How To Export Data from AR Tracker in Medisoft

are my devices listening to me

Are My Devices Listening to Me?

are my devices listening to me

Have you ever had a conversation near your phone or another “smart device” like an Amazon Alexa device, and then later in the day you started seeing suggested content or advertisements for that thing you were discussing? Could this be a coincidence? Maybe, but this isn’t the first time you’ve noticed this. Situations like this, no doubt, make you wonder – “are my devices listening to me”?

Norton, the popular antivirus software firm, says that your devices are listening to you. That’s their job!

Typically, the “Hey Google!” and “Alexa!” commands would be impossible if the devices weren’t listening. But how much are these devices listening, and how much information do they collect?

In this article, we’re going to discuss how these smart devices are listening to you and using and distributing the information they get. We’ll also discuss how to protect yourself but still get the awesome benefits of these devices.

When you activated your Amazon Alexa device, or the Siri feature on your phone, etc., you most likely accepted the terms and conditions without reading them. That’s ok. We’ll try to give you the information you need to know. But, it’s not a bad idea for you to read through it entirely on your own as well.

About Privacy Policies and Data Collection by Listening Devices

Just in case you skipped over the privacy policy the first time, or want a refresher, here is the current version of some of the popular services you can read now.

Siri Privacy

Google Privacy

Amazon Alexa Privacy

Skimming through the terms of Siri reveals a couple of insights into the type of data they collect.

Siri collects contact names, relationships and nicknames. It recalls the podcasts and music you enjoy, the names of your devices, names of shared home members, scenes, homes and accessories.

The system also sends people’s names in photos, labels for items, names of reminder lists and alarm names. Siri recalls the shortcuts and apps installed through the system.

But what about Google?

In their lengthy (15 pages or so) privacy policy, Google states that they’ll share personal information outside the network. But only if they have a good-faith belief that disclosure, access, preservation and use are reasonably necessary.

Google may publicly share non-personally identifiable information with partners such as advertisers, publishers, developers or rights holders. For example, Google will share information to show performance, trends and other data highlighting the general use of services.

The search engine giant also says they allow partners to leverage cookies and similar technologies to collect information from your device or browser. This collection is for measurement and advertising purposes.

Remember, privacy policies are not there solely for your sake. They are there for the protection of Google and other organizations that collect your information through devices.

But is that a good reason to stop using these devices? Do you hop into your truck and ride off into the woods?

Do You Need to Worry about Devices Listening to You?

Before you go the extreme route of swearing off all technology, there are two things you should know.

One

You can disable most of the “eavesdropping” features that come with smartphones.

Turn off Siri voice control on iOS devices

Turn off Google Assistant on Android devices

Turn off your phone’s microphone across all applications. iOS and Android devices have settings to control which apps have permission to use the microphone on your phone. For example, you can deny or allow Facebook to use the microphone on your phone. A simple internet search will give you the current instructions for this.

Two

If your essential business data is stolen, it is very unlikely to be through Google, Siri, or Alexa. Or, if your business were to experience a ransomware event, it is very unlikely to be through Google, Siri, or Alexa.

Cybercrime, like data breaches or ransomware, happens when employees unwittingly take actions, such as clicking links in emails that expose the organization. Or it happens due to unpatched computers and other security vulnerabilities. Or it happens due to not having adequate anti-virus or other security software.

There are ways you can monitor, mitigate and reduce the risks of data breaches and ransomware to your organization. Check out our article, the 15 ways to protect your business from a cyber attack, to learn how to implement a layered security plan to protect your business.

Would you rather have Siri listening in and keeping a record of your favorite podcasts or deal with hackers asking for a ransom to keep your business running? It’s an easy choice, really.

Schedule a brief ten-minute call to discuss your concern and situation. We can also conduct a simple security assessment to determine the safety and security of your data and network.

About AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies opened its doors in 2000 and has been providing managed IT services to companies across industries in Phoenix. Most of our time is spent working on our client’s computers and networks to prevent unexpected interruptions. Our task is to ensure organizations do business with peace of mind. We’re partners to your success!

