Welcome to the ClaimCare Medical Billing Blog. We strive to provide content that improves the overall quality of medical billing efforts across the US. If you have any specific topics that you would like to see addressed in this medical billing blog please post the topic in the Medical Billing Questions & Answers Forum. If you have an article that you would like considered for publication in the medical billing blog then please email your article to resources@claimcare.net.

Subscribe by Email

Your email:

Medical Billing Blog Requests

If you have  specific topic or question you would like to see covered in this blog then please post the question on the Medical Billing Question & Answer Forum.

If you have a question about ClaimCare's Medical Billing Services please utilize the form below.

Contact Us

How do you wish to be contacted? *


MEDICAL BILLING BLOG

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

HIPAA Compliance: Are you Ready for September 23rd?

  
  
  
  
  

HIPAA complianceGuess what day it is? No, it’s not hump day….it is HIPAA Day! Some providers are taken by surprise! Some practices are under the false impression that they are HIPAA Compliant.  Sadly, we are finding more and more that this is not the case.

September 23rd is the deadline to ensure that your practice is prepared for the finalized MEGA RULE and HI-TECH Regulations. Numerous updates and changes are required of covered entities. Have you updated your manuals,
the NPP (Notice of Privacy Practices), and all BAA’s (Business Associate Agreements)? Are you aware that the rules governing notifications for marketing and fundraising requirements have changed?  Are you ready? Did you know that if you are found to be NON-compliant, there are strict fines and penalties? 

Are you ready to start the requirement for reporting disclosures to HHS? Do you know what limitations have been applied to that ruling? The HIPAA HITECH, Mega Rule comes with more audits, hefty fines and penalties and not only will it impact YOUR practice, but the impact reaches to all of your business associates. Do your providers use mobile devices such as laptops, I-phones, tablets, or other access that is considered remote access? Think about it!  September 23rd is just around the
corner. So many questions!  Do you have the answers? If you do not feel prepared for the September 23rd deadline or the new, stricter HIPAA rules, there are many resources available to help you get where you need to be. If you have questions or need assistance, let us know. We have a team that can help get you HIPAA compliant quickly.

About ClaimCare, Inc.

 ClaimCare Medical Billing Services stands out from the crowd of medical billing companies. ClaimCare offers a complete medical billing solution, has the only service level guarantee in the industry, offers best-of-breed technology, an air tight medical billing process, actionable reporting and broad experience and can work on its clients' medical billing systems. For more information contact ClaimCare Medical Billing Services by email at sales@claimcare.net , by phone at (877) 440-3044 or visit the ClaimCare Medical Billing Company website.

 

Orthopedics Billing: 2013 Orthopedic Coding Changes

  
  
  
  
  
Orthopedic Billing and CodingMany significant coding and billing changes have been introduced in 2013 for orthopedics. The ClaimCare Medical Billing Company has created a 13 minute training video to bring orthopedic providers and practice staff members up to speed on the key 2013 Orthopedic Coding and Billing Changes they need to understand to insure they have no compliance, billing or collection issues as a result of these new rules.

2013 Orthopedic Coding and Billing Changes - (13 minutes)

For more insights concerning orthopedic billing, please check out the following collection of articles: Orthopedic Billing Articles

 

About ClaimCare, Inc.

 

ClaimCare Medical Billing Services stands out from the crowd of medical billing companies. ClaimCare offers a complete medical billing solution, has the only service level guarantee in the industry, offers best-of-breed technology, an air tight medical billing process, actionable reporting and broad experience and can work on its clients' medical billing systems. For more information contact ClaimCare Medical Billing Services by email at sales@claimcare.net , by phone at (877) 440-3044 or visit the ClaimCare Medical Billing Company website.

 

Medical Billing News: You Are Probably Your Own Worst Enemy!

  
  
  
  
  

Denial ManagementMedicare has over 200 reason and remark codes they use daily in the process of adjudicating claims. They have recently released the top reasons for medical billing denials and rejections.  Most practices may think the majority of medical billing denials and rejections are based on how the doctor or certified CPT coder chooses to code. This is incorrect. Of course, sometimes it is the case – but most times it is not.

