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Practice Management Alert

Best Practices:
Go Legal on the Muzak
Check in on whether your practice is following music copyright and licensure rules. Scien... Read more
Claims and Denials:
Eliminate These Common Practices to Reduce Denials
Avoid these top problems to get your claims paid. Many practices have issues getting thei... Read more
Privacy and Security:
Beware of Social Media PHI Risks
See how court decisions underscore the necessity of thorough HIPAA training. Social media... Read more
Submit Public Comment on Self-Referral Proposed Rule
The Trump Administration has had the physician self-referral law, also known as the Stark ... Read more
Reader Question:
Don’t Limit Jobs Advertising
Question: Can we utilize the targeted marketing tools on social media sites to limit our j... Read more
Reader Question:
Understand This E/M Code Symbol
Question: What does the plus symbol in front of some evaluation and management (E/M) ... Read more
Reader Question:
Use MBIs Exclusively ASAP
Question: What will happen if I submit a claim for a Medicare beneficiary that uses their ... Read more
Industry News You Can Use:
Know Which Regulation Changes May Impact You
Deregulation won't necessarily ease compliance concerns. The current administration is re... Read more
Office Management:
Steal These Customer Service Tips From Other Industries
With patients becoming busier and expecting more tailored customer service, meeting expect... Read more
HR Corner:
Understand Your Responsibilities For I-9 Paperwork
Make sure your hiring paperwork is by the book to avoid potential headaches. Your respons... Read more
Reader Question:
These Faxes Are ePHI
Question: Our office is looking into switching over to electronic faxes exclusively. Howev... Read more
Reader Question:
Align with SSA Sex Records for Patients
Question: When submitting a claim for a transgender patient who's a Medicare beneficiary, ... Read more
Reader Question:
Check Up On Record Retention Policies
Question: How do I know how long I need to keep records for patients? Are there federal re... Read more
Best Practices:
Embrace LGBTQ+ Patient Populations
Making patients feel comfortable and supported is common sense. Everyone, regardless of p... Read more
Security and Compliance:
Don’t Fall Prey to Incidental PHI Disclosure
Training employees in the specifics could prevent a breach down the line. Complying with ... Read more
HR Corner:
Utilize Job Descriptions
You know what your staff does, but write it down anyway. If you have a say in hiring deci... Read more
Reader Question:
Emergency Preparedness Rule May not Apply
Question: Does the federal emergency preparedness rule apply to a physician's office ... Read more
Reader Question:
Make Accommodations Equal
Question: If an employee refuses to get a flu shot for religious reasons, can our off... Read more
Reader Question:
Seek Evidence of Immunity
Question: Our practice is in a state that just removed religious exemptions for refus... Read more
Reader Question:
Consider This Route for More Flexibility
Question: I'm currently a practice manager, but I'm thinking of seeking the credentia... Read more
MIPS Focus:
Look Back Now For MIPS Feedback
Hint: Backtracking now can ensure that your future Medicare payment is in the black. As 2... Read more
CMS Updates:
Note This Move Toward Data Illumination
A recently announced CMS pilot program relies on claims data. Seema Verma, administrator ... Read more
Business Management:
Keep Pests at Bay With These Tips
Few structures are immune to pests, but these strategies can nip problems in the bud. Reg... Read more
Clip and Save:
Keep These Bed Bug Protocols Handy
Sleep easier at night knowing you have policies ready to implement. The possibility of, s... Read more
Reader Question:
Bill Teaching Physicians’ Services
Question: We currently have a medical student working with us at our clinic. In patie... Read more
Reader Question:
Consider This System to Clean Furniture
Question: What's the best way to get the waiting room furniture clean without spreadi... Read more
Reader Question:
Know These Situations Where HIPAA May Be Waived
Question: With hurricane season approaching, I want to bone up on the Health Informat... Read more
Reader Question:
Prescription Drug Management Must Involve Prescriptions
Question: The office where I work hands out free samples of prescription cream for sk... Read more
Reader Question:
Find ICD-10 Updates Now