Contact us today for more information about managed IT services in Phoenix.

folder security and protection

Folder Permission Tips for Your Business

Folder Permissions – the often forgotten but essential security tool.

folder security and protection

Folder permissions are at the heart of data security within your organization, so it deserves high-level attention. The fundamental reason for establishing folder permissions across a network is so a business can safeguard business files within a shared drive. For example, you most likely don’t want all employees within your organization to have open access to accounting and financial data. In addition to that, folder permissions allow rapid identification of potential failures when a data breach occurs.

Usually, the best practice is to plan out organizational data access on a need-to-know basis. A simple principle to keep in mind is the fewer people with access to particular data sets, the less exposed your business has.

So, what are the main ways you set up folder permissions?

Permission-Based Access

This type of access is restricted to particular individuals and applies to specific sections of company data. For example, user A may access data in their division, such as the HR, but needs read permissions for certain financial information.

Role-Based Access

This type of folder permission which allows control of user groups through Microsoft’s active directory or Azure services is quite common. These inbuilt security features enable your organization to enforce file permission policies across many users. This reduces the potential for exposure of sensitive data.

Role-based access simplifies setting up folder permissions, especially when a new employee joins your organization. The process is as simple as informing AZCOMP Technologies of the role the new employee will play in the organization and leaving the rest to us.

Sharepoint and Teams

Sharepoint and Teams can get role-based access together with standard network shares. But for an added layer of data security, determine if external sharing is necessary for the file share.

In most access, teams will leverage the URL feature that allows file sharing through emails. We often recommend enforcing strict restrictions for external users.

While role-based services have Anonymous User Access and Guest Access as standard features, edit access and control the individual permissions. This reduces the chances of some of your data falling into the wrong hands through shareable access.

Establish a Clear Policy

Clear documentation on access grants, adding new directories and naming groups creates a reference point. The documentation helps get everyone on the same page and provides better explanations in various areas. 

The number of organizations under the AZCOMP Technologies lap has been growing consistently. We have always seen their folder or file structure grow enormously, so keeping an eye on every one of these folders becomes an uphill task for these clients.

As part of our managed IT services, we provide a high-level analysis to our clients of access permissions and individual roles on files and folders. Our services stretch to the migration of the data to a more transparent and secure system. Reach out to learn more about how our managed IT services can benefit your business.

About AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies opened its doors in 2000 and has been providing managed IT services to companies across industries in Phoenix. Most of our time is spent working on our client’s computers and networks to prevent unexpected interruptions. We ensure organizations do business with peace of mind.

Contact us today for more information about managed IT services in Phoenix.

4 Ways to Ensure Your Company Makes Secure Online Purchases

Safe online payment and electronic money transfer security. Pay with digital technology. Man using credit card and laptop to login to internet bank. Financial safety to prevent scam, threat, and fraud.

We are in the age of internet technology, and online purchases are at an all-time high. It’s estimated that this holiday season will fetch more than $236 billion in purchases.

Online shopping is here to stay, and chances are that your business and employees are already participating.

But the world of online business also creates opportunities for cybercrime. Criminals will try to steal your login information, credit numbers, and other critical personal identification information.

So how can your employees make secure online purchases and safeguard the organization against fraud, identity thefts, and more? In this article we’re going to point out 4 quick tips for making safe online purchases.

You may want to consider talking to us about our full-service network security & cybersecurity solutions for your business. You may also want to review our 15 Ways to Protect Your Business from Cyber Attack article. For now, here are four quick tips to help ensure your business is making secure online purchases:

1.  Avoid Reusing Passwords

The temptation to reuse a password between different sites is high because it’s easier to remember. But don’t do it. An organization your company collaborates with may get breached, resulting in a breach of multiple accounts with shared passwords.

While using different passwords for different sites is not easy, it makes it harder for criminals to access your other accounts.

2.  Always Inspect the URL

A secure website will always have an “https” or a small lock on the far left corner of the address bar. Don’t provide any financial or personal information on any site with ‘http’ without the ‘s’ or an unlocked padlock on the web address. This is an insecure site.

