AZCOMP Cares — Covid Care Packages

Covid Care Package Project

The AZCOMP Team is Working to Lift the Spirits of Hospitalized Covid Patients

At a time when COVID-19 has impacted every single life in one way or another, we here at AZCOMP have a desire to give back with a special project that was inspired by some of our friends and family members who have personally battled this disease. Tragically, in some cases we lost these loved ones to covid. We wish to honor them with a special project we are calling the Covid Care Project.

This is a patient care & connection project to help those who are hospitalized with covid. While these patients are battling for their lives, they will often state how lonely and stark the hospital environment is. For the majority of these patients, visitors were not allowed for most of their stay. While the front-line workers are excellent and we are profoundly grateful for their efforts, the increasing number of cases spreads the hospital staff thin, leaving the patients feeling hopeless and alone.

At AZCOMP Technologies, Inc. we wanted to do something to help these patients feel less lonely, to feel a little more comfort, and to give them hope as they continue to heal and fight. We want them to know that there are people out there who care and are rooting for them. So, we are putting together Covid Care Packages that will be delivered to the patients in the hospital.

Please feel free to join us in one of two ways!

First, you can donate any amount of money, big or small, to the Venmo account: @azcompcares

Second, if you would like to personally put together a care package or grab some friends or family members and do it together, we are accepting completed packages with all the following components (all items must be brand new):

  • Big soft blanket
  • Stuffed animal to hold onto (if possible, a stuffed animal that a recording can be made – to give them a human connection/sound)
  • Notepad (or journal)
  • Pens (in package – a set of two if possible)
  • Two games (E.g. Rubik’s Cube and a card game)
  • One bag of candy, one snack bag and one gum pack
  • Chapstick
  • One small bottle of bubbles

Thank you in advance for joining us in our Covid Care Project! While the world may feel bleak right now when we step back and look at the many, many challenges facing our time, we can take comfort in the fact that we are in this together and together we can make a difference.

100% of all donations (monetary and items) will go directly to this project.

AZCOMP Technologies
2500 S. Power Rd., Suite 117
Mesa, AZ 85209

How to Fix BCBS NPI Rejections in Medisoft

If you have been experiencing rejections from Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) regarding your submissions over individual NPI numbers, instead of group NPI numbers, this video will be helpful for you. With the recent requirement changes through BCBS, this video will give you a better understanding how how the NPI number is pulled to certain boxes within your Medisoft.

We have seen some of our customers, specifically in Arizona and Georgia, experience these rejections due to new requirements through BCBS, but this is also happening in other states.

Check out the video below and let us know if this helpful for you, too!

Watch the Video Here!

AZCOMP Technologies – the Number 1 eMDs reseller for Medisoft since 2005.

We are the ultimate source for all things Medisoft. Whatever your question or problem or need with Medisoft, we can help you. AZCOMP can help with sales, training, coaching, installation, support, EHR, add-on tools such as the Medisoft preferred clearinghouse, or patient statements, patient payments, appointment reminders and more.

For more information, visit our website here: http://www.azcomp.com/medisoft/

Medisoft

Get AZCOMP’s Help

If you are having any problem with Medisoft whatsoever, we can solve it for you. Also, if you’d like to get more out of Medisoft…meaning, if you’d like to take Medisoft to the next level and have it become a powerful tool for your practice, we can help you get there!

We can help with speeding up your electronic claims process and help you save time. We can help you streamline your patient statements process, and make it so your patients can pay you online while you sleep. We can set Medisoft up for you to automatically remind your patients of their appointments and confirm their attendance. We can help with more as well.

Please give us a call at 480-730-3055 to talk to a Medisoft specialist and we’ll help you get the most out of Medisoft!

Telehealth Expansion, Billing, and Testing for COVID-19

As the landscape around us is rapidly changing due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, we have had a slew of calls regarding Telehealth.

Last Updated May 11,2020 Please note that this information was current at time of publication, however rules around Telehealth during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency are changing daily; we will continue to update this post as information changes but we encourage you to check sources cited frequently for updates. This is not a substitute for legal advice; check with your attorney and other billing advisors. Most of the information reflects the federal government’s stance; you are directed to your private payers and Medicaid plans for their policies about coding and reimbursement, which may vary from the federal government’s.

AZCOMP is prepared to assist you with actual implementation of Telehealth services, however, many of the questions go beyond getting a solution in place. Therefore, we thought it would be beneficial to provide a timeline of what has transpired during the COVID-19 public health emergency as well as a summary of key points to understand regarding different types of telemedicine services, COVID-19 testing, and billing guidelines.

