Alice’s Marketing Corner – Don’t Waste Your Marketing Efforts

When marketing your medical billing business choose a field you want to bill and target that field. Working within one field at the beginning of your medical billing career will simplify your life in a big way. You have enough to learn when starting your medical billing service without adding the burden of learning the ins and outs of several different specialties all at once.

For example, mental health billing is fairly simple compared to surgery or home health care. If your first provider is a psychologist or psychotherapist, look for some other providers in the same field when you are ready to take on your second provider.

How do you go about that effectively? Here are some ideas.

Start locally. Look in the yellow pages under the specialty you have decided upon. Let’s use the example mental health providers. Look under psychologists, psychotherapists, counselors, marriage counselors, etc. You may find nothing under marriage counselors but there will be some other suggestions there to look under. Make a list of the providers you want to target. Pick a number of providers you want to approach in a one week time frame. Use a number that is reasonable not something you will never finish.

Determine how you are going to approach them. Will you send a letter, make phone calls or go into their office? If you decide to write a letter and send it to 30 providers in your area this week, spend some time crafting a good letter that will get their attention. Don’t make the mistake of making it boring. Many will be thrown out without ever being written so catch their attention early in the letter. Better yet, send a greeting card. People are much more likely to look at a greeting card than to read a letter that looks like junk mail.

Keep track of the providers you targeted. One week later followup. This week you may leave a phone message on the voice mail of every one of the providers you wrote last week asking if they got your letter or card. You want to make the message interesting too. Or you can write a follow up letter instead of a call. Just make sure that one week later you follow up. The follow up is the secret. You will find much more response to the follow up than the original message.

Spend your time marketing. Don’t sit there wondering if you will ever get any accounts. Look for them. Do something. Marketing will cost you some money. You can find creative ways to market on a budget, but you need to make sure that you do something. Keep reaching out to potential accounts. If you work at it long enough and hard enough, you will find the accounts you are looking for. As they said in the movie, “Build it and they will come.”

Contest for “Write A Kick Butt Contract For Your Medical Billing Business”

We have decided to offer another contest. The prize for the winner of this contest will be a free download of our new book we are working on now titled “Write A Kick Butt Contract For Your Medical Billing Business.” We are excited about this book as so many new people to this field ask about writing their contract. We are asked almost every week for a sample contract. This book will help you design a contract that will cover your individual needs. Here are the rules.

Just offer us a topic for the next book you think we should write. What are the topics you need help with? We will be glad to consider any topics you offer, but the one that hits us as the one we want to write will be the winner and get a free copy of our new ebook. Just click on “leave a comment”, (just below this post) write your suggestion in the box and click “submit comment”. It’s that easy. We will be announcing the winner in our next newsletter. Good luck!

New Medicare Ruling May Affect Provider Payments

CMS originally had a deadline of July 6, 2010 for all ordering and referring providers to be enrolled in the PECOS system, or the Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System but in the June 30th news release they announced that they will not be making the changes that will automatically reject claims based on ordering or referring providers who have not yet had their PECOS applications approved. What does all of this mean?

Well it’s actually good news for any providers who order services or refer patients enrolled in Medicare, and have not enrolled yet in PECOS. Basically if a provider has not enrolled in Medicare or submitted changes or updates to their Medicare information in the past 6 years, then they probably are not enrolled in PECOS. If a provider has enrolled or submitted changes/updates in the last 6 years, then they should be already enrolled in PECOS. The Medicare contractor would have automatically input the application into the PECOS system, even if they submitted a paper application.

So if the provider has been enrolled in Medicare longer than 6 years and has not submitted any updates or changes, then they still need to enroll in PECOS. The PECOS system can be accessed at PECOS new ruling. They should use their NPI login username and password to access the system.

CMS has been encouraging providers to use the PECOS system to enroll in Medicare or submit any updates or changes to their Medicare information for quite a while. Now they are mandating the use of PECOS by denying any claims for services that were ordered or referred by a Medicare provider who is not enrolled in the PECOS system. This makes things tough because the provider submitting the claim cannot control if the ordering or referring provider has enrolled in PECOS. This may be why they announced that they would not make the changes that would result in the denial of claims that were ordered or referred by providers not enrolled in PECOS.

At some point, this mandate probably will be implemented so it really is in a provider’s best interest to make sure they are compliant. If you do not know if you or your provider is enrolled in PECOS then you should check. There is a national list available online here. It has the names and NPI numbers of all providers in the US who are enrolled in the PECOS system. You can check that list to see if you or your provider is enrolled. You can also call the local Medicare carrier provider enrollment line and ask if you or your provider is already enrolled.

If you or your provider is not enrolled you will either need to enroll by completing the application online thru the PECOS website, or by submitting a paper enrollment application re-validating the information, even if nothing has changed. I would suggest that you don’t wait until claims do start to get denied. If you are a billing service you should check the list for all of the providers you bill for and advise them if they are or are not all set. If they are not, you should advise them what needs to be done.