3.  Choose Credit Cards Over Debit Cards

Using a credit card instead of a debit card ensures that the criminals don’t wipe clean your bank account. On the other hand, major credit card companies have a liability policy where unauthorized charges are made.

Don’t overlook your statements when you get them. You could notice something unusual on the statement, which can save you from further costs you’re unaware of down the road.

Contact your credit card firm immediately if you suspect suspicious activity.

4.  Watch out for Emails about Package Deliveries

Texts or emails about a package delivery have become a common way cybercriminals use to access your website and information. Our AZCOMP Technologies professionals always recommend tracking your package from the company website as it is safer. Don’t click on links sent to your email inbox or text message.

The links may contain malware or viruses infecting your device and the shared network.

While cybercriminals don’t mind scamming consumers, their main targets are usually businesses because they are the bigger sharks with deeper pockets. A small mistake by one employee can cause havoc for your organization. Don’t wait for an incident to happen.

About AZCOMP Technologies

AZCOMP Technologies opened its doors in 2000 and has been providing managed IT services to companies across industries in Phoenix. Most of our time is spent working on our client’s computers and networks to prevent unexpected interruptions. We ensure organizations do business with peace of mind.

Contact us today for more information about managed IT services in Phoenix.

Top 4 Reasons to Update Medisoft

Top 4 Reasons Using Outdated Medisoft is Risky

Top 4 Reasons to Update Medisoft

Why It’s Important for Your Business to Stay Up to Date on Your Medisoft Software

Businesses often overlook outdated software and only take action when a critical issue happens. The thinking is, “if it’s still working, why fix it?” 

While keeping outdated or legacy software seems like a cost-friendly option, some risks need to be considered in the decision-making process. Suppose you use outdated software just to save a little money, but your operations and revenue depend on that software. That strategy can prove to be a risky business move that could cost you a lot more in the long run. 

Medisoft is the lifeblood of the revenue stream in the office. It warrants top priority. If Medisoft goes down or starts acting up, it will impact your revenue and the entire business. In today’s competitive business space, you cannot afford downtime. 

So, why should you keep Medisoft up to date? 

1.  Efficiency

In this industry, full of technical complexities, things are constantly changing – from government regulations, insurance requirements, clearinghouse updates, Microsoft Windows updates, etc. 

The longer old software gets from the current version, the more challenges and issues will occur. That is for sure. Legacy software needs to be updated to accommodate the recent changes. 

For example, we commonly receive calls from panicked customers who updated their computers, only to find out that the old version of Medisoft they are using isn’t compatible with the new computer’s operating system. In these cases, the office experiences days of downtime with disruptions to its operations and cash flow. This would have been fine if they were using the current version of Medisoft. 

Additionally, older software versions run slower and consume more time with help desk calls and maintenance. The team gets more frustrated since the applications and tools are not running smoothly, and they have to wait for fixes. 

Typically, offices that stay current run more efficiently and save money in the long run compared to those that continue to use older software versions.

Stop doing things the hard, time-consuming, inefficient way. Suppose you are using Medisoft that is two versions back or more. In that case, you probably spend a lot more time tracking claims, organizing reports, and working the collection process than you need to. 

With Medisoft Version 27, you get the following:

New features that save you time. Don’t burden or bog down the business. Instead, give the billing staff the tools to be successful and allow them to organize and work efficiently. This pays off big in the short term and bigger in the long term. 

For example, in today’s world, where patients are now paying most healthcare costs, businesses need the tools to collect those payments from the patient. Current versions of the software have real-time patient estimation tools. 

Better customer experience. The other benefit of staying up to date on your software is demonstrating to clients and customers that a business is committed to providing them with the best possible service. This can help build loyalty and trust between the company and its clients.

Cost savings. While new software may have a higher upfront cost, it reduces the risk exposure and helps save over the long term. Technology is highly dynamic, and an organization must keep pace to reduce costs. The new Medisoft software features and functionalities improve efficiency and reduce expenses. This ultimately reflects in the bottom line. 

2.  Compatibility

Older versions of Medisoft are not compatible with newer computers and other up-to-date software. 

When a business installs a new computer with a new Microsoft Operating System, the older Medisoft may not be compatible. 