Current Events:

March 5, 2020 – America’s Health Insurance Plans issues a statement regarding action they are taking to address prevention, testing, and treatment of the corona Virus.

March 6, 2020 – Congress passed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental AppropriationsAct (www.congress.gov).  This new legislation will allow physicians and other health care professionals to bill Medicare fee-for-service for patient care delivered by telehealth during the current coronavirus public health emergency.

March 17, 2020 – The Trump Administration announced further expansion of Telehealth coverage for Medicare beneficiaries during the COVID-19 outbreak.

March 17, 2020 – After meeting with the Trump Administration many insurance issuers announced that they are also expanding efforts by waiving copays, waiving prior authorizations, covering the cost of the COVID-19 test, and allowing reimbursement for telehealth. (For details see Health Insurance Providers Respond to COVID-19

March 18, 2020 – CDC Announces new ICD-10-CM code for COVID-19 will be effective April 1, 2020

March 18, 2020 The Families First Coronavirus Response Act becomes law, which among other things includes health provisions that require private health insurance to cover testing for COVID-19 without cost-sharing (deductibles, co-payments or co-insurance), and requires Medicare to cover, without cost-sharing, visits to health care providers that relate to COVID-19 testing during the public emergency.

March 30, 2020 CMS Announces Additional Waivers and New Rules to Address COVID-19 Patient Surge

March 31, 2020 CMS released an interim final rule, “Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.” This rule further expands telehealth including additional covered services and new/modified billing instructions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 30, 2020 Trump Administration Issues Second Round of Sweeping Changes to Support U.S. Healthcare System During COVID-19 Pandemic

To get more details on the most recent announcements we encourage you to review the following:

Physicians and Other Clinicians: CMS Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19 (published 4/29/2020)

CMS Dear Clinician Letter (published April 6, 2020)

Medicare Telemedicine Provider Fact Sheet (published March 17, 2020)

Medicare Telehealth Frequently Asked Questions (published March 17, 2020)

The following instructional video was published by CMS on May 8, 2020 and replaces the previous video:

Types of Telemedicine Visits

It is important to understand the types of telemedicine services as each type of visit will have varying requirements regarding how the service is initiated, administered and billed. All of the services listed below can now be performed for new or established patients during the public health emergency.

  • Telehealth Visits: The provider must use an interactive audio and video telecommunications system that permits real-time communication between the distant site and the patient at home.
    • Effective for services starting March 6, 2020 and for the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, Medicare will make payment for Medicare telehealth services furnished to patients in broader circumstances.
    • Limitations have been removed during the emergency allowing telehealth services to be provided in all settings including a patient’s home.
    • Medicare beneficiaries will be able to receive a specific set of services through telehealth including evaluation and management visits (common office visits), mental health counseling and preventive health screenings. *New: The list of covered telehealth services was expanded to include over 80 additional services on March 30, 2020 under the interim rule- for a full list click here.
    • Telehealth services are NOT limited to services related to COVID-19. In order to support social distancing strategies and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission the statutory provision broadens telehealth flexibility without regard to the diagnosis of the patient as long as the service billed is reasonable and necessary.
    • Telehealth visits are considered the same as in-person visits and are paid at the same rate as regular, in-person visits.
    • The HHS secretary has been given the authority to waive the originating site requirement (www.cchpca.org) for telehealth services provided by a qualified provider to Medicare beneficiaries (www.cms.gov) in any identified emergency area during emergency periods.
    • Telehealth services may be provided to Medicare beneficiaries by phone, but only if the phone allows for audio-video interaction between the qualified provider and the beneficiary.
    • The Medicare coinsurance and deductible would generally apply to these services. However, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) is providing flexibility for healthcare providers to reduce or waive cost-sharing for telehealth visits paid by federal healthcare programs.
  • Virtual Check-ins: Brief communication service with practitioners via a number of communication technology modalities including synchronous discussion over a telephone or exchange of information through video or image.
    • The patient must verbally consent to receive virtual check-in services.
    • Practitioners may educate beneficiaries on the availability of the service prior to patient agreement. 
    • Virtual check-ins can be conducted with a broader range of communication methods, unlike Medicare telehealth visits, which require audio and visual capabilities for real-time communication.
    • Medicare coinsurance and deductible would generally apply to these services.
  • E-Visits: Patient initiated communication through an online patient portal.
    • Individual services need to be initiated by the patient; however, practitioners may educate beneficiaries on the availability of the service prior to patient initiation. 
    • The patient must consent to receive virtual check-in services.
    • The Medicare coinsurance and deductible would generally apply to these services.
  • Telephone Visits: Audio only visits. *NEW as of March 30, 2020 per the Interim Rule and further expanded on April 30, 2020 under the Second Round of Changes
    • When real-time audio visual equipment is not available to conduct an E/M visit remotely, practitioners may now conduct a visit over the phone for both new and established patients. These services were previously non-covered.
    • Medicare payment for telephone E&M visits is equivalent to the Medicare payment for office/outpatient visits with established patients effective March 1, 2020. (*New as of April 30, 2020 under the Second Round of Changes)
    • CMS is also allowing many behavioral health and education services to be furnished via telehealth using audio-only communications. The full list of telehealth services notes which services are eligible to be furnished via audio-only technology, including the telephone evaluation and management visits can be found here. (*New as of April 30, 2020 under the Second Round of Changes)
  • Remote Patient Monitoring: Allows patients to use mobile medical devices and technology to gather patient-generated health data and send it to healthcare professionals.
    • These services can be provided for both acute and chronic conditions and can now be provided for patients with only one disease. For example, remote patient monitoring can be used to monitor a patient’s oxygen saturation levels using pulse oximetry.
    • For purposes of treating suspected COVID-19 infections, Medicare will allow the service to be reported for shorter periods of time than 16 days (the normal requirement) as long as the other code requirements are met.

