Archive for 'Toolkit'

Your New Patient Packet Toolkit

Posted on 29. Oct, 2009 by .


How to use technology to speed up new patient check-in.

Not enough hours in the day? Are you always looking for ways to save time? Many medical offices report that sending out new patient packets in advance of the patient’s visit greatly reduces the number of incidents at patient check-in and saves time.

“Normally, it would take patients 15-plus minutes to complete the forms,” says Stephanie Mayer, front desk receptionist for a pediatrician in Queens, NY. “Also, there is the distraction of other patient activity in the waiting room, which could keep patients from concentrating on forms they are supposed to complete.”

Put forms online

If you are not already doing so, talk to your practice administrator about putting new patient packets online.

“Sending or having a patient access our packets from our Web site gives the patient the opportunity to input the information leisurely and accurately, and if needed, the time to research dates, reference medications, and obtain past medical history, says Suzanne E. Keith, practice administrator at Michael W. Goodman, MD, PC, in Chattanooga, TN. “Also, bringing or e-mailing the information in advance allows our office to make a chart and reduces the patients’ wait time.” (more…)

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Radiology Billing Checklist: Rules for Additional Tests without Treating Physician’s Order

Posted on 22. Oct, 2009 by .


Keep these additional test rules at your fingertips if your want to keep auditors out of your hair.

The Office of Inspector General and Recovery Audit Contractors are out to audit non-compliant ultrasound claims, so knowing the rules is more important than ever. And we’ve got a link and a handy checklist to keep you out of trouble.

If you’re wondering when a radiologist can bill for a test without the treating physician’s order, we’ve got the link where CMS answers your question, plus a handy checklist.

CMS explains when a radiologist can bill for a test without the treating physician’s order in the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual, Chapter 15, Section 80.6. (more…)

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Toolkit: Chart Cardiology’s CCI 15.3 Changes At-a-Glance

Posted on 15. Oct, 2009 by .


Hang on to this handy table to avoid cath placement coding temptations.

Correct Coding Initiative (CCI) 15.3 offered long lists of new edits, but we’ve boiled them down to the ones that affect cardiology coders and billers most.

Cardiology Coders: A CCC™ Exam Prep Training Camp is coming to a city near you.

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Keep Medication Units in Check With MAC-Approved Drug Calculator Tool

Posted on 08. Oct, 2009 by .


When Part B MACs publish the top errors that they see in claims submitted by physicians, incorrectly billed drugs are always near the top of the list. If you’re one of the coders that has trouble assigning units to drug claims, one MAC has a solution for you.

Palmetto GBA, a Part B payer, now offers a “Drug Lookup and Calculator Tool,” which was created “to help providers submit the correct number of units on their claims by calculating and converting the dosage administered to the patient.”

Plus: The calculator displays the current maximum allowable units assigned to the drug.

For instance, if you enter J2920 (Injection methylprednisolone sodium succinate) into the system, it will ask you how many milligrams you administered. The system will then tell you how many units to report, with a notation that 83 units are the maximum allowed for this drug.

To access the tool, go here.

© Part B Insider. Get your 2 FREE sample issues here.

Join us at the Oncology & Hematology 2010 Coding Update and Reimbursement Conference. December 6-8 in Orlando.

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Learn 2 New CMS Appeal Thresholds Before Filing

Posted on 01. Oct, 2009 by .


We’ve got a handy chart to help you keep everything straight, plus quick links to all the rules & forms.

The time has come yet again to update your appeals know-how. CMS announced several changes to the appeals process effective Aug. 3, 2009, in Transmittal 1762.

Focus on Higher Dollar Amounts

CMS has changed the dollar amount in controversy to file certain levels of appeals. For level-three appeals (administrative law judge hearing), requests filed on or after Jan. 1, 2009, must have at least $120 in controversy.

(The old amount was $100.) For level-five appeals (federal court review), requests filed on or after Jan. 1, 2009, must have at least $1,220 in controversy. (The old amount was $1,180.)

Other changes were more directed toward Medicare contractors and included the following: (more…)

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3 Steps Win the Sports Physical Reimbursement Game

Posted on 24. Sep, 2009 by .


These useful strategies assure revenue despite scant insurer coverage.

Right now, a rush of young kids are looking to their family physicians for medical clearance to participate in sports. Commonly referred to as sports physicals, they present unique problems to coders, especially concerning their coverage by insurers. To avoid loss of revenue and to maximize the earning potential of your practice, here are some surefire tips on coding for sports physicals.

1. When Unsure of Coverage, Ask for Cash

To ensure revenue for your practice, you can ask patients, especially those with insurance that you know does not cover it, to pay cash for the sports physicals. “My suggestion is that these are treated as ‘self-pay’ services and offices should collect up front,” says Christy Neff, RMC, physicians billing specialist for Witham Health Services in Lebanon, Ind. (more…)

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Safeguard Your Computer System Against Internet Attacks

Posted on 21. Sep, 2009 by .


Send e-mail scams to the recycling bin with these tips.

Think the employees at your practice or facility know how to stop an Internet scam in its tracks? Think again. You must educate your staff members on how to react to even the simplest virus or hoax, or risk leaking your patients’ PHI to hackers and identity thieves.