You may be surprised to learn that the top denial and rejection reasons are caused by failures within the work flow of the practice’s office. It is easy enough to want to point fingers at Medicare in frustration, but quite often it is the little things that prevent a practice from being paid in as few as 15 days from submission.  So, if you are experiencing delays in receiving Medicare payments, the culprit may well be one of the issues listed below. Fixing these problems can dramatically speed up your payments from Medicare (and other payers). After all, the best medical billing denial management process is avoding denials in the first place.

2013 top 10 reasons for Denials and Rejections:

                1.   Claim submitted to the Wrong Payer/Contractor

                                a.  New Medicare Advantage programs

                                b.  Should be sent to Railroad Medicare instead of Traditional

                2.   Patient ID Number is Invalid

                3.   Patient DOB does not match Medicare Record

                4.   Patient Name does not match Medicare Beneficiary

                5.   Other insurance primary

                6.   Coordination of Benefits of the primary payer is out of balance

                7.   No Part B coverage (or Part A coverage only)

                8.   Zip Code of place of service invalid (requires 4 check-digit code)

                9.   NPI is invalid for the referring physician

               10.  Invalid Procedure Code for date of service.   

About ClaimCare, Inc.

 ClaimCare Medical Billing Services stands out from the crowd of medical billing companies. ClaimCare offers a complete medical billing solution, has the only service level guarantee in the industry, offers best-of-breed technology, an air tight medical billing process, actionable reporting and broad experience and can work on its clients' medical billing systems. For more information contact ClaimCare Medical Billing Services by email at sales@claimcare.net , by phone at (877) 440-3044 or visit the ClaimCare Medical Billing Company website.

Cardiology Billing: 2013 Cardiology Coding Changes

  
  
  
  
  
Cardiology Billing CodingMany significant coding and billing changes have been introduced in 2013 for cardiologists. The ClaimCare Medical Billing Company has created a 23 minute training video to bring cardiologists and cardiology practice staff members up to speed on the key 2013 Cardiology Coding and Billing Changes they need to understand to insure they have no compliance, billing or collection issues as a result of these new rules.

2013 Cardiology Coding and Billing Changes - (23 minutes)

For more insights concerning cardiology billing, please check out the following collection of articles: Cardiology Billing Articles.

You can download this presentation by visiting  the following page: 2013 Cardiology Coding Changes.

About ClaimCare, Inc.

ClaimCare Medical Billing Services stands out from the crowd of medical billing companies. ClaimCare offers a complete medical billing solution, has the only service level guarantee in the industry, offers best-of-breed technology, an air tight medical billing process, actionable reporting and broad experience and can work on its clients' medical billing systems. For more information contact ClaimCare Medical Billing Services by email at sales@claimcare.net , by phone at (877) 440-3044 or visit the ClaimCare Medical Billing Company website.

Medical Billing Update: 5010 Issues Are Affecting Your Collections!

  
  
  
  
  

5010 medical billing issuesLast spring, ClaimCare Medical Billing Company began notifying clients about inherent issues of the HIPAA 5010 mandate. We have continued working to guide clients through the standardized electronic requirements. Recently, many physicians with whom we have spoken have said they are only learning about these 5010 issues from ClaimCare. They are asking “Why isn’t there anything about these 5010 collections problems on the medical association sites?” It is understandable physicians ask this question. We have asked the question for almost a year. This is not an indictment against any state medical association, just an honest question.

The Texas Medical Association came on board February 1 to help distribute concerns, posting an article on its site about HIPAA 5010 potholes: Are Your Claims Being Rejected? Hopefully, other states that have not already done so will follow suit. This past December the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) had issued a press release titled: Healthcare industry not ready for 5010; MGMA calls for 6-month contingency plan. Now, in a letter sent to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, MGMA President/CEO Dr. Susan Turney writes (click here for copy of the full letter):

“New federal standards designed to streamline electronic insurance claims are instead slowing them down, hurting physician cash flow and pushing some practices into financial distress... Many practices face significantly delayed revenue, operational difficulties, a reduced ability to treat patients, staff layoffs, or even the prospect of closing their practice."