Eligible Providers

CMS is allowing all providers that are eligible to bill Medicare for their professional services to bill for Medicare telehealth services, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and others who were previously ineligible, to receive payment for Medicare telehealth services. (*New as of April 30, 2020 under the Second Round of Changes and retroactive to March 1, 2020)

Telehealth BILLING GUIDELINES DURING COVID-19

In this section we will provide information for Medicare Billing guidelines during the Public Health Emergency. Many of the private payers are following suit, but you will need to verify rules with individual payers as they may vary. One of the best guides we have seen for Medicare billing is Special Coding Advice presented by the American Medical Association. (Updated May 4, 2020) We highly recommend reviewing their guide as it includes a variety of scenarios that cover COVID-19 Telehealth billing, COVID-19 Laboratory Billing, Non-COVID-19 Telehealth Billing, and more. A great resource for checking billing guidelines for private payers can be found by clicking here.

CPT Codes

The CPT Code will depend on the type of Telemedicine Service performed. Here is a summary from CMS of the CPT codes that pertain to the type of service:

Summary of Telehealth CPT Codes Covid-19
COVID-19 CPT Billing

Payment for Phone Calls (*NEW as of March 30, 2020 see the Interim Rule)

CMS will now pay for phone calls using codes 99441-99443, and 98966-98968. These are time-based codes.

  • Physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants should use codes 99441—99443
  • Other qualified health care professionals who may bill Medicare for their services, such as registered dieticians, social workers, speech language pathologists and physical and occupational therapists should use codes 98966—98968 with applicable GN, CO, or GP modifiers.

CMS previously announced that Medicare would pay for certain services conducted by audio-only telephone between beneficiaries and their doctors and other clinicians. Now, CMS is broadening that list to include many behavioral health and patient education services. CMS is also increasing payments for these telephone visits to match payments for similar office and outpatient visits. This would increase payments for these services from a range of about $14-$41 to about $46-$110. The payments are retroactive to March 1, 2020. (*New as of April 30, 2020 see Second Round of Changes)

Remote Patient Monitoring

Use CPT Codes 99091, 99457-99458, 99473-99474, 99493-99494

Place of Service (POS) Codes and Modifiers

The following information was updated April 6, 2020 after a correction was released by CMS on April 3, 2020

When billing professional claims to Medicare for all telehealth services with dates of services on or after March 1, 2020, and for the duration of the Public Health Emergency (PHE), bill with:

  • Place of Service (POS) equal to what it would have been had the service been furnished in-person
  • 95 Modifier, indicating that the service rendered was actually performed via telehealth

As a reminder, CMS is not requiring the CR modifier on telehealth services. However, consistent with current rules for telehealth services, there are two scenarios where modifiers are required on Medicare telehealth professional claims:

  • GQ Modifier– Service was furnished as part of a federal telemedicine demonstration project in Alaska and Hawaii using asynchronous (store and forward) technology.
  • GT Modifier– Service was furnished for diagnosis and treatment of an acute stroke.

There are no billing changes for institutional claims; critical access hospital method II claims should continue to bill with modifier GT.