ON-DEMAND AUDIO: Stimulus Surprise: How the New HIPAA Law Targets Providers, Billers and Coders, with Wayne Miller.

Strategy: Distribute a “Do’s & Don’ts” tip sheet similar to the one below to all your regular e-mail or Web users. Tell them to refer to the sheet each time they spot a suspicious e-mail or are contacted by companies claiming to need personal data, advises Elisabeth Derwin, an information technology specialist with Bennet Health System in San Francisco. (more…)

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Are You Up For ICD-9 2010? Quick Quiz Says For Sure

Posted on 17. Sep, 2009 by .


Surgery Coders: These 5 questions reveal if you need an ICD-9 workout.

October 1 is just around the corner, and that means you’ll soon need to be up and running with the latest ICD- 9 changes. Are you wondering where you should focus your time and energy?

Time-saver: This quiz on the new codes and the basics of diagnosis coding will help you determine whether you’re on the right track, or if you should work on your 2010 diagnosis coding know-how.

Question 1: Once the 2010 ICD-9 changes go into effect on Oct. 1, what diagnosis code should you report when your surgeon documents “chronic venous embolism and thrombosis of superficial veins of left arm”?

A. 453.71

B. 453.8

C. 453.81

D. None of the above.

Question 2: True or false: You can never report a V code as the primary diagnosis.

Question 3: Which of the following is ICD-9 2010 diagnosis code you’ll report for a patient with an unspecified neoplasm?

A. 239.8

B. 239.81

C. 239.89

D. V10.90.

Question 4: True or false: You can never report an E code as the primary diagnosis.

Question 5: Your surgeon sees a patient with a personal history of a malignant neuroendocrine tumor, which affects the surgeon’s medical decision making for treatment. To support the higher-level medical decision making, what ICD-9 2010 diagnosis code will you report?

A. V10.90

B. V10.91

C. V53.50

D. All of the above.

Don’t miss the ASC Coding & Billing Conference this December 6-8 in Orlando.

Click ‘read more’ to check your answers. (more…)

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Self-Audit Pointer: Critical Care Claims

Posted on 10. Sep, 2009 by .


If you’re looking to self-audit your practice’s critical care claims, consider this tip from Dr. Bruce Rappaport, who taught us all about what government and payer auditors are looking for when we heard him speak at this summer’s Specialty Coding Conference in Orlando.

If your physician has billed for critical care, look at the notes from other clinicians surrounding your own physician’s note, recommends Dr. Rappaport.

Why? One thing critical care claims auditors do is look at notes from other nurses and doctors before and after the period of critical care your physician has billed, Dr. Rappaport explains. If notes from other clinicians say things like ‘patient stable and doing fine,’ ‘on the mend,’ or ‘expected to be released from ICU next day,’ for example, auditors are going to wonder why your physician has billed critical care.

If your doctor has simply checked a box somewhere and not explained in a note why a patient who had been stable required critical care to be resumed, auditors will dig deeper.

Get more self-audit tips straight from Part B Insider in next Friday’s edition of Coding News.

Did you miss Dr. Rappaport’s eye-opening instruction in Orlando this summer? Good news, there’s some awesome speakers are coming to Orlando again this December for the 2010 Billing & Collections Conference.

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Medical Billers: Test Your Collections Know-How Here

Posted on 04. Sep, 2009 by .

Need some collections schooling?

Need some collections schooling?

This nifty tool tells you if collections cluelessness is hurting your practice’s bottom line.

You know that solid collections knowledge is the key to bringing in patient co-pays, deductibles, and balances, as well as payer reimbursement. Are you wondering where you should focus your time and energy? This quiz will help you determine whether you’re on the right track, or if you should work on your collections know-how.

Wish you could go ‘back to school’ for a few days to learn about coding and billing? Check out our new Billing and Reimbursement Conference, with Specialty Coding Tracks available. This December 6-8 in Orlando.

Question 1: If your physicians are seeing patients with insurance you do not par with, what are your options to ensure that your practice still gets paid?

A. Collect the fee for your services directly from the patient at the time of service.

B. Ask the patient to pay you when he receives reimbursement from the payer.

C. Submit the claims to the payer accepting assignment if the patient agreed to allow you to do so.

D. All of the above.

Question 2: True or false: Even if you can predict what the Medicare EOB will say (which is nearly impossible), the odds of knowing whether the patient will owe you her deductible get worse and worse every day after January 1.

Question 3: Which of the following are not good collections statements?

A. You need to pay your balance today before you see the doctor.

B. How will you be paying your balance today: cash, check, credit card?

C. Did you want to pay for that today?

D. All of the above.

Question 4: How often should you, preferably, review your practices collections efforts?

A. Daily

B. Weekly

C. Yearly

D. Never.

Question 5: Which of the following statements is/are true about patient payment plans?

A. Patients are much more likely to make payment arrangements when in your office.

B. You should make patients pay a down payment on any payment plan you set up.

C. Patients setting up a payment plan with your practice should sign either a payment plan agreement or a promissory note.

D. All of the above.

Click ‘read more’ to find out where you need to hone your collections skills. (more…)

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