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Medical Homes for the Homeless Can Curb ED Use Print E-mail
Written by Julie Bird   
Monday, 25 March 2013 09:40

Hospitals are looking at providing homeless and uninsured patients services such as mobile medical homes to reduce their use of expensive emergency department care...

 ...in Largo, Fla., Pinellas County is using a $5 million federal grant to build a health clinic aimed at homeless families, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Baycare and All Children's Hospital are expected to provide medical staff.

County officials told the Times that homeless families often forego primary care treatment for their children out of fear doctors will turn them in to the Department of Children and Families, the local social-services agency.
 
Source:  Fierce Healthcare                                       

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Editor's Note:  FHIcommunications and Fierce Healthcare are Content Exchange Partners.

Last Updated on Sunday, 31 March 2013 15:37
 
Do EHRs Contribute to Coding and Payment Inaccuracies? Print E-mail
Written by AskCCG.com   
Sunday, 17 March 2013 00:00

Many providers have touted the electronic health record (EHR) as the magic bullet to improve billing accuracy.  However, according to the Center for Public Integrity, "Medicare regulators also acknowledge they are struggling to rein in a surge of aggressive - and potentially expensive - billing by doctors and hospitals that they have linked, at least anecdotally, to the rapid proliferation of the billing software and electronic medical records.  A variety of federal reports and whistleblower suits reflect these concerns."

In the 'paper world,' physicians document the visit note and then generate a billing slip or superbill with the codes represented in the documentation.  Pre-printed diagnoses are either checked off for the patient's visit, or if a particular condition is not listed, the clinician writes it freehand on the form.  With regard to procedures, here too, the most common ones are pre-printed on the form and checked off by the doctor.  It is rare that a provider adds a procedure to the billing slip.  This document is routed to the biller for processing.  It is important to note that the biller's role is to process billing information and follow up on outstanding payments, not to assess the accuracy of the clinician's documentation.  Click here to read more.

Source:  Coleman Consulting Group (CCG)

Last Updated on Monday, 18 March 2013 08:53
 
Why I Can't Wait to Hear Patient Complaints Print E-mail
Written by ManageMyPractice.com   
Saturday, 09 February 2013 00:00

I have not always been excited to hear patient complaints. As a younger manager I absolutely dreaded when a patient wanted to speak to me. I felt that I had little to offer a patient who expressed anger or frustration with something that had happened and I was very impatient to get past the complaint and get back to my "job."
 
Now, I can't wait to hear patient complaints...

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Source:  Manage My Practice
 
Outsource your Credentialing & Payor Provider Enrollment Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Hollender, MBA   
Sunday, 03 February 2013 00:00

Outsourcing credentialing and payor provider enrollment is becoming increasingly popular among U.S. medical practices.  If the right consultant is selected, this can be a cost-effective technique to shift time consuming and complex administrative tasks to experts.    

Credentialing is a science.  Failed attempts result in wasted administrative efforts and, all too often, an interruption in reimbursement dollars. Today more practice administrators, ranging from small to large practices nationally, have smartly chosen the route of "leaving it to the experts."   Typically there are minimal costs to get started.  Meanwhile the cost of maintaining these files is inconsequential when compared to the ROI annually (again, provided that a competent consultant is chosen).

Here is a Case Study from 2010 to illustrate.

The SCENARIO 
A medium-sized physician group was spending $45k+ for one FTE (full-time equivalent) to maintain 12 doctors credentialing files and insurance companies ongoing credentialing requirements.

The METHOD
A qualified consultant was brought in to cut costs and increase revenue through:
  • proper implementation
  • maintenance
  • technology
The DETAILS  
Calls with the administrator and the outsource company collected all of their 12 provider's documentation via web and the entire credentialing department started to run systematically. Presently, the administrator gets reminder notices about license renewals and pertinent updates and information on each provider and responds accordingly. She now devotes 2-5 hours a month total to the total task.  

The RESULTS 
This Outsourcing strategy saved this particular practice one FTE, $45K (plus benefits). Additionally, the consulting firm discovered some pre-existing errors during the transition. It appears that there were a total of 3 issues that went unnoticed during the initial enrollment regarding the provider's specialty.  Thus reimbursement was 17% lower annually during their total enrollment with their payor for 7 years previously. This translated into over $425K in lost revenue for that practice during the time period that the initial enrollment mistakes went undetected.

Outsourcing credentialing and payor provider enrollment can also improve employee morale and the patient experience, since the practice is now operating more efficiently.   Most reputable healthcare consultants will provide an initial consultation at no charge.  In an environment of increasing complexity and declining reimbursements, outsourcing these onerous and time consuming functions makes more sense than ever.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Mr. Hollender is the President of TRIAD Healthcare Mangement, Inc., a healthcare consulting firm in business for over 20 years.  To better serve practitioners in the areas of Credentialing and Enrollment, he launched DrServicesUSA.com last year. He can be reached at 1 (866) 512-5463 or e mail at jeff@triadhealthusa.com.

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 February 2013 17:39
 
7 Ways to Maintain Patient Interaction in the Age of the EHR Print E-mail
Written by The Profitable Practice   
Thursday, 31 January 2013 00:00

A common complaint of electronic health record (EHR) software is that it interferes with doctor-patient interactions. Many physicians lament that they can no longer engage fully with patients, instead spending most of their time looking at a computer screen and updating charts.
 
This leaves both doctor and patient frustrated: nobody becomes a doctor because they want to stare at a computer screen all day, and patients want to know that their physician actually cares about them-which means looking at their doctor's eyes, not their back.

Recently we posted an online survey asking doctors how they've maintained the doctor-patient relationship in the digital era. Based on their responses, we've identified the following solutions.

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