(The following information was added on April 9, 2020 to include information provided by CMS in a Special Edition Newsletter from the Medicare Learning Network dated April 7, 2020)

Providers are to apply Modifier CS on applicable claim lines to identify COVID-19 testing-related services that are not subject to cost sharing under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Covered services include medical visits that that result in an order for or administration of a COVID-19 test; are related to furnishing or administering such a test or to the evaluation of an individual for purposes of determining the need for such a test. The effective date for modifier CS is for services performed between March 18, 2020 through the end of the Public Health Emergency.

For professional claims, physicians and practitioners who did not initially submit claims with the CS modifier must notify their Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) and request to resubmit applicable claims with dates of service on or after 3/18/2020 with the CS modifier to get 100% payment. 

For institutional claims, providers, including hospitals, CAHs, RHCs, and FQHCs, who did not initially submit claims with the CS modifier must resubmit applicable claims submitted on or after 3/18/2020, with the CS modifier to visit lines to get 100% payment.

Revenue Codes *for institutional claims only

Revenue code 780 is used as the revenue code for telemedicine institutional claims (See Revenue Codes)

Diagnosis Codes (see CDC Official ICD-10 COVID-19 Coding Guidance)

  • Diagnosis of COVID-19: Effective April 1, 2020, for confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 only, use U07.1 (For visits prior to April 1, 2020, report the code for the patient condition that is related to the COVID-19 (e.g., J12.89, “Other viral pneumonia”) and B97.29, “Other coronavirus as the cause of diseases classified elsewhere.” see New CDC Coronavirus Code Announcement for details)
  • Known Exposure to COVID-19 Without Confirmed Diagnosis of COVID-19: For cases where there is an actual exposure to someone who is confirmed or suspected (not ruled out) to have COVID-19, and the exposed individual either tests negative or the test results are unknown, report Z20.828, “Contact with and (suspected) exposure to other viral communicable diseases.”
  • Possible Exposure to COVID-19 Without Confirmed Diagnosis of COVID-19: For cases where there is a concern about a possible exposure to COVID-19, but this is ruled out after evaluation, assign code Z03.818, “Encounter for observation for suspected exposure to other biological agents ruled out.”
  • Screening for COVID-19: For asymptomatic individuals who are being screened for COVID-19 and have no known exposure to the virus, and the test results are either unknown or negative, assign code Z11.59, Encounter for screening for other viral diseases.
  • Suspected COVID-19: For patients presenting with any signs/symptoms associated with COVID-19 (such as fever, etc.) but a definitive diagnosis has not been established, assign the appropriate code(s) for each of the presenting signs and symptoms such as: R05 Cough, R06.02 Shortness of breath, R50.9 Fever, unspecified
    If a patient with signs/symptoms associated with COVID-19 also has an actual or suspected contact with or exposure to someone who has COVID-19, assign Z20.828, Contact with and (suspected) exposure to other viral communicable diseases, as an additional code. This is an exception to guideline I.C.21.c.1, Contact/Exposure.

We recommend checking with the CDC for ongoing announcements regarding ICD-10 Coding at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/icd/icd10cm.htm

Testing (COVID-19 FAQ Sheet)

Medicare Part B will cover a test to determine if beneficiaries have coronavirus for dates of service on or after Feb. 4, 2020. However, providers of the test will have to wait until after April 1, 2020, to submit a claim to Medicare for the test.

Many health plans have publicly announced that COVID-19 diagnostic tests are covered benefits and will be waiving any cost-sharing that would otherwise apply to the test.

CMS will pay hospitals and practitioners to assess beneficiaries and collect laboratory samples for COVID-19 testing, and make separate payment when that is the only service the patient receives. (*New as of April 30, 2020 see Second Round of Changes)

Medicare and Medicaid are covering certain serology (antibody) tests, which may aid in determining whether a person may have developed an immune response and may not be at immediate risk for COVID-19 reinfection. Medicare and Medicaid will cover laboratory processing of certain FDA-authorized tests that beneficiaries self-collect at home. (*New as of April 30, 2020 see Second Round of Changes)

Laboratory Billing

*New: The following information was added after the April 30, 2020 Second Round of Changes

During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, CMS is relaxing billing requirements for laboratory tests (PDF) required for a COVID-19 diagnosis. Any health care professional authorized under state law may order tests. Medicare will pay for tests without a written order from the treating physician or other practitioner:

  • If an order is not written, an ordering or referring National Provider Identifier (NPI) is not required on the claim
  • If an order is written, include the NPI of the ordering or referring professional, consistent with current billing guidelines

