How to Minimize Your Accounts Receivable

How to Minimize Your Accounts Receivable

Accounts receivable is one of the biggest problems for private practices. Across the nation, there’s millions of dollars that practices are still waiting to collect from insurance companies. The problem is twofold. Practices aren’t using integrated software that performs automatic functions and many billers are being forced to enter each bit of data manually. That leaves them less time to concentrate on collecting from payers.

To remain financially secure, clinicians must do everything they can to shorten the revenue cycle for each patient and get paid faster. That means streamlining the biller’s job with software that contains automation and one-touch functionalities, along with scrubbing and editing abilities. Next to the clinician, a biller is the most important person in a practice. They’re highly trained professionals that keep revenue flowing into the practice.

Accelerated Submissions

In Touch EMR™ and In Touch Biller PRO are the two most advanced software systems available. The integrated systems work together to provide billers with tools that facilitate the entire billing process from start to finish. Efficiency is extremely important in today’s economic climate and In Touch EMR™ allows practitioners to create a claim and submit it to the biller by the time the patient leaves the office.

The system contains essential time-saving features that notify billers of potential problems that could delay the claim, such as incompatible CPT codes. If an inconsistency exists, billers can edit the claim as needed. The claim is automatically optimized, batched and sent the same day. The biller doesn’t have to manually load and send.

Where’s The Claim?

A critical part of the biller’s job is to track, monitor and follow up on submitted claims. In Touch Biller PRO enables billers to track each claim at every stage of the process. The software tells billers exactly where the claim is and its status, an ability that’s missing in most systems, but one that allows billers to track and process claims seamlessly.

The system automatically posts ERAs to patient accounts without the need for billers to do the task manually. That one ability alone provides an enormous time savings that can add up to $1,200 or more per month and thousands each year.

Next t to the clinician, the biller is the most important person in a practice. Any opportunity to streamline his/her job with automation should be implemented. In Touch EMR™ and In Touch Biller PRO makes the biller’s job easier, shortens the revenue cycle and allows practitioners to get paid faster.

What to Look for in Billing Reports

What to Look for in Billing Reports

Billing is the cash flow engine of the private practice. It should be simple, streamlined and efficient. Billing software can be used to check patient eligibility and post ERAs, along with sophisticated functions that include scrubbing claims, posting payments and billing secondary insurance with the click of a button.

Perhaps one of the most important functions is the ability to generate detailed yet simple reports. Such reports offer clinicians the means to determine if billers are being as efficient as possible and provide them with an accurate overview of the practice’s financial health.

Utilizing Metrics

An aging report provides a wealth of information. It shows therapists how much money that’s owed but hasn’t been collected. Practitioners can look up accounts receivable by payer and break it down utilizing a variety of different metrics ranging from location to procedure.

Practice owners can ascertain which payers reimburse slowly and providers that aren’t billing as much as others. Reports can be created by ICD and CPT codes to discover which procedures earn the most for the practice and which patients generate the most revenue. In Touch EMR™ has the ability to generate reports with sophisticated measures and customization options.

Data And Proofs

In Touch EMR™ provides clinicians with the ability to know exactly where their money is. They can do it themselves without waiting for the biller. Reports can be created for a week, month or even the last six months. The reports can be taken to the biller or the payer if needed. In Touch EMR™ enables practice owners to view their practice from a higher level and gives the clinician ammunition to address payment issues.

The reports provide therapists with the data needed to address biller problems and expedite the billing process. In Touch EMR™ reports show practitioners where potential problems exist and the point of origin. Therapists may find that they need to stop doing business with specific payers and providers.

It can take an average of a month to collect from insurance companies, but clinicians should be aware that it can take longer when working with Workers’ Compensation, out-of-state clients and auto accident claims. Clinics that experience a lot of these types of claims should be aware that the revenue stream may be delayed through no fault of the biller or provider.

The power and potential of In Touch EMR™ provides clinicians with valuable metrics and tools to diagnose the health of their practice and if the billing department is doing a good job. The integrated system gives practitioners the ability to create their own reports independently of the billing department. In Touch EMR™ gives practice owners the tools to run their lifestyle, not a system that runs them.

 

Therapy Cap and KX Modifier

There are a lot of myths and misunderstanding about therapy caps and the KX Modifier. To complicate matters, many EMR vendors claim their software can keep track of a patient’s therapy cap in real time. The reality is that no EMR system can provide information on things that take place outside of the system and it’s almost impossible to keep track of therapy caps in real-time.