When a new printer is installed, when anti-virus software gets updated, when a new firewall is installed, or new scanners are installed, the older version of Medisoft may not be compatible.

As a result, employees using the older version of Medisoft could experience slowness, errors, and the program crashing, restarting, or freezing. All these challenges due to incompatible software ultimately impact the business’s productivity, efficiency, and cash flow. 

The newer Medisoft software comes with system enhancements, patches, and updates that improve the software’s performance and improve the way it works with and interacts with other programs and the hardware it is installed on. Sometimes, Microsoft releases a new operating system in the middle of the year. The current version of Medisoft isn’t designed to be compatible with that new operating system. In this case, if a Medisoft user installed that new operating system on their computer, it could cause Medisoft to not work. In this case, the developers of Medisoft will update the currently supported versions of Medisoft and then issue the update. This allows users with the current version of Medisoft to go ahead and update their operating system without fear of compatibility issues with the new operating system. Older versions of Medisoft will not get any updates.

3.  Keeping up with Compliance, Regulations & Industry Changes

In the healthcare industry, things are constantly changing – from government regulations to insurance requirements to clearinghouse updates to industry trends and more. In these cases, using outdated software could be a major liability to your business.

To comply with HIPAA regulations, you must maintain the current and supported version of the software that accesses ePHI. Running unsupported software poses a significant security risk to your healthcare business, as stated in HIPAA rule 45 CFR 164.308 (a)(5)(ii)(B).

Beyond being required by HIPAA to keep your software current, there are benefits to using the current version of Medisoft. 

When something changes in the industry that has a direct impact on the way the software performs or functions, staying on the current version of Medisoft is how you’re able to keep up with those changes and not get left behind. 

The 21st Century CURES Act and the No Surprises Act are two recent federal regulations impacting how healthcare providers do business. Current versions of Medisoft are programmed to keep a medical office compliant with these laws. Older versions of Medisoft will not do what is required to maintain compliance. 

Those two laws also have certain elements that will be implemented in the coming months and years. The current version of Medisoft is equipped, and future versions will be equipped to handle these elements of the law.

Lastly, certain aspects of the healthcare industry will shift from time to time. Over the past several years, there has been a trend of an increased financial burden on patients, and it looks like that trend will continue. With a trend like that going on, if a healthcare provider wants to adjust their billing practices to ensure they are keeping up with this shift, then it would be helpful if the software they use would provide tools to help them adjust. The current version of Medisoft has introduced features that will help the practice get accurate information from the patient’s insurance provider. With the insurance information automatically updated in Medisoft, the provider can collect the patient’s portion more promptly.

In the future, there will be other shifts in the industry. Keeping current on your Medisoft software will help your business keep up with the changes and not get left behind.

4.  Safety and Security for Your Business

In addition to what was already discussed earlier in this article concerning staying compliant with HIPAA security regulations, other security risks are associated with using outdated software.

One of the primary purposes of software developers releasing updates is to fix vulnerabilities and update security features and settings. With each new release of Medisoft, there are always updates to the system, making the software safer and more secure.

Aside from vulnerability updates and patches, Medisoft has also been busy adding new security features and changing security settings. Medisoft user settings and policies have been updated. Password policies have been updated. The ability for the administrative user to audit login records is now included. These security upgrades make it easier for a practice to keep their data safe and secure.

In summary

When a Medisoft user is trying to evaluate if they will upgrade to the current version, there is much more to consider than just price. And, there is more to consider than looking to see if there is a new feature they like. 

When a business uses older and outdated software for its critical functions, they need to understand that they are accepting risks. These risks may impact productivity, revenue, security, compliance, and more. And they are risking getting left behind with industry changes and regulatory changes.

When a practice chooses not to upgrade, it is obvious that they are saving the money that would have been spent on the upgrade, but is that savings worth all the risks? Is that savings going to help the business become more profitable? Will that savings make it harder to run an efficient and productive business?

At the end of the day, it is left up to the leaders of each business to decide. We hope this article provides a little extra perspective to make the decision-making process easier.

Medisoft Timely Filing Calculator

Automated Eligibility Verification – The Most Efficient Way to Perform the Most Critical Step in Medical Billing

If you’re not checking eligibility, you risk not getting paid.