Medscape.com posted an article on February 3 about the MGMA letter titled: Physician Groups Say 5010 Standards Hurt Cash Flow. This was preceded by the Physicians Practice “dire situation” article in December to which we referred in an earlier posting: New Year Comes with New Challenges in Healthcare Reimbursement.

As we re-emphasized in our December 19, 2011 update to clients, and then again in January, the 5010 is a format in which all clearinghouses, payers and providers must submit claims. Unfortunately, not all parties have complied in a timely manner. As a result, 5010 has hit some with the fury of a hurricane. Delays in claims acceptance and payments from Medicare and other payers such as BCBS and Cigna are occurring across the nation, and your practice is most likely experiencing decreased collections.

The ClaimCare EDI team continues to work diligently (and literally around the clock) to help resolve these issues and insure that all claims and claim files are received and confirmed at each level of the submission process. This is one of the reasons that our clients are not among the unfortunate groups that have had no Medicare payments since November 2011! Many of the delays, however, are 100% with the payers. These delays will continue until the payers correct the internal system issues that are leading to erroneous claim rejections and general processing delays. This payer-problem is one of the situations we anticipated and to which we referred in the 5010 communications we sent clients in December and January.   

We continue to communicate with our clients on “known issues” at payer (CMS, BCBS, etc.) and clearinghouse levels. Most issues are being resolved by the payers and clearinghouses.  Many other file transmission issues have been resolved through recent upgrading or patching we have performed for our clients and their practice management systems and/or via a plug-in that is designed to help translate the transmitted data into the corrected formats.

If you are not getting the information you need about the impact that 5010 is having on your practice and would like to learn what ClaimCare Medical Billing Company can do to help you, we invite you to contact us at (877) 440-3044. As far as HIPAA 5010 is concerned, we remain on the forefront of testing and successful transmission and believe for practices that are prepared to take advantage of the opportunity, relief is in sight.

*     *     *

Copyright 2012 by Carl Mays II, CEO/President of ClaimCare Medical Billing Services, one of the largest medical billing companies located 100% in the United States. In 2012, Money & Business, the online magazine that provides comprehensive coverage of financial matters, named the ClaimCare Medical Billing Company among the top five online medical billing companies.

2012 Cardiology Coding and Billing Changes

  
  
  
  
  

cardiology billingMany significant coding and billing changes have been introduced in 2012 for cardiologists, particularly electrophysiologists (EPs). The ClaimCare Medical Billing Company has created a 30 minute training video to bring cardiologists and cardiology practice staff members up to speed on the key 2012 Cardiology Coding and Billing Changes they need to understand to insure they have no compliance, billing or collection issues as a result of these new rules.

2012 Cardiology Coding and Billing Changes - Part 1 (13 minutes)

2012 Cardiology Coding and Billing Changes - Part 2 (15 minutes)

 

For more insights concerning cardiology billing, please check out the following collection of articles: Cardiology Billing Articles

About ClaimCare, Inc.

ClaimCare Medical Billing Services stands out from the crowd of medical billing companies. ClaimCare offers a complete medical billing solution, has the only service level guarantee in the industry, offers best-of-breed technology, an air tight medical billing process, actionable reporting and broad experience and can work its clients' medical billing systems.  For more information contact ClaimCare Medical Billing Services by email at sales@claimcare.net , by phone at (877) 440-3044 or visit the ClaimCare Medical Billing Company website.

ClaimCare Named One of the Nation's Top 5 Medical Billing Companies

  
  
  
  
  
best medical billing companiesIn kicking-off 2012, Money & Business, the online magazine that provides comprehensive coverage of business and personal financial matters, named the ClaimCare Medical Billing Company among the top five online medical billing companies. Independent researcher/writer Michele Wyan, listing the top five companies in alphabetical order, was impressed with ClaimCare’s track record, extensive experience and proven ability to serve all medical specialties nationwide.

The researcher, mirroring ClaimCare’s mission “To collect the maximum revenue for your practice as fast as possible while helping to alleviate costs and hassle for your organization,” spotlighted a couple of ClaimCare’s many positive attributes:

  1. A guarantee that 85% of charges will be resolved within 60 days and that 95% of charges will be resolved within 120 days.
  2. The submission of claims within one weekday of receiving documentation of a patient encounter. If ClaimCare misses a claim submission deadline, the client is reimbursed for the missed claim.