For a full list of Laboratory Tests that do not require a practitioner order during the Public Health Emergency visit https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-ifc-2-flu-rsv-codes.pdf

Additional/Cited Resources:

Although AZCOMP Technologies makes every effort to ensure that information regarding billing guidelines are checked and accurate in both our documentation and training, it should be understood that our expertise is in the software itself and not in billing practices. Therefore, it is the sole responsibility of the user to study, interpret and remain abreast of billing requirements and deadlines, contacting authoritative sources directly as needed. Any claims documentation and training provided by AZCOMP Technologies is based on our interpretation of the rules published by nucc.org and cms.gov and are subject to change. Information and training provided is “as is” and without any express or implied warranties. AZCOMP Technologies assumes no responsibility for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, expressly disclaiming liability for damages of any kind arising out of the use of, reference to or reliance on any content provided.

AZCOMP Technologies – the #1 eMDs reseller since 2005.

We are the ultimate source for all things Medisoft & Lytec. Whatever your question or problem or need with Medisoft & Lytec, we can help you. AZCOMP can help with sales, training, coaching, installation, support, EHR, add-on tools such as preferred clearinghouses, or patient statements, patient payments, appointment reminders and more.

For more Medisoft information, visit our website here: http://www.azcomp.com/medisoft/

For more Lytec information, visit our website here: http://www.azcomp.com/lytec/

Be sure to call us at (877) 959-8292 for all your network and healthcare technology needs.

eMDs Acquires Best in KLAS EHR – Aprima

azcomp technologies

Best in KLAS in the Small Practice EHR/PM category, Aprima is acquired by eMDs

As a partner of eMDs, AZCOMP Technologies is pleased to announce that eMDs has acquired Aprima Medical Software, Inc., a leading provider of electronic health records (EHR), practice management software (PM), and revenue cycle management (RCM) solutions.

“Together, we can service a broad range of specialties and meet the evolving needs of our client partners,” said Derek Pickell, eMDs CEO. “The unique combination of our technologies and services prepares us to offer the most powerful and comprehensive portfolio of solutions available- and that means greater impact, increased productivity, and less operational burden for healthcare providers. Our bottom line is about facilitating the best patient outcomes, and together our companies clear the path for providers to do their best work while enhancing their financial strength.”

For AZCOMP Technologies, we’re excited at the opportunity to be able to include a product such as Aprima in our suite of products and services.

After 13 years in business, in 2013 we adopted our company purpose of “Empowering Small Practices to Deliver the Best Care”. We have been very proud of the product offerings we provide to our clients, such as Medisoft PM, Medisoft Clinical EHR, Lytec PM, Lytec MD EHR, NextGen Office EHR, Change Healthcare Electronic Claims, our Revenue Cycle Management services, our Managed IT Services, BillFlash electronic payments and statements, and AutoRemind appointment reminders and communications. These products have been very helpful, and will continue to bring value to the thousands of providers and other businesses that have trusted us to work with them. Having the Aprima product line to offer in addition to all these will make us that much more helpful to a wider range of clients to help them in Delivering the Best Care.

“One of my favorite things to do is to find products that will help offices be more efficient. So, we’re always looking for the holes in a practices workflow, and to find a way to help them to provide better care through the products that we endorse and offer and support” said Loree Olsen, AZCOMP Director of Business Development. “Having a product like Aprima to offer, which has so many excellent qualities and benefits will help us that much more to put our clients in a better position to thrive, and that’s exciting to us.”

At this early stage in the transition, we do not have any details about timelines for when we’ll be able to officially offer the Aprima products, or how this might impact our business. We will be notified and updated by eMDs as the integration plans of the two companies develops over time.

 

September 2017 Cyber Security Webinar

In the last 12 months, hackers have breached half of all small businesses in the United States.

– 2016 State of SMB Cybersecurity Report

Join us for our free Executive Webinar: 7 Critical IT Security Protections EVERY Small Business Must Have in Place NOW to Avoid Cyber Attacks, Data Breach Lawsuits, Bank Fraud and Compliance Penalties.

Healthcare providers have a lot to worry about, including HIPAA compliance, avoiding data breach to protect patient PHI, and keeping your computer network safe from all the cybercrime that is going on. If you’re not in healthcare, you have a lot of the same issues to worry about like protecting customer credit card data and other important business data, your bank account, your computer network.

That is why we are hosting this free executive webinar.