The Uncertainty of Cap Information

The therapy cap on services is currently $1,900. Clinicians have no way of knowing if the client is seeing a physician or other healthcare professional that offers physical and occupational therapy. They may be receiving services at a skilled nursing facility, outpatient services at a hospital or at home from a privately practicing therapist.

The most accurate means of determining a patient’s cap is by visiting the Medicare website. The information will be a few weeks out of date, but will give a ballpark figure of how much of the funds have been used. Speaking to someone at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would be more advantageous.

Activating The KX Modifier

At the very minimum, the practice’s EMR should offer the ability to turn the KX Modifier on or off, and it should turn it on automatically after a patient’s cap has been reached to ensure the practice gets paid and clients receive the services they need. Once the cap limit has been reached, claims that don’t include the KX Modifier will be denied. In Touch EMR™ turns the modifier on automatically and works with information obtained from Medicare.

In Touch EMR™ is fast, easy and integrated to make tracking Medicare caps as easy as possible. Functionalities that include the ability to automatically turn the KX Modifier on ensures practices are paid and continuity of services for clients. The In Touch EMR™ maintains comprehensive documentation to demonstrate that services are medically necessary and works with information from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to help therapists track Medicare caps.

How to Automate Patient Follow Up

How to Automate Patient Follow Up

One of the most important things a clinician can do is to keep his/her name in front of patients. That can be done with automated patient follow up. When patients provide their information, the practice should obtain the client’s mail, email, home phone and cellphone number, along with their permission to communicate with them in those ways.

An automated system should be able to contact patients by all four of those mechanisms. The In Touch EMR™ has the ability to accommodate those who utilize mobile devices and older patients who may not be comfortable with modern technology. Patient follow up encompasses more than appointment reminders.

Traditional Mail

In Touch EMR™ has the ability to generate personalized greeting cards with a variety of user defined messages. The feature is an effective means of connecting with new and established patients. Cards are computer generated, but have the look and feel of a personal note.

Cards are effective in welcoming new patients after their first visit or thank established patients for their continuing patronage. Cards can be sent on client birthday or on their anniversary with the practice. Cards tend to make a more lasting impression and are perceived as requiring more effort on the part of the practitioner.

Email

An email message can be generated for the same purposes as a card and many individuals prefer being contacted by email rather than other means of communication. Messages can be used to notify clients about special deals, coupons and referral programs. When applicable and appropriate, congratulatory messages can be sent for an upcoming marriage, birth of a baby or workplace promotion.

Every practice should produce a newsletter and email is a convenient means of delivering it. In Touch EMR™ has the ability to generate newsletters with new, educational and engaging content that requires little effort on the part of the clinician.

Cellphones

In Touch EMR™ can send personalized voice messages to a variety of mobile devices. Studies have shown that individuals typically respond to a text or voice mail within five minutes of its receipt, making it ideal for patient communication. Clinicians can connect with a variety of messages, from appointment reminders to extending holiday greetings.

Home Phones

There are still some individuals who resist the use of smartphones and computers. These are typically older patients. They may not have a computer or mobile device, but they will most likely have an answering machine. In Touch EMR™ can generate any type of message desired to keep in touch with patients that may be resistant to newer types of technology.

Automated patient follow up is an essential part of operating a successful clinic. Automation simplifies the process for staff, while building goodwill with patients who are then more likely to refer the practice to others. It’s customer service at its best, facilitated through the automatic abilities of the In Touch EMR™.

 

The Revised CMS-1500 Claim Form

The Revised CMS-1500 Claim Form

The transition to ICD-10 codes comes with a revised CMS form to facilitate reporting. The National Uniform Claim Committee (NUCC) approved the use of the revised CMS- 1500 Claim Form in February 2012. The new CMS-1500 form will be printed with 02/12 in the lower right hand corner to indicate it’s the replacement for the 08/05 version.

The CMS-1500 must be used when billing Medicare and other federal payers for services. Clinicians must indicate when submitting claims on CMS-1500 if they’re using ICD-9 codes or if they’ve already made the transition to ICD-10. It’s essential that clinicians maintain communication with their payers and clearinghouses and conduct testing to ensure submissions are being transmitted and received correctly.

