We Should Have a Sale!!

What a year 2015 was for us!  We owe you readers an apology.  We had such a busy year that we fell behind in our newsletters.  So now we are trying to get back on track.

Why was our year so busy you ask?  Good news for medical billing services.  We took on more new work last year than we do in most two year time frames.  We doubled our staff in one year from 5 of us to 10 of us.  We spent a lot of time training our new employees.  Thank God for the online courses we built.  They made the training process much easier.  We have found that doctors offices are finding it just too difficult to keep the billing process in their office and are looking for good services to outsource to.  So if you have a medical billing service and are looking for clients, get out there and market your service now.  It’s a great time to be looking for clients.

But back to the topic.  We really didn’t have the time to get our newsletters out as regular as we always have in the past so we would like to offer a sale on our books and courses.  You can now receive a HUGE 20% off  any of our ebooks or individual online courses.  But hurry!  This offer ends on January 15.  If you are interested in a bundle of ebooks or online course bundles, give us a call at 315-207-4222 X 100.

ICD10 Update

Well, we’ve been using the new ICD10 codes now for four months so just how did everything shake out?  There was so much buzz about how no one was ready and how money was going to stop coming in.  Providers needed to prepare for several months with no income because it would be such a mess.

As far as we can see, it was just a blip on the screen.  Took quite a bit of preparation time to get ready, but we haven’t seen much of anything in the way of problems resulting from the transition to ICD10 codes.

Michele likes to compare it to the hype connected with Y2K.  People were predicting computers would shut down and the world would end but nothing happened.  It was much the same with the ICD10s, there were a few small bumps for some, but we haven’t heard of any major issues.

Free Practice Management Systems

Whether you are a provider’s office or a medical billing service, one of the biggest decisions you will need to make is what practice management system to use.  What doesn’t make it any easier is that the options are endless and the prices vary from free to several thousand dollars.  As a medical billing service we actually get to work with quite a few different practice management systems, or PMSs.  Over the years we have had several people ask us what PMS we use, or what PMS we recommend.

When we give advice on PMSs we have always tried to steer clear of recommending any one system in particular but rather we look at the needs of the person who is asking.  What is a great software for one practice may not work out so well for another.  We also have always tried to make them aware of all of their options including the free software.

Having never worked in any of the free software programs it was hard to give too much information about them other than “they’re free!”.  We had heard that the reporting functions were not as good as a paid program but that is really it.  We have never really recommended a free PMS to anyone even if they were limited on funds.  Cutting costs with a PMS system is a bad idea.  And switching to another system down the road can be very painful.  But until last year we really had no experience directly with one of these free systems.

Recently we were contacted by a provider who was using a free PMS.  They were having billing issues and wanted us to take over but continue to use their system.  We often do accounts using the provider’s system so we didn’t think it would be any trouble.  Wow!  What an eye opener.  We actually went into this very confident since we have used other products offered by the company who provides the free PMS that they use and we are very happy with them.   Boy we were in for a surprise.

“The reporting functions are not as good” has a whole new meaning to us now.  The reporting functions are not only limited, they are crippling.  We actually found that we could not perform the work on the account that needed to be done because the reports could not provide the data needed.  We also found that simple billing tasks that are performed very quickly in our PMS were very clunky, difficult and time consuming.  It literally would take 8 to 9 times longer to do something as simple as create a claim.

Some may say “that’s because you are used to your system.”  True, but the 8 to 9 times longer was after 8 months of using the program.  New programs are not usually an issue for me.  With a bachelor’s degree in computer programming, I’ve never had any trouble picking up a new system.

The good news is that we now have experience with one of these free PMS programs so we can now give a more educated opinion.  The opinion really hasn’t changed much, just became stronger.  Don’t cut corners when choosing a practice management system.  It will end up costing you more in the long run.