There are a lot of threats to your network, every day, and we can almost guarantee that your business isn’t aware of all the threats. Therefore, you are at risk of losing EVERYTHING in an instant! Your bank account, your patient information, your billing and claims information (accounts receivable), everything you need to keep your practice running could all be wiped out and gone forever when you’re not doing the right things to protect yourself and your business.

The good news is there are some SIMPLE protections and precautions you can put in place to drastically reduce your chances of being a victim – which is what we’re going to show you at this webinar.

In a little more detail – here’s what we’re going to cover:

  • The #1 security threat to your business that antivirus, firewalls and other security protocols are defenseless against.
  • A SHOCKING truth about bank fraud that most businesses don’t know about that could (literally) wipe out your bank account.
  • How Mobile Phones and Cloud Apps are seriously jeopardizing your security and data protection- and what you need to do to protect yourself.
  • Why firewalls and antivirus software give you a false sense of security- and what it REALLY takes to protect your organization against new threats and today’s sophisticated cyber crime rings.
  • 7 critical IT security protections that EVERY small business must have in order to avoid cyber attacks and cyber crime.

Cyber Security Webinar Registration

The webinar is free, but you must register to attend. Go to our website to get all the details and to register. The webinar is being held on September 8th. Be sure to register and mark your calendars today!

Award Winning Corn

I want to share a story that I recently came across about a corn farmer. There was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Each and every year, he won the award for the best grown corn. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter […]

The Five Steps to a Successful, Thriving Independent Practice

The Five Steps to a Successful, Thriving Independent Practice

Sometimes we feel like this, right? Help is on the way! (Image Via Google.)

Independent:

in·de·pend·ent [indəˈpendənt]

ADJECTIVE

1. “not subject to the control of others”

We know what “Independent” means by definition, however, what does this mean to your practice?

Being independent within your practice may ultimately mean different things to different practices.

Solo and small practices have different industry regulations than larger practices and hospitals do. Staying independent through these regulations means deciding the course in which to drive and what your destiny is for the future of your practice.

With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in place, doctors are held accountable to provide higher quality care at lower costs, with increased tracking and reporting demands. Sometimes, even in a facility that has declining reimbursement and high potential of liability.

It is possible to control this course of independence in your practice. These steps will prove to be essential in thriving and surviving in this new health care reality.

Step 1. Focusing on Financial Performance

Being prepared to handle new methods of reimbursement will help maximize financial performance. Independent physicians typically do not have the time to sort through changes enacted by government insurance payers, track claims or manage appeals, all the while trying to provide quality care and attention required to their patients.

Finding a practice management solution that integrates seamlessly with practice workflow, will allow for productivity boost and focus on patient care. The right practice management solution should be able to handle patient scheduling, claims submission and reporting, as well as sending out patient statements, in turn, getting you paid faster!

Step 2. Clinical Integration and Connectivity

Exchange of information is crucial to improve coordination between physicians. Lacking this information can lead to treatment errors, unnecessary costs accrued for the patient and possible, preventable hospital readmissions.

By implementing a cloud-based solution, it allows for access to the information needed and creates an easy transition for patient care and follow up. Having this connectivity, independent practices are able to meet payment requirements, avoid duplicate testing or redundant care and can ensure the data is provided to the physician at the point of care.

Step 3. Thriving in the ACO Environment

Joining an ACO vs. staying independent may make you feel lost. Let’s find a way out! (Image via Google.)

Taking up only a small portion of the massive new health laws are the Accountable Care Organizations (ACO). These are networks of physicians and hospitals that share responsibility for providing care to patients. There are physicians who are joining ACO’s but, there is also an increasing number of primary care physicians who want to remain independent.

To succeed under these payment reforms, independent practices must have an electronic health record that streamlines workflow in your practice, providing access to guidelines and maximizes efficiency, as well as a strong communication with local ACO’s to meet care coordination requirements. Lastly, health information technology is needed to monitor patients within or outside of your practice, ultimately being able to measure and report on the patients outcomes.

Step 4. Creating Foundations for an Engaging Environment

Independent practices must have something that appeals to the patient. Creating an attractive choice for patients and referral partners will be part of thriving in this business. Promoting a certain culture and maintaining a strong financial performance is just the beginning. A great start for this is an online patient portal.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 requires physicians to help patients view, download and transmit health information online. Patient portals not only streamline tasks such as scheduling or registration, but they also serve as communication between doctor and patient, satisfying those requirements for Meaningful Use Stage 2.

Step 5. Adapting to Change

Adapting to a changing environment can be overwhelming at times! (Image via Google.)

