Benefits of Patient Financing: 4 Practices Speak Out

KZA News Brief by Cheryl Toth, MBA, Consultant and Speaker Deductibles and coinsurances continue to skyrocket. Many Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange plans have deductibles of $5,000 or more. The result is that more and more patients are finding it difficult to come up with surgery deposits or pay for elective procedures. Offering payment plans…


Liability Management 101

Liability Management 101 – August 2016 by Michael R. Marks, MD, MBA Why Malpractice Insurance Is Not Enough Today’s orthopaedic practices are at a crossroads. Many face possible mergers or acquisitions and potential relationships with hospital systems and third-party payers. As the healthcare landscape shifts, so too does a practice’s professional liability exposures. Recently, I spoke…


The Revenue Engine that Could “Think You Can” by Refining the Revenue Cycle with the Right People, Processes, and Tools

Greenbranch – May/June 2013 Kim Pollock, RN, MBA, CPC Many physicians continue to wrestle with an economy-in-recovery and declining reimbursements. In this business climate, practices can’t afford reimbursement process mistakes and inefficiencies; they’re simply too expensive. Just a few denied surgical claims can cost a practice thousands of dollars. That’s the cost of the annual electronic…


New Physician Onboarding Checklist

New Physician Onboarding Checklist by Cheryl Toth, MBA Use this checklist to manage the orientation and onboarding activities for each new physician you hire. Ask for regular status updates – especially about the credentialing process. Items listed in each section are not necessarily in chronological order. Download Checklist


Is Your Bariatric Practice Ready for Retail?

Is Your Bariatric Practice Ready for Retail? Mystery Shopping Results Indicate a Need for Improvement – April 2016 by Karen Zupko and Samantha Lappe After the news of a new, less invasive weight loss option hit the mainstream media last fall, millions of Americans began hearing about the gastric balloon procedure on television and in the news….


Surviving in an ICD-10 World

by Deborah Grider, CPC, COC, CPC-I, CPC-P, CEMC, CPMA, CCS-P, CDIP Certified AHIMA Clinical Documentation Improvement Practitioner AHIMA-Approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer The past few years we have focused closely on getting ready for ICD-10. In most cases, the transition to ICD-10 was successful. We had a few bumps in the road, but overall, things went well….


Billing Service Evaluation Checklist

Use this checklist with each billing service under consideration. Mark each item on the list to indicate that you have requested or inquired, and that the billing service has responded with the information. In addition to completing the checklist, evaluate the company’s profile and service costs for a complete comparison. Download Form


Reduce Medical Practice Embezzlement