Medicare began accepting the revised version of claim form CMS-1500 on Jan. 6, 2014 and all submissions after March 31, 2014 must be done with the revised CMS-1500.

For those who have received a waiver for electronic transmission, Medicare will continue to accept paper claims, but only on the revised form. Medicare will deny any claim submitted on the old CMS form on and after April 1, 2014.

The new CMS-1500 was required to correctly report and document the thousands of new ICD-10 codes and the alpha-numeric system that will be used. Use of the new form is mandatory when billing any federal payer. Many of the line-by-line item changes were relatively small, such as changes in wording. For example, TRICARE CHAMPUS has been shortened to TRICARE and the Social Security number is now referred to as an ID number.

 

Other line items with which clinicians were familiar were eliminated entirely, since the information will now be reported elsewhere on the form or not at all. A number of lines now read “Reserved For NUCC Use” and data that includes employer’s name, school and balance due that wasn’t reported on 837P weren’t deemed necessary and aren’t required on CMS-1500.

An enhancement on the form allows clinicians to list up to 12 diagnosis codes per patient. CMS-1500 has a number of open fields, but they can’t be utilized to report additional data. Practitioners now have qualifiers to identify them as a referring, ordering or supervising provider and diagnosis codes that were labeled 1-4 now have an A-L designation.

The ICD-10 codes are more specific and the CMS-1500 reflects that. The new form has a QR Code that can be scanned with a smartphone. The QR Code takes users to the NUCC website. The revised CMS-1500 also underwent changes that would provide practitioners with the ability to add extra qualifiers when needed.

Any reimbursement claims filed prior to implementation of the revised CMS-1500 that must be resubmitted for any reason should be transmitted utilizing the revised form. This is true even if the previous claim was submitted on the earlier form.

A copy of the form can be downloaded for examination purposes, but it can’t be utilized to submit claims. CMS-1500 uses exact red ink match technology and much of the embedded information will remain invisible when it’s scanned with an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) device. Clinicians should be aware that payers can opt not to process claims that are submitted in black ink and doesn’t use the red ink match technology.

It will take some time for clinicians to familiarize themselves with the revised CMS-1500 form and the new ICD-10 codes, but the form is now an accomplished fact. The new codes and forms are a reality of the healthcare environment and clinicians must use them or risk not receiving reimbursements.

How to Streamline Patient Intake

How to Streamline Patient Intake

Scheduling and patient intake doesn’t have to involve time consuming manual data entry and can be completed automatically with the In Touch EMR™. The software provides practices with automatic functions to save time and streamline the before, during and after workflow. Completely HIPAA compliant,

In Touch EMR™ contains military grade protection to safeguard all patient information. The software is compatible with multiple browsers on PCs and Macs.

Simple And Fast Patient Intake

The patient process begins when a client calls for an appointment. The Web-based In Touch EMR™ allows front desk personnel to obtain the necessary information and schedule an appointment online. The front desk can then create a client chart automatically with the touch of a button.

 

In Touch EMR™ iPad App

The In Touch EMR™ is the only EMR technology that has its own iPad application. It eliminates paper charts, scanning documents, and filing cabinets full of records. Once a patient arrives for their appointment, they can complete the rest of their intake information with the iPad.

Clients can use the camera in the iPad to take a photo of themselves, their driver’s license and insurance card. The photos are sent directly to the patient’s chart that was automatically created when they scheduled their appointment. Clients can upload medical reports, referrals and prescriptions, along with emergency contacts, complaints, symptoms and medications with a click of a button.

With the integrated abilities of In Touch EMR™, front desk staff can verify insurance eligibility online with hundreds of payers across the U.S. and more can be added as needed. The information comes directly from the payer, virtually eliminating claim denials. The entire process happens before the clinician becomes involved.

Enter The Clinician

The client’s chart has already been created automatically and contains all the needed data for the clinician. Custom templates can be generated to reflect individual practices and with In Touch EMR™, practitioners have the advantage of state-of-the-art voice recognition for documentation. With a click of a button, clinicians can complete their documentation and it’s automatically sent to the biller.

In Touch EMR™ streamlines the patient process from scheduling to billing and is the only EMR that has its own iPad app. The software automatically performs many of the time consuming tasks for which front desk staff is traditionally responsible, allowing them to focus their attention on other concerns such as marketing. The significant savings in time translates to money in the bank and a more efficient and profitable practice.