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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It’s a fact of medical practice management life that unilateral decisions by other organizations can show up out of the blue and negatively affect the practice business, such as when a payer changes reimbursement terms or stops paying for a code that was previously reimbursed. In situations like these, practices have no obvious short-term option […]
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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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A recent Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker study revealed an interesting finding: average copayments are declining. Their study, which analyzed claims data from Truven MarketScan, found that average copay amounts paid by patients decreased by 26% from 2004 to 2014. Seems like a positive trend for patients and practices … except that it’s not. It’s part […]
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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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It’s almost that time again: deductibles re-set in less than a month. Got your game face on? For many practices, the end of the year is so busy, it’s hard to think about planning for slow business in January, February and March.  Ironically, the cause of the busyness in Q4 is related to the cause […]
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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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I’ll be presenting a free webinar on Thursday, July 16, with tips and strategies for managing your medical billing service. If you’re thinking of outsourcing your billing, or if you already outsource it and aren’t sure you’re getting everything you hoped for from the relationship, this webinar is for you. This is part two of […]
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If you’ve been thinking about outsourcing your medical billing — or switching medical billing services — my upcoming 30-minute webinar can help. “Eight Questions to Ask When Evaluating Medical Billing Services” will be presented on June 25 at 10AM Pacific/1PM Eastern. If you’ve been wondering how to quiz your billing service options — or just […]
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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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There’s still time to sign up for my webinar “Patient Financial Responsibility: Tackling Your Practice’s Biggest Profitability Problem.”  It’s Tuesday, 6/9, at 10AM Pacific/1PM Eastern — and it’s free, thanks to our sponsors at Spendwell Health and Wellero. There will be time for questions, and the webinar will also be recorded, so you’ll have the […]
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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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Even this late in the year — when we typically assume many patients will have met their deductibles — we are hearing from practices that some patients seem to be delaying or avoiding care because of concerns about costs.  This is not limited to the ACA plans, which tend to have high deductibles, especially on […]
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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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If you’re considering working with an outside medical billing service — or are working with one now — my free webinar next week with Kareo can help you get the very most from outsourcing.  Using a third party medical billing service can be a great way to improve cash flow and collections, and minimize hassles […]
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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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Our work with medical practices often involves analyzing a practice’s data against benchmarks from sources like MGMA, NSCHBC, specialty society surveys, etc.  But, it’s not enough just to compare against the averages and percentiles; you have to know whether meeting or beating a benchmark is a good thing.  Believe it or not, this is not […]
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2014 will be a winning or losing game for medical practices – depending on their patient payment policies and efficiency with collecting patient payments. Patient responsibility has spiked over the years and has taken a quantum leap in 2014 with annual deductibles of $5,000 and more.  Patient share of responsibility beyond the deductible can be […]
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Mary Pat Whaley at Manage My Practice has posted great information about payers ‘encouraging’ practices to accept payment by virtual credit card, instead of by check or EFT. This method of payment is not a good deal for practices.  Merchant fees are deducted from credit card payments — meaning a further reduction in the reimbursement […]
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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 starting today! This one-time promotion runs from October 25 – October 29. This detailed, 15-page guide is the easy way to get up to speed on selecting and managing a billing service. You’ll […]
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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 for 2013 provided powerful reinforcement for the need for physician practices to master time-of-service collections: average patient responsibility is now topping 20% for all but one payer evaluated in the survey, and some were approaching 30%.  Even Medicare is requiring patients to contribute about 25% of the cost of […]
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