Question: I know ICD-10 and CPT® codes are updated annually; when should I look to o... Read more
Coding and Billing:
Know the Ins and Outs for These Special Services
Don't let money walk out the door in situations where the coding guidance may be hazy. Th... Read more
Clip and Save:
Become More Familiar With Wage and Hour Laws
Dive deep into the nitty-gritty definitions. Practices are comprised of many employees&nb... Read more
HR Corner:
Use These Guidelines to Pay Associates Fairly
Look to salary threshold, and don't let insidious biases take over. If you're familiar wi... Read more
Documentation:
Don’t Be Tempted by Cloned Notes
Copying and pasting won't cut it for payers' need for accurate documentation. Using elect... Read more
Reader Question:
Understand ‘Medical Necessity’
Question: My practice has had a couple of claims denied. The payers said the services rend... Read more
Reader Question:
Utilize This New CMS Tool
Question: Is there a way to get an idea of what the Centers for Medicare & Medica... Read more
Reader Question:
You Can Say Patients’ Names Aloud
Question: I have switched careers recently and now work at the front desk of a family... Read more
HR Corner:
Create An Employee Handbook Now
A comprehensive handbook is in everyone's best interest. Many businesses and practices ev... Read more
Industry Updates:
Understand How To Code Telehealth, Telemedicine
Hint: The terms aren't interchangeable. Providers are increasing patients' access to heal... Read more
Claims and Denials:
There May Be Hope For Prior Authorization Rigmarole
This technology could benefit the process immensely. For many medical practices across th... Read more
Reader Question:
Don’t Make Soundproofing A Priority
Question: We're making some renovations to our office, including to the waiting room and e... Read more
Reader Question:
Aging Physician May Be Liability
Question: One of my practice's physicians is celebrating his 67th birthday this year. He's... Read more
Reader Question:
Practice Manager Salary Ranges With Experience, Location
Question: I've been a practice manager at a small office for a few years. I'm hoping ... Read more
Health and Safety:
Don’t Neglect Fire Drills
Know how to balance realistic-feeling drills with patient safety. You know that having an... Read more
Billing and Claims:
Brush Up on Appropriate E/M Modifier Usage
Hint: Make sure you know the differences between modifier 25 and modifier 57. Hint: Make ... Read more
Vendors and Covered Entities:
Choose Your Vendors Wisely
Not every medical vendor is a good or necessary choice, business-wise. Managing a medical... Read more
Reader Question:
Check Out New Password Recs
Question: How often should we change our passwords for our computers? Right now our inform... Read more
Reader Question:
HIPAA Release may not be Needed for Vax Records
Question: With the current measles outbreak and the mayor's public health emergency, some ... Read more
Reader Question:
Hire Backup for Paperwork Headaches
Question: The paperwork never ends! We're a small practice with only two physicians, and I... Read more
Reader Question:
Don’t Bill Screening Procedure Separately
Question: One of our physicians performed a follow-up test in-office to make sure that a p... Read more
Better Business Practices:
Remember: Co-Pays Are Contractual
 Waiving the patient's portion of payment is usually illegal. Regardless of your opi... Read more
HR Corner:
Find a Mentor to Learn Leadership
Leaders aren't born, they're made. Leading an organization or some aspect of an organizat... Read more
Billing:
Understand Consolidated Billing Rules
Follow these tips when seeing SNF patients to ensure payment. Many specialty practices se... Read more
Clip and Save:
Utilize This Consolidated Billing Template
Be prepared to get full reimbursement with this handy form. Figuring out the reimbursemen... Read more
Reader Question:
Demystify APP Acronym
Question: I just got my first job in the medical field and have seen the word APP (all cap... Read more
Reader Question:
Keep Aquariums Far From Patient Care
Question: One of my colleagues is a fish fanatic and is pushing for small aquariums in eac... Read more
Reader Question:
Look to MBIs Now
Question: We have posted everything available from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid S... Read more
Reader Question:
Human Rules Apply to Service Animals
Question: A patient who is new to our practice recently scheduled his first appointment an... Read more
Reader Question:
‘Treatment’ May Preclude Marketing
