Taking our 2 Day Training on the Road

Recently we did an “in our office two day training” and it was really great.  First of all I love those because it allows us to meet others that are where we were 20 years ago.  When we started in 1994 there was very little help out there.  I can still remember logging into the old DOS bulletin board systems to get connected to others in this industry.  Things have changed so much.  Since we had such a difficult time finding help and getting information it has become our passion to help others.

Several years ago we had a friend from Arkansas come up to spend a couple of days with us to see what we do.  It was so helpful to him that we decided to offer it to others.  We have had many people come over the past couple years and each has been a wonderful experience for us.  Even though we are teaching, we learn from each and every person who comes.

With our most recent guests I was really blown away by how much they said that the training helped them.  It really opened my eyes to how much that we can help people by just showing them the things that we do.  Really it’s just sitting and talking to them that mostly helps.  But it also made me want to be able to offer that kind of help to others.  The two day training is nice, but there is a lot involved.  The person (or people) have to travel here to upstate NY, get accommodations, and pay for the training.  The cost of the training  can be pricey for some who are just getting started, especially when adding the travel and accommodations.  The training includes materials, meals, and one on one time with us.  Since it is one on one time, we have to cover the cost of our time.

It seems like such a valuable resource that it’s a shame that we can’t get it out there to more people.  So I started thinking “how can we make this training available to more people at a lower cost?”  So we are considering taking the training on the road.  We thought that if we could bring our two day training to a larger city and offer it to more people at one time we could bring down the cost while still offering the invaluable information.  So we are planning our first “two day in the office training” conference.

The first one will probably be in New Jersey but we haven’t quite made any final plans yet so the facility is still being determined.  We are going to limit the number of seats so that we can keep the informal setting and allow each attendee to have their chance to cover topics and questions they have.  If this is something that you would be interested in attending please email me directly so that we can get an idea of who is interested.  The seating at each event will be limited so we need to have some idea of how many we are looking at.  We are so excited about this opportunity to be able to get out on the road to meet you!

You can email me at michele-solutions@cnymail.com.

What’s Really Happening with Obamacare?

I have a friend who forwards me every Obama email that he gets.  Usually they are interesting but often they are misinformation.  I received an alarming one the other day about the progress of Obamacare and wondered if it could be true.  I went to my Obamacare guru, Linda Walker, owner of PMRNC who closely follows what’s going on with this legislation.  Linda offers a free newsletter and membership to her organization at Practice Managers Resource and Networking Community.

The article I sent Linda said that if you watch C-SPAN that the Senate Finance Committee had a hearing on the Affordable Health Care insurance oversight.  It stated that tens of thousands of employers have thrown workers out of their health plan as the cost of the fine for not offering health insurance coverage is less than what the health care costs.  Thousands more are cutting the hours of employees to less than 30 hour per week to comply with Obamacare rules.

It goes on to state that these workers are now rushing out to sign up for state health care exchanges and that websites are available to if your state has agreed to sign up for Obamacare.  The article then says that these American workers are then finding out that they are not qualified because when the complete the financial data required they find that the costs will be as much as 30% more than it was costing under the employer’s plan.

Apparently this is all speculation.  Here is how Linda responded:

“No, this is not true because there is NO sign up for Obamacare. That seems to be the biggest misconception floating around. Workers can’t be “signing” up for Obamacare for two reasons.

1) Obamacare is NOT a healthcare plan it’s the nickname of the ACA.

2) The state exchanges have not be setup and won’t be setup until October.

My own projection is that it will be delayed as many of the states are still nullifying which means that the Federal Govt will have to go in to those states and create the exchanges themselves. There is NO way to know premium rates now. The ONLY thing we know is that the ACA will require all insurers to spend 80% of the premium ON healthcare spending. “

In fact Vermont just released their exchange rates this week and they are the first state to do so.Her prediction on how the insurance carriers are likely to handle this is very interesting.

“Insurer’s are not worried about this limitation because they will sell policies with higher out of pocket expenses and that will justify their premium rates. So for example you might be able to get a family coverage plan for $5000 a year but you might have a $2000 deductible and 40% coinsurance.”

In fact Vermont was the first state to release their exchange rates and it was just this week.  You can read about it here http://www.fiercehealthpayer.com/story/vermont-first-state-release-insurance-rates-plans-sold-exchange/2013-04-03?goback=.gde_3664887_member_229142696

Linda goes on to say:

“Your REALLY big companies probably will not dump their workers into state plans, remember that most employee’s are working for these big companies FOR the benefits, without incentives like that, big companies will not be able to find good employee’s.  There will be companies that dump their plans because it is cheaper to pay the penalty than it is to provide the coverage. Some companies will also cut workers to Part time but only the ones that already have a high turn-around for employees.

Another FACT we do already know for a fact is that even though this penalty will apply for those that do not sign up for health insurance coverage, it will NOT be a “collectable tax” from the IRS J J  This was the ONLY reason it passed the supreme court on constitutionality. The only way the IRS can make you pay it is by deducting it from your refund. They will NOT be allowed to credit report, levy, seize or garnish for this tax/penalty. A good accountant will tell you how to adjust your withholding so that this may not even affect you J  If you do NOT pay this tax, they can’t do anything about it except deduct it from your refund! They cannot even bill you later, send you to collections or call you with demand for payment. If they COULD do that then the bill would NEVER have passed the Supreme Court.. see how that little tidbit works?


Exciting New Marketing Technique

We got an interesting phone call a few weeks ago from a marketing company who said they work as a matchmaker between physician’s offices and billing services.  They offer a service of making cold calls to physicians for billing services.  The billing service completes a form indicating exactly the type of physician’s offices including the size of the office and locations they are interested in.  We are always looking into marketing opportunities for medical billing services as signing up the first client is usually the most difficult part of getting the business started for most new billing services.  We were very interested in how this works as we get lots of emails and letters from billers about marketing.  Here’s what happened when we signed up.
We decided to give this program a try as we wanted to know if it would work for our students and readers.  We completed a form as to what type of specialties we would like to bill for with a range of income in those offices.  We indicated that we preferred leads in a 60 mile radius of our office.  The company offered three plans and we chose the smallest plan which allowed for 100 cold calls every two weeks.  The company then sent us a spreadsheet of the available leads in the categories we chose and asked us to eliminate any that we did not want called.  We went through the list eliminating any that we were already billing for and any that we had reason to believe we were not interested in billing for.
The marketing company wrote marketing materials for us including a telephone script that would be used and it was all sent to us for approval prior to any calls being made.  I asked what there success rate was in actually signing up clients and was told that it was 1% – 2% which is a reasonable number.  I felt they were not trying to sugarcoat their effectiveness.  When I can choose the specialties we are interested in and the size of the office a 1% or 2% rate is fine with me.
We had to wait two weeks for them to fit our calls into their schedule so just last Tuesday they started making calls for us.  Tuesday afternoon I got an email from the company and they had a Internal Doctor interested in our services and wanted me to email him some material.  Wednesday I got 2 emails for two surgical groups who wanted information, one setting up a phone call meeting for next week.  Thursday morning I got one more request for info and another phone meeting.  Friday as I am writing this I got one more lead.
I am thoroughly impressed with the results so far.  We haven’t signed up anyone so far but we have had the chance to send out our materials to several offices that are at least interested in billing options.  There are no guarantees with this sort of thing, and much will depend on the way we handle the leads.   But we are very happy with the results so far.  We’ll keep you updated with what happens.  For more information on the company we are working with, send me an email at alice-solutions@cnymail.com