When we work with physicians and managers who’ve found their financial results have inexplicably declined, they often wonder why the profit numbers changed when the practice is still managed in the same careful way as before. It’s a puzzle and a disappointment and a huge source of frustration! But therein lies the rub: As managers, […]
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No-shows can be a huge drain on medical practice finances. Time that is booked but ultimately generates no revenue is a loss that comes right out of your bottom line. It’s similar to what airlines experience when they have an unsold seat – which is why airlines so often resort to overbooking, and some practices […]
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Capko & Morgan has had the honor of collaborating with the MedData Group on several recent MedData Point surveys. This month, we worked together on one of our favorite subjects: billing and collections. The results may reflect some subtle but interesting changes to recent trends. For the past few years, it has seemed that the […]
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Ahhh, January. We’re already six days in, and it’s still hard to believe we’re a week into a brand new year.  Perhaps especially so if low volume has you moving through your days more slowly — and worrying about what your revenue numbers will be at month- and quarter-end. The January effect on medical practices […]
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Anyone who encourages me knows they’ll get an earful about front office technology tools — they’ve become a passion of mine.  I’m referring to things like: Patient responsibility payment estimators (e.g., Wellero, Navicure, Zirmed) Check-in tablets and kiosks (e.g., Phreesia) Online patient payment tools like portals and pre-payment sites (e.g., SpendWell) Patient payment apps (e.g., […]
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Outsourcing your medical billing to a billing service has the power to make your practice much easier to manage.  It can also increase your profitability. But as the world of reimbursement continues to evolve, it’s important to stay involved with the process.  If you’ve adopted a “that’s off my plate now” approach to using a […]
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What’s the worst thing that can happen when you staff aren’t trained to manage patient deductibles and collect up front?  It’s not that you won’t ultimately get paid.  There is something worse that can happen, and it’s not that uncommon: your practice can end up losing the revenue for the service and losing the patient. […]
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It’s no secret that physician practices are challenged more than ever to get paid in full for the services they render. Deductibles keep getting higher – and more patients are facing them. What’s more, new research from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that only about half of insured American families have sufficient resources available to […]
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The portion of your revenue that must come from patient collections has skyrocketed.  If you haven’t mastered patient collections, you risk losing more of your practice’s earned revenue than ever before.  But — on the plus side — there are more new ways to tackle this problem than ever before. I’ve got a new, free […]
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The portion of your revenue that must come from patient collections has dramatically increased over the past decade. And higher copays and deductibles aren’t going away – in fact, they’re becoming the standard. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation study determined that average deductibles for patients on employer-sponsored plans have more than doubled, and now average […]
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As we’ve posted here before, almost all practices face the risk of a cash flow crunch in January and, really, through all of Q1, thanks to the deductible reset.  (January’s revenue collections are sometimes also hit lower volume in December because of the holidays — a double whammy.) In our experience, the decline in revenue […]
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The deductible reset is looming in January, and it’s poised to wreak its usual havoc with cash flow. Cash-flow impact could easily be even worse this year, given that deductibles have likely increased and become more of a problem for many of your patients. Naturally, alerting patients to the possibility that they will be responsible […]
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If you missed Laurie’s webinar, “Front Desk Collections: the New Linchpin of Profitability” (sponsored by Wellero) — one of her most popular webinars ever! — you’re still in luck.  Sign up here and watch it whenever you like. This practical presentation hits on some ways you can immediately increase profitability while avoiding pitfalls that can […]
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If you missed Laurie’s webinar, “Front Desk Collections: the New Linchpin of Profitability” last month, you can now view the recording online (free).  Here’s a link to the sign-up page: http://www.capko.com/miss-front-desk-collections-new-linchpin-profitability-watch/ Enjoy!  
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I just got around to watching the episode of  The Profit focused on A.Stein Meats. Now, you may be wondering why on earth I’d be posting about a meat business here — what could that have to do with medical practice management?  Well, The Profit deals with a variety of small businesses, and there are […]
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Laurie Morgan’s just-published ebook — Get the Best From Your Medical Billing Service (Management Rx) — will be available *free* on Amazon.com from October 25 – October 29. If you’re using or considering using a medical billing service, this detailed, 15-page guide is for you.  Learn tips for screening services, managing the relationship, and evaluating […]
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The AMA’s National Health Insurer Report Card (NHIRC) for 2013 was released today.  In addition to illuminating data comparing the burdens/benefits of doing business with eight major US health plans, the report added a new metric that caught our attention: patient responsibility as percentage of allowed amount.  Among the eight major insurers studied, patient responsibility […]
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Hiring an external billing service can be a huge source of relief, especially for smaller practices that worry they won’t be able to keep up with staff training needs on technology and coding (e.g., ICD-10).  But, too many practices we work with tend to “forget about” billing once they have hired a service — thinking […]
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As medical practice management consultants, we’re naturally always looking for ‘best practices’ we can share with all of our clients.  There is often a rub, though: what’s ‘best’ for one practice (or one practice type) may not be right for everyone.  When it comes to the best way to solve practice management problems, sometimes the […]
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For most practices, E&M codes represent a significant portion of billings — and, for some practice types like pediatrics and other primary care, E&M codes can approach 100% of billings.  Physicians and non-physician providers are often so sensitive to the risk of down-coding, denial or audit that they develop a bad habit of ‘defensive’ E&M […]
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Many practices fail to appreciate how critical a role scheduling has in a practice’s profits and the way patients perceive care.  As an example, consider how an ineffective reminder system can cause a cascade of ill consequences for your practice: the patient forgets their appointment — the provider sits unproductive — patients can’t get into […]
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I recently completed a series of articles for Kareo’s Getting Paid blog about how small business management issues relate to practice management.  While medical practices have an important mission that reaches beyond business, they can’t achieve that mission without succeeding on business terms.  And, in many fundamental ways, medical practices are not so different from […]
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Michael Zhuang, an investment advisor with a focus on physicians, offered an interesting point of view in a recent post on Physicians Practice.  He observed that doctors often fail to accumulate significant wealth in large part because they place too much emphasis on living a “doctor-appropriate” (i.e., fancy) lifestyle, they’re so busy they don’t have […]
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Collection problems don’t begin with a rejected insurance claim or a patient’s failure to make prompt payment.  The headache of managing the accounts receivable starts with  the patient registration form – data collection. It’ s the  receptionists and schedulers failure to  gather sufficient  and accurate financial data when patients first contact the office. Why does this occur?  […]
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Medical practice revenue is tighter than ever. It’s time for you to take critical steps to keep costs under control and improve profits. The first step to fixing the bottom line is to look for the waste. Wasted energy results in a loss of potential revenue and lots of frustration.  There is waste throughout the typical practice, but most of it is […]
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Did you know that 30% of  the insurance claims submitted for payment of  medical services in the United States are denied and of that amount 15% are  never resubmitted?  According to Medicare, 40% of their claims denials are never resubmitted. These are daunting statistics. Experts state that 70-80% of appealed claims are eventually paid – That’s a […]
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Does your practice know how well it is performing – and if not, why not?   It’s important for physicians and managers to examine performance each month by looking at specific Key Performance Indicators, KPIs.  This will help you understand your position and is powerful in guiding decisions to improve performance.  Medicine is a business and […]
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Here’s how you can make patient collections better in 2011: Do your homework upfront. Research patient balances before the patient arrives for his or her appointment and know what the patient owes. Then you are prepared to ask for payment at the time of visit.  This is when the patient is the most motivated and when you […]
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