have a dedicated team of professionals handling your medical billing. Leaving this up to your already-overworked staff means that mistakes can be easily made.

Many safeguards must be in place to ensure correct HIPAA compliance every time.

Some of those safeguards include:

  • Thorough checks on every employee who enters and leaves the premises
  • Password-protected computers
  • Firewalls and antivirus software installed on all computers
  • Regular backups of computer systems

Medical Healthcare Solutions Inc. is comprised of HIPAA-compliant coders and can help you more efficiently and safely run your urgent care operation.

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