The future of health care is starting to take form after many years of uncertainty. This is where independent practices must be quicker than ever. Being able to adapt to all the “new’s” in the industry, such as new payment models, new care models, reimbursement, meaningful use and transitions with ICD-10. Independent practices must have a system in place to stay on top of these requirements.

We hope these steps will be helpful for you, as you embrace independence in your practice!

Let us know what you thought of this blog!

Leave a comment or give us a call @ 480-730-3055.

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Tiny Homes, Big Hearts

Fulfilling A Vision to Deliver Phenomenal & Care About the One

I have a good friend of mine that makes a Christmas video every year of his family, sending this out instead of a Christmas card. He got the idea from my brother, Jared, who has done it for the past decade.  This year, he stepped it up a notch and did something above and beyond for someone else………He and his family built a home and gave it to someone who needed it! 

The Vision:

Behind the scenes, he shared with me that he struggled with what to do for this year for his family video, because he wanted to do more then just make a fun video.  He wanted to do something for someone that would make a major impact. 

He had the impression to build a small house.  He tried ignoring it because he has no clue how to do it but, the impression kept coming. 

Googling the plans on the internet, he started building.  Keep in mind, he does cement work for a living and pretty much just knows cement. 

The Kicker:

You’d think this guy was loaded or did pretty good financially, but the real truth is, he isn’t.  In fact, he barely makes it by financially, and with 5 kids, he rarely has any free time.  Yet somehow, he was able to pull off this great miracle for this family. 

What makes this story amazing, is that he didn’t even have enough funds to build it but, he started anyways.  Others heard of what he was doing and freely donated the needed materials, without him even asking for them.  He spent 2 months just about every night working on this home. 

Here is the video of him and his family building it:

Getting Started! Image via Youtube.

 

And, Here is the video of them delivering the home to the family in need:

The finished product! Image via Youtube.

 So, the next time you wonder if you can make a difference for someone else, think of Micah.

No skill, no money, no time, but with God, all things are possible!

Giving Back | The Power of Community Involvement

The Power of Community Involvement

Albert-Einstein-qUOTES.Only-a-life-lived-in-the-service-to-others-is-worth-living

Are you looking for a way to improve morale with your staff at your practice? Are you looking for a way to give back to the community? Are you interested in creating an atmosphere within your office where your staff trusts each other and they feel a little bit like a family with each other?

If you are looking for any of this, then doing a little volunteer work as a company might be just the way to achieve all of that and more!

Giving back…

Many benefits can be found in companies that encourage their employees to be involved in the community, and when you do volunteer work together as a company. Organizing volunteer activities for your staff (or letting your staff organize service opportunities for the company) will bring your staff closer together.

It will make them feel good about themselves. It is a great way to help your staff get to know each other, and a much better way than meeting after work for drinks. It will help your staff feel fulfilled. When you put staff or employee’s in charge of figuring out and planning for community volunteer work it gives employees an opportunity to lead when they might not get that every day at work.

This involvement can also distinguish you from the competitors. By giving back, it will truly help to show your clients that what you’re doing, aside from your career, is making the world a better place.

AZCOMP Technologies is working to build relationships with organizations in our community. We have encouraged the employees to get on board and be involved with periodic community service events. Collaboration and inspiration are two areas that are developed when your employees have an avenue to give back.

Our community service team has developed an annual volunteer plan to stay involved. Our first community service event of the year took place on March 24th & 25th, 2016 at Paz De Cristo Community Center in Mesa, AZ.

Some of the AZCOMP team volunteered two days, after business hours, to serve 300+ dinners, each night.

Benjamin preparing food in the kitchen prior to meal service!

“It was an absolute honor to be a part of such a special cause…” – Benjamin

 

"Serving with co-workers is AWESOME!" - Keven

“Serving with co-workers is AWESOME!” – Keven

Paz De Cristo’s mission is to “Feed, Clothe and Empower those in need.”

Erica Cluff, one of AZCOMP’s Product Advisors said, “The whole experience was humbling. Watching children come through the line to get their dinner, as a mom of two boys, it made me realize, at the end of the day, my life & my stresses are nothing in comparison. Everyone was so thankful and Paz De Cristo was so organized. The full time workers there and the additional volunteers ran it all so well.”

To add to that, Benjamin Williams, one of our favorite IT techs said, “…It was amazing to see everyone’s face light up with just a simple meal – it reminds me of how blessed and fortunate we all are…,”

Erica also mentioned how this applies to one of the core values we have here, “We talk about a core value at AZCOMP which is, “We Care About The One” and it’s important to reflect that not only in our job, but in our personal life as well.”