Question: I'm a little confused about how to advertise a service that is specific to our p... Read more
Compliance:
Assess Your Chances of a Medicare Audit
Get specific with utilization data to see where your practice falls short. These days, it... Read more
Start Your Audit Prep by Focusing on These 5 Areas
1. E/M Codes: Everyone is interested in audits of E/M codes, noted Frank D. Cohen, directo... Read more
Compliance:
Find Your Areas for Improvement Before Your Payer’s Auditor Does
Conducting internal audits will help your practice avoid costly payer discoveries. Since ... Read more
ACOs:
Get to Know the Latest MSSP Rule Changes
Switch to two-track system. Like many others, your practice may have joined the movement ... Read more
Documentation Guidance:
Home in on Important 2019 MPFS Final Rule Changes
The push for ‘Patients Over Paperwork' continues. The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (... Read more
Reader Question:
Check With Each Payer on Retroactive Billing
Question: A new physician started at our practice, but he hasn't received his insuran... Read more
Reader Question:
Settle Interoffice Disagreements With Official Documentation
Question: I have a doctor that wants to see in writing where she has to document anyw... Read more
Reader Question:
Start the Clock Upon Overpayment Discovery
Question: Our practice discovered that we have received some overpayments from Medicare. W... Read more
Documentation Improvement:
3 Steps Reduce Your Signature Conundrums
Avoid denials with a few simple fixes. Every claim your practice submits requires a signa... Read more
HIPAA:
Get the Scoop on Texting and HIPAA Before Allowing Staff Phone Use
Clear, written policies are critical. These days, nearly everyone has a phone or tablet w... Read more
2019 Medicare Pay:
Prepare for the Financial Impact of the 2019 MPFS
Look beyond fees to code changes as well. With payment and policy changes that could impa... Read more
Reader Question:
Save Locum Tenens for Physicians
Question: Are we allowed to report a nonphysician practitioner's (NPP) services with a loc... Read more
Reader Question:
Check with MAC for Deadline Leniency
Question: We have a few Medicare claims under medical review, and when we went to send the... Read more
Reader Question:
Step Up Your Background Checks
Question: We are creating a new compliance policy, in which we'd like to include backgroun... Read more
Reader Question:
Know Your Interpreter Obligations
Question: Our practice is located in an area with a growing deaf population, which may mea... Read more
ICD-10 Focus:
Brush Up On Underdosing
Document the insufficient usage of medication to help paint a more complete picture of a p... Read more
HR Corner:
Consider Implementing Employee Grief Policies
Fully accommodating an employee's emotional needs at a vulnerable time is better for every... Read more
Patient-Centered Care:
Make Sure Your Exam Rooms Are Accessible
Follow these guidelines for exam room accessibility and ADA compliance. The tenets of the... Read more
Reader Question:
Workers’ Comp Covers Only Work-Related Issues
Question: A 66-year-old patient came into our office after injuring an arm at the universi... Read more
Reader Question:
Understand Requirements for Documenting Virtual Communications
Question: What's the best way to document email exchanges between a patient's guardian and... Read more
Reader Question:
Implement Data Safety Plan Before Terminating Employees
Question:  We are restructuring our practice and will need to let some employees go. ... Read more
CMS Updates:
Know What's Coming Down The Pike For MIPS, MPFS
A steady flow of small E/M changes are heading your way. Don't worry too much about a sud... Read more
Best Practices:
Craft An Internal Auditing Program Like This
Hint: You cannot overcommunicate when it comes to expectations concerning compliance. Int... Read more
HR Corner:
Don't Neglect Your Provider Attire Policies
Check in on your formal rules about practice-appropriate clothing. What your staff wears ... Read more
Reader Question:
Patient Abandonment is Real —  and Avoidable
Question:  While perusing a new malpractice policy, I saw “patient abandonment” a... Read more
Reader Question:
Accept Medicare? Beware Adjustments to LCD
Question: Are my region's local coverage determinations (LCDs) affected by the October 201... Read more
Reader Question:
Don't Jeopardize HIPAA, Take Higher Ground
Question: I noticed that a practice recently received a sizable fine for turning away a pa... Read more