ClaimCare’s CEO/President Carl Mays II says, “This recognition is greatly appreciated because it reflects the dedicated hard work and the consistent, conscientious attention to detail that ClaimCare employees provide in order to serve our clients and to accomplish our mission. We are also quite proud of the fact that we have the ability to work on all major medical billing systems such as Centricity, eCW, NextGen, eMDs, Sage, Greenway, Misys, etc.”

                                                        *      *       *

Copyright 2010 by ClaimCare Inc. The author, Greg Weremowicz, is VP of Sales for ClaimCare Medical Billing Service, one of the largest medical billing companies in the United States.

Texas Medical Billing News for Medicaid Coverage Verifications

  
  
  
  
  

Texas Medical BillingIf you accept Texas Medicaid then please note the following Texas medical billing changes that have begun as of August 2011. The Texas Health & Human Services Commission will be sending out new plastic Medicaid Cards to all eligible Medicaid Recipients.  The new plastic card will replace the monthly paper cards (Form 3087) to which you are accustomed. This is being done as part of the initiative to increase providers utilization of Texas Medicaid Web Resources for coverage verification and to cut down on the amount of paper that is sent to Texas Medicaid participants.

Many practices utilize the paper Medicaid cards to assist them with verification of benefits and to determine eligibility.  Please note, that in conjucntion with the move towards plastic cards, Texas Medicaid is now providing real-time; live eligibility and PCP information through their on-line tool at www.YourTexasBenefitsCard.com.

ClaimCare Medical Billing highly recommends that each Medicaid patients’ eligibility and PCP be verified with each provider visit.  If you are currently scanning traditional insurance cards into your system or EHR, we encourage you to now scan the Medicaid Plastic Cards for the Medicaid and CHIP patients that you serve.

Here is the relevant excerpt from the August 2011 Texas Medicaid Bulletin: "This week, HHSC is beginning to mail new plastic Your Texas Benefit Medicaid cards to 3.4 million Texans covered by Medicaid. The new cards will replace the paper Medicaid ID (Form 3087) Medicaid clients receive in the mail each month. Texans with Medicaid coverage should receive their new plastic cards by the end of August. They will also get one last paper Medicaid ID in a separate August mailing. The new plastic card will be the client's everyday Medicaid card and will only be replaced if the client changes health plans or the card is damaged or lost. Medicaid providers can now go to www.YourTexasBenefitscard.com and begin using the site for up-to-date information on a patient's eligibility and other services."

                                 _________

Copyright 2011 by ClaimCare Inc. The author is Susan Price, Austin Office Manager of ClaimCare Medical Billing Service, one of the largest medical billing companies in the United States.

ClaimCare is Alive and Well

  
  
  
  
  
ClaimCare Medical Billing CompanyMark Twain is attributed with saying, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” We at ClaimCare can now relate to how he must have felt! A small company by the name of Claim Care that helped patients with denied claims (and not associated with us in any way) closed their doors in September 2010. We were not even aware of the group until someone phoned us this week to see if we were still in business. Be assured – ClaimCare is alive and well – and going strong!

Not only are we alive and well – we are continuing to keep on the cutting edge of information and key technologies to collect the maximum allowable revenue for our clients while alleviating costs and hassles for their offices. We look forward to continuing to serve all of our existing and new clients in 2011 – and beyond!

                                 _________

Copyright 2010 by Carl Mays II. Carl is President and CEO of ClaimCare Medical Billing Service, one of the largest medical billing companies in the United States.

Medical Billing Update: Hold Medicare Claims or Submit Them?

  
  
  
  
  
medical billing medicareClaimCare, Inc - June 15, 2010 - According to various media reports from Washington, action will come too late regarding the June 6 Senate announcement that it is ready to initiate a 19-month Medicare "doc fix." This means cash-flow problems will affect doctors across the country. Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said at a press conference that the Senate is expected to have 60 votes to pass the bill "early next week (week of June 14)." But even if the votes come then, more than likely it will take several days for the bill to be passed by the House and signed into law by the President.

On Monday, June 14th Medicare responded to this continued delay by Congress by deciding that it will extend its freeze on processing claims with June dates of service until Friday, June 18th. It is possible that Congress will reverse the massive Medicare fee reduction by that date. Given, however, the time line outlined by Senator Schumer, it is unlikely the fix will be completed by that time.

So, on Monday, June 21st, Medicare may well begin processing June 2010 claims using the 21.3% fee reduction that went into effect on June 1. However, it appears highly likely that within two weeks Congress will retroactively reverse the fee cut. This will result in Medicare claims being reprocessed, causing new "make-up payment" problems for providers. It is a situation that leaves providers to ask some important questions - and to make some important medical billing decisions.  

Question/Decision #1:  Should your medical billing department continue submitting your Medicare claims as usual - or should you hold them until Congress eliminates the 21.3% fee reduction?

If you submit your claims as usual, then you will receive payments as usual - but at the reduced fee rate. When Congress does eliminate the fee reduction, you will have a lot of work to do when Medicare reprocesses your claims. This work includes auditing to ensure Medicare has indeed made all of the make-up payments they should. It also includes responding to patients' questions and concerns about receiving two Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) from Medicare regarding their charges. The situation will be exacerbated when Medicare automatically crosses these lower-paid claims to secondary insurance payers. EOBs and payments involving secondary (and possibly tertiary) insurance payers will cause further confusion and complications for your office - and  for your patients.

If you hold your Medicare patient claims and then submit them after Congress passes the "doc fix" bill, you will not get hit with the 21.3% cut - but you will get paid later than usual. You also will have a much simpler time in terms of ensuring all payments are correct from both Medicare and secondary payers. Also, patients will receive only a single EOB for the dates of service during this "waiting" time period.

Question/Decision #2:  Should you collect co-insurance from Medicare patients under the fee schedule that was in place prior to June 1, 2010 - or under the significantly reduced fee schedule?

If you collect patients' 20% Medicare co-insurance under the reduced fee schedule and the reduction is reversed by Congress, then under Medicare rules you will need to bill patients for any extra amount they owe over $5.00. (You are not forced to try and collect balances that will cost more to pursue than will be yielded in revenue). This will lead to additional expense and patient confusion.

On the other hand, if you collect co-insurance amounts in accordance with the pre-June 1 fee schedule and Congress does not reverse the fee reduction, then you will need to reimburse patients any overpayments greater than $5.00. (The same financially reasonable principle applies to patient refunds.) Since it is unlikely that the fee reduction will stand, this is an unlikely outcome.

Question/Decision #3:  Most likely, you have already filed some June 2010 Medicare patient claims. These will start being processed on Tuesday and will generate many of the issues mentioned above. (The decisions you make now regard being able to minimize the complications rather than being able to avoid them completely.)  These already-filed claims force you to ask and decide: Should you bill patients and secondary insurance payers for the June 1 to June 14 dates of service you submitted (and for which Medicare will begin receiving payment over the coming days) or should you wait for these claims to be reprocessed and paid correctly after Congress reverses the 21.3% Medicare fee cut?

The pros and cons outlined for the questions/decisions in #1 and #2 also apply to #3. If you proceed with billing patients (and secondary insurances that do not automatically cross over), you will have confused patients who receive an initial statement from you and then receive a second statement from you for additional money after Congress retroactively reverses the fee cut.   

On the other hand, not billing patients and secondary insurances until after Congress acts will delay your collections - but will lead to much less patient and office confusion.

My Recommendation:  Every practice must make its own decision about these issues, but a decision must indeed be made. If you can handle the temporary cash flow reduction, then my recommendation is:

  1. Hold your claims until Congress retroactively reverses the Medicare fee cut;
  2. Collect patient co-insurance under the pre-June 2010 fee schedule;
  3. Do not bill patients or secondary insurance for the June 1, 2010 to June 18, 2010 dates of service for which you will start receiving payments over the coming days. Instead, bill the patients and secondary insurances after these dates of service are reprocessed when Congress reverses the Medicare fee cut.

This approach will minimize confusion in the practice and among your patients. It will also minimize the chance you are underpaid for your claims.

_________

Copyright 2010 by Carl Mays II. Carl is President and CEO of ClaimCare Medical Billing Service, one of the largest medical billing companies in the United States.

All Posts