“Fix the problem, not the blame” is a well-known Japanese proverb. It sounds like common sense – isn’t fixing problems what we all ultimately want? But when mistakes happen, the search for culprits instinctively begins – and with it often comes demoralization and tension. Worse, the search for a scapegoat usually won’t keep problems from […]
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Did you happen to catch this New York Times Magazine article last month? It begins with a moving story of an uninsured patient who suffers a terrible brain hemorrhage. Thankfully, she gets timely, effective treatment — but her condition requires many expensive services, including an air ambulance. Her bills totaled about $500,000. Although the patient […]
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Office visits represent a huge proportion of revenue for many practice types. Consistently accurate coding of office visits is important to avoid costly under-coding or inadvertently coding above the level that applies, which could lead to revenue take-backs. Since the E/M range constitutes such a huge piece of the overall reimbursement pie, payers are very […]
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Q4 is here! For many practices, it’s the busiest time of the year, as patients who’ve been timing their care to maximize the value of their insurance coverage or their tax deductions are now ready to schedule. During this period, a greater proportion of reimbursement will usually be collected from health plans, rather than patients. […]
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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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Choosing a new medical billing service is stressful. Few activities have more of an impact on practice profitability, after all.  But with the risks of choosing comes upside, too — and not just in the opportunity to have your billing handled by dedicated professionals. Switching to a third party billing service (or a new service) […]
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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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If you’ve been thinking about outsourcing your medical billing — or switching medical billing services — my upcoming mini-webinar can help. “Eight Questions to Ask When Evaluating Medical Billing Services” will be presented on June 25 at 10AM Pacific/1PM Eastern, and will last about 30 minutes — a quick hit of knowledge and you’ll be […]
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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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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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Many physicians we work with face the tough decision of whether to keep their practices independent or join a larger organization.  Oftentimes, physicians and practice managers believe they must consider such a move to “gain a larger footprint” for negotiations with payers. The advantages of larger groups in payer contract negotiations versus small and solo […]
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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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Interested in learning how to get more from your relationship with your third party biller?  Or considering hiring a medical billing service? “Get the Best From Your Medical Billing Service” is Laurie Morgan’s most popular ebook — and Amazon is offering it for free on October 29. Although the book is optimized for the Kindle platform, […]
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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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Would you believe that failure to collect consistently and adequately at the front desk can actually create a negative impression of your practice’s patient service? And that skipping financial conversations to keep the focus on patient can actually backfire? Money conversations can be hard for all involved.  And, when a practice staff is very focused […]
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Reminder: I’m presenting a free webinar this Wednesday, June 18 (10AM Pacific, 1PM Eastern) with Kareo, offering tips to maximize the benefit of outsourcing your medical billing .  Whether you’re already using a third party billing service or just considering switching to one, this webinar will provide you with ideas, insights and pitfalls gathered from […]
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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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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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Physicians: are you planning a vacation this summer, and worrying about coverage?  Or, have you thought about bringing in extra help so you can take time off, but are worried about lost revenue? Hiring temporary physician help doesn’t have to mean a deadweight loss of revenue for your practice.  This helpful article from Physicians Practice […]
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A new study from the Center for Public Integrity has identified a trend towards higher coding of Medicare visits over the last decade — and suggests this increased utilization of higher codes could signal increasing, habitual abuse.  The study also notes that medical groups representing doctors assert that treating seniors has gotten more complex over the last ten […]
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