If you’re manually checking eligibility, you’re wasting time on something that can be automated.

Nobody wants to work for free! But that is exactly what happens when a patient is seen, and the claim for services rendered is uncollectible because the patient didn’t have coverage.

The cost of that service extends beyond just the providers’ time. There is also cost associated with the staff that scheduled the appointment and checked the patient in and out. There is also cost associated with the nurses, medical assistants, and billers that took the time to send out the claim. The most critical step in medical billing is verifying patient eligibility before the patient is seen. There is a good, better, and best way to check patient eligibility!

When to check eligibility:

New Patients

When a new patient calls to schedule an appointment, an office should first ask for insurance information and run an eligibility check to verify coverage. It’s not just good for the practice; it’s a matter of good customer service. 

No patient wants to find out after their service that the practice doesn’t take their insurance or that they are out of network. Having information regarding coverage and the deductible allows practices to have up-front conversations with new patients to make informed decisions.

Scheduled Appointments

There are so many factors that can impact changes in healthcare coverage. Lost jobs, employers changing insurance companies, employees selecting a different option offered by their employer, deciding to switch coverage to a spouse’s plan, and on and on.

These changes can come at any time. Because appointments can be scheduled months in advance, verifying eligibility for every appointment a few days prior is best practice. This allows the practice time to address eligibility changes with a patient before seeing them.

And just as a tip- if the appointment falls on the first day of the month, it’s always a good idea to recheck it that day because most plans term on the last day of the month.

The “good/better/best” for verifying eligibility:

Good: Call the insurance company to verify.

The downside of this method is that it can take a lot of staff time. Even if you have a dedicated staff member to make calls for all scheduled appointments, they can’t always get it done. It is common for staff to get interrupted with other duties or get stuck waiting on hold for extended periods. And because of how much time it can take, there is an increased risk that it won’t ever get done.

Better: Verify eligibility online.

Many insurance companies allow you to verify insurance through their website or the clearinghouse. While this is more efficient than calling the insurance and getting stuck on hold, it is still a manual process to go to the site or clearinghouse and key in the information. The impact of this method is the drain on staff time and a high risk that it won’t be completed 100% of the time.

Best: Real-time and Scheduled Eligibility checking directly from Medisoft. 

When you use Medisoft EDI, you unlock the real power of automation because everything is tightly integrated directly into Medisoft.

For example, when registering a new patient, you can enter the insurance information and do a real-time eligibility check with the click of a button. No leaving the window, no making phone calls, and no re-entering the same patient demographic and insurance information over and over! Eligibility information is pulled right back into Medisoft in the patients’ case and in Office Hours.

What about all those scheduled appointments? Medisoft can automatically run eligibility for an entire day of appointments all at once a few days in advance. This way, you know which patients still have coverage and which ones to reach out to before they come. Real-time checks can also be done when scheduling existing patients to verify the insurance on file is up to date.

Are you ready to automate eligibility checks?

Learn how to automate eligibility in Medisoft with this video.

Automating eligibility is so easy, and is super helpful to your practice!

  • Save time by not being on the phone for hours
  • Save the hassle of rescheduling and canceling appointments
  • Maximize profits by avoiding seeing patients for free!

On top of this, check out the 6 Ways the Medisoft Clearinghouse will legitimately save you boatloads of time and money in Medisoft

Read the post here: 6 Ways Medisoft EDI saves you money

Give us a call today!

We know firsthand how scary it can be to switch to a new clearinghouse. Rest assured, we’ve helped hundreds of practices make the switch, and we’ll make it a quick and painless process for you.

Call us today to ask your questions, to get the details, and to discuss the process for moving from your current clearinghouse to the Medisoft Clearinghouse.

Let us help you get to a place where you can enjoy extra time, a streamlined and straightforward electronic claims process, and maximized revenue.

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

We are the ultimate source for all things Medisoft. Whatever your question, 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, patient statements, patient payments, appointment reminders, and more.

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

Be sure to call us at (480) 730-3055 for all your Medisoft and healthcare technology needs.