3 Best Practices for Healthcare Consumer Billing Statements [That Are More Likely to Get You Paid]

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How to Get Your Patients to Pay Up

Effective billing statements — ones that increase the chances for a prompt, full payment — are part art and part science. Statement colors, fonts, and a straightforward design can draw a greater response. There’s also research that shows it’s important to start with the healthcare consumer in mind (after all, the future of healthcare looks increasingly more consumer-driven).

“The shift toward consumerism is huge in the healthcare industry,” says Scott Sullivan, Account Executive of Partner Enablement at Emdeon, a company that processes 50 million statements every month. “In fact, the term ‘patient’ is increasingly shifting to ‘consumer.’”

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Can House Calls Increase Your Revenue in 2016 and Beyond?

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Could House Calls Increase Your Revenue?

If you’re looking to bring more cash into your primary care practice, leading-edge solutions like telemedicine may look appealing to you as a way to earn extra revenue. Although telemedicine looks to play a larger role in the future, the payment details, licensing requirements across state lines, and other important issues remain to be worked out.

What can you do in the meantime? Perhaps your income booster doesn’t lie in the forward-thinking medical services of tomorrow. In fact, maybe you should look to the past for a revenue-enhancing care delivery model.

House calls may be the retro solution to some very current problems – low reimbursements for primary care services and poor access to care for the elderly. Continue Reading…

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5 Surprising Findings from the 2015 Practice Profitability Index

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Do you want to know how more than 5,000 physicians across the United States feel about their prospects for profitability?

Physician sentiment about their businesses is starting to trend into more positive territory. Yes, plenty of challenges remain – but solutions are also emerging that can help, according to the Third Annual Practice Profitability Index (PPI).

If you’re concerned about your financial prognosis over the coming year – you’re not alone: 31% anticipate a down turn. But the largest percentage of physicians, 35%, expects profitability to stay about the same in the coming year.

Overall, the numbers look encouraging compared to the 2014 PPI – with more doctors anticipating a better year. Here are some of the more surprising findings:

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7 Best FDA Approved Health Apps — An Update

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As the mobile health industry continues to rapidly expand with no signs of slowing down, FDA regulation of health apps has evolved too.

Today, there are more than 100,000 mobile health apps on the market for Apple and android devices, with mobile health revenues projected to jump to $26 billion by 2017, according to Mobile Health Economics.

In February 2015, the FDA announced plans to review mobile medical apps that interpret data and act like medical devices. (We include examples of companies the FDA warned about this at the end of this post.)

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Don’t Get Tripped Up by Bundled Codes

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For a long time in medicine, a ‘bundle’ referred to a bunch of parallel fibers in the body, like a muscle bundle or vascular bundle. Now that we’re moving toward value-based care, however, a much more common term is emerging: “bundled codes.”

To set up the right incentives for value-based healthcare, both Japan and the United States have been gradually moving toward more bundled payments for medical care, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) June 2015 article “Taking the leap to make bundled payments work.”

Whether you agree with this or not, CMS states “research has shown that bundled payments can align incentives for providers – hospitals, post-acute care providers, physicians, and other practitioners – allowing them to work closely together across all specialties and settings.”

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To Text or Not To Text Patients? The Message from HIPAA.

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Most of the 1.9 trillion texts Americans sent from their smartphones to friends and family last year wouldn’t be secure enough for healthcare settings. It’s unfortunate, because texting is a quick, easy and effective way to communicate.

It’s probably also no surprise that texting is the most popular smartphone feature, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey,  and 97% of Americans use their phones to text.

But like most other things, different rules apply in the healthcare world.

The HIPAA/HITECH privacy and security rules cover any communication with electronic protected health information (ePHI), including e-mail, social media and text messages. In an actual case, providers at a nursing facility requested nurses text them patient information. Even without evidence that an unauthorized person saw the messages, CMS intervened with a 10-point remediation plan to retrain staff, appoint a HIPAA security officer and revise their HIPAA policies and procedures.

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