Erica, showing off her service industry skills...

Erica, showing off her service industry skills…

 

Russ & NaTasha during food service.

Russ & NaTasha during food service.

“The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it…” – Mother Teresa

If you are looking for a simple way to bring your staff closer together and create a sense of unity within the office, a little service project might be just the ticket for your office!

If you want to learn more about how we are organizing this within our company, feel free to give us a call and ask to speak with our “community service manager”!

Keep Your Waiting and Exam Rooms Full With These 4 Simple Tips

Does Your Waiting Room Sometimes Look Like This – Empty?

empty waiting room

If your waiting room is empty or half-filled, then you have too many exam rooms with this going on…

empty exam room

No Shows.  Cancellations.  Half-Filled Waiting Rooms. Rarely See A Patient More Than Once.

These are just some things plaguing practices right now.

Patient Retention is one of the most important things leading to a successful practice.

These are four simple strategies other practices are using to keep their patients long term!

#1: Retaining & Using Important Patient Information

Sometimes it can be assumed that this contact information for all of your patients is buried in a medical record, unused. Here are some helpful data points to obtain with every patient:

  • Patient’s Name

Keeping a list of every patient you have ever worked with is the best way to keeping them. They will want to feel their visit, every time, is personalized to them. Most medical record solutions will provide reports within their software to run “Patient Lists” to show this data including date last seen on all patients. Here is an example:

Sample_Patient_List

 

  • Best Contact Number for Patient

For the most part, this is a cell phone number for your patient. Text message reminders are very effective, and usually a preferred method of communication. At the very least, make sure each patient has an alternate number on file.

  • Email Address for Patient

The average person will check their emails on their phones more than 30 times a day! Sending reminders, updates or health tips via email to your patients can go a long way towards retaining your patients!

  • Patient’s Birth Date

Receiving a “Happy Birthday” from you can make your patients feel as though you really know them. Its a subtle reminder to them that the office cares and that you remember who they are.

Use all of this information to your advantage. If a patient came to you once, wouldn’t you like them to come back to see you again? Send them a birthday card. Send them reminders of their next visit. Text them to confirm an appointment. Send them health and wellness tips.

With very simple communication your patients will remember you and they will feel like you remember them and want them to come back. So use their contact information to keep in touch!

#2: Appointment Reminders Automatically Sent to Patient Via Email/Text

If you have one (or more!) no-show per week or month, isn’t that too many? If a patient makes an appointment with you, don’t you want them to show up?

Yes, it is very time consuming to personally call all of the appointments that you have each and every day. And let’s be honest, not a lot of people are answering their home phone anymore. Sometimes it feels like a complete waste of time to try and remind your patients about appointment.

You might be doing it all wrong.

Automating communication with patients is a tool that is available to you right now, and if you are using text messaging and email then it will be so much more effective.

Solutions like Auto-Remind allow you to remind patients via text, email or phone about appointments. They even confirm or reschedule for you based on the patients response.

Even if you did have time to call everyone on your schedule, automating your reminders is a much more effective way to confirm appointments and actually get patients to show up.

No more no-shows! No more lost revenue!

#3: Scheduling Ahead

During the check out process with a patient, making a habit of scheduling their next follow up or annual appointment will save you much hassle of having to do this later. It seems pretty rare to see a dentists office that isn’t booking the patients next cleaning for 6 months later at the time of the visit.

Implementing this procedure in your practice will save you time in the future and keep your schedule full!

#4: Newsletter Updates for Patients

A newsletter, whether weekly or monthly, can be a great reminder to patients to keep their health at the forefront of their minds, will establish you as an authority for their health, and the next time they need your services, the doctor they call will be you.

This can be filled with recipes, services your practice offers, health & wellness tips, as well as, how to effectively communicate with your practice about appointments, online customer portals, or social media.

Don’t have the time to do this on your own? No problem. Utilize one of the many newsletter services out there like The Newsletter Pro to help you get it done with little to no effort on your part.

 

No Shows.  Cancellations.  Half-Filled Waiting Rooms.  Not Anymore!

You are now on your way to busy schedules, full waiting rooms, and happy patients!

Follow our blog for more tips & tricks to running a successful practice.

Want to learn more about our automatic appointment reminder system for Medisoft and Lytec? Check out this 60 day free trial!

Automatic appointment reminder system for Medisoft or Lytec - get 60 day free trial