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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.

MEDICAL BILLING BLOG

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

Posted by ClaimCare Resources on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 @ 11:44 AM

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.

Tags: medical billing operations, medical billing education, cardiology billing, orthopedic billing, medical billing, improving medical billing, denial management

Cardiology Billing: 2013 Cardiology Coding Changes

Posted by ClaimCare Resources on Tue, Mar 26, 2013 @ 03:51 PM

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.

Tags: coding questions, medical billing education, cardiology billing, 2013 medical billing changes, medical billing, medical billing companies, medical billing services, improving medical billing

2012 Cardiology Coding and Billing Changes

Posted by ClaimCare Resources on Fri, Jan 27, 2012 @ 12:42 PM

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.

Tags: coding questions, general medical billing questions, medical billing education, payer compliance, cardiology billing, 2012 medical billing changes, medical billing, medical billing resources

Are you prepared for the 2009 Cardiology Billing changes?

Posted by Carl Mays on Sun, Jan 11, 2009 @ 12:47 AM

cardiology billingIf you are not aware and prepared for the 2009 cardiology billing and coding changes you may be leaving a lot of money uncollected.

The 2009 cardiology coding and billing changes are the most significant that have been seen since the mid 1990s.

Cardiology practices were hit harder than the average physician by this year's changes (with a 2% reduction in Medicare fees instead of the 1% increase seen by the average physician) driven in large part by changes that will impact imaging performed in the office.

Keep in mind the 2% reduction is an average number. Some practices will be well above this (especially heavy users of echo services) and others will actually see fee increases.

Here are examples of some of the upcoming changes:

  • Significant changes in the codes used for follow-up on implanted devices (all of the old codes have been replaced) and external devices. The updated codes include new codes for interrogation and reprogramming of ICM and ICD devices, Pacemaker and Loop recorders.
  • Global periods related to device follow-up now include global periods of 30 or 90 days. The new codes are now service specific (i.e., either an interrogation evaluation of a programming evaluation).
  • Wearable cardiac telemetry devices (for instance Cardionet type service) now have specific codes. You no longer bill with an unlisted code. These new codes include the complication of global periods.
  • The echo services are also seeing new codes. When you do an echo with a Doppler and color flow you'll have a new code to submit that bundles these services into one code. The same is true for a new stress echo code that bundles the stress test code and stress echo into one code.

These changes are far greater than the normally "tweaking" that occurs at the beginning of each year. If you cardiology billing department is not fully aware of the changes and how to respond to these changes it could have a significant negative impact on your practice. Be sure to invest in the proper training, coding resources and billing system upgrades to be prepared for 2009 cardiology billing.

Copyright 2009 by Carl Mays II

Tags: cardiology billing, 2009 billing changes

Cardiology Billing Requires Deep and Focused Expertise

Posted by Carl Mays on Tue, Dec 16, 2008 @ 10:19 PM

cardiology billingMedical practices lose money every single day (often over 20 percent of their realizable income) because they are not utilizing medical billing specialists, technologies, processes and management that can compete with insurance companies.

As physicians are taking into consideration the use of medical billing services to stop the hemorrhaging of cash from their practices, they are faced with a broad range of options. On the diminutive end of the spectrum are home-based medical billers. On the opposite end of the spectrum are medical billing companies that employ hundreds of medical billers and have thousands of clients.

In thinking through the billing options available, it is essential to understand that medical billing is complicated and requires deep expertise and expansive experience. When a specialty is involved, such as cardiology billing, the requirements for success become even harder to realize. Success requires that the medical billing company have a team that is knowledgeable in the complex rules utilized by insurance companies to judge cardiologists' medical claims.

With cardiologists facing ever increasing costs they must insure that money is not being left on the table because they have a billing company that is not a cardiac billing expert. Cardiologists must also be aware that that many billing companies that claim cardio billing expertise actually outsource their cardiovascular billing work to at home billers. Situations like this are fraught with risk since the remote workers are not working in a controlled and monitored environment.

A key battle ground in the struggle to collect all of the money due a cardiologist is appealing denied claims and answering extremely specific and technical questions about procedures and diagnoses. Success In this arena requires significant experience, the kind that is only gained from serving many cardiologists for many years.

A company that does not encompass a wide range of cardiovascular billing experience will find it difficult to track underpayments since multiple procedure rules and cardiovascular procedures have significantly more complicated contractual adjustments than a typical family doctor or internist's claims. In addition, the billing software and system design of a generalist billing company will often be insufficient for the more complicated requirements of reporting and insurance follow-up required in billing for cardiovascular practices.

The cardiology-driven difficulties of medical billing encompass patient billing also. A cardiologist's patient balance process is more challenging because most of the balances are quite sizeable. Coupling this with the difficulties of explaining to a patient their complicated Explanation Of Benefits and the cardiovascular terminology on their bills drives the need for patient collection specialists that have a strong expertise in cardiac billing.  If patients are not handles with care then cardiologists will see their patient collections fall and their patient complains rise - not a good combination.

To avoid all these billing related pitfalls cardiologists need to utilize specialized cardiovascular billing services. It is not advisable for an internist to perform heart surgery, similarly someone without training in surgical coding and surgical billing is not qualified to offer reliable billing services for cardiologists.

Copyright 2008 by ClaimCare Medical Billing Services

Tags: cardiology billing, medical billing, medical billing services

Medical Billing Services and Revenue Cycle Denial Management

Posted by Carl Mays on Tue, Oct 07, 2008 @ 05:51 PM

denial management

Revenue Cycle Denial Management has become a universal and often abused term in medical billing. Some use the term to describe a means of addressing claims denied for medical necessity. Others use the term to describe how some information is tracked for a specific payer, set of procedures or a place of service.  Still others try to use it to describe what they do daily in the physician's office.

 

If you were to ask your billing department or a current medical billing company (1) what is their Revenue Cycle Denial Management strategy; (2) what process do they use to methodically measure it and (3) what are the quantifiable results of it, you would most likely get a lot of blank stares.

 

Few billing departments appreciate the value a good Revenue Cycle Denial Management system can bring to a medical practice. A robust Revenue Cycle Denial Management system provides methodical management data for the billing process; the data are then used to (a) increase and (b) accelerate cash flow. The system accomplishes this needed service by tracking, quantifying, and reporting on every claim billed for which any payer denied the service. The reporting should be comprehensive, tracking all denials (not just selected denials). If used properly, the system can reduce first-time claim denials by over 50 percent. In our experience we've come across many practices with no way of monitoring if the payer is denying their claims at excessive or unwarranted rates, or even for what reason. These practices are probably losing 10-20 percent of their total revenue.


What is typically missing from troubled billing operations is the lack of the management-reporting expertise needed to extract the data in a concise and meaningful way coupled with a lack of methodical, measured billing process needed to correct mistakes.

 

ClaimCare Medical Billing Services' comprehensive Revenue Cycle Denial Management system has two main purposes. First, to provide feedback on why and how many claims are not being paid on the first submission to the respective payers. The second is to fix these issues. ClaimCare Medical Billing Services' Revenue Cycle Denial Management software databases have been designed to track, quantify, and report on all denials for all payers. The standard output tracks, by payer, the number of claims denied and the reason for the denials. This is coupled with our Dashboard reporting for a quick visual management. With these unique reports our team can easily identify which payers are inappropriately denying claims; we can also compare these payers to their peers for proper trending and follow-up. The unique output for each practice allows us to refine the payer specific rules and build our own rules to prevent future payer denials. Payers that are chronic violators are pursued to resolve how and when they intend to process and pay outstanding claims. If the issues persist, there may be grounds to charge penalties stipulated by the Clean Claim Law (to the extent it exists in the state). Only by quantifying and analyzing the problem can you discover how to improve on the process. A real Revenue Cycle Denial Management system gives you a way to optimize and accelerate cash flow. ClaimCare Medical Billing Services' system has a proven track record of improving revenues between 5-20 percent.

You can take advantage of ClaimCare's Denial Management success with our Old AR Recovery service.

Copyright 2007 by Carl Mays II

Tags: medical billing operations, medical billing education, cardiology billing, orthopedic billing, medical billing services, improving medical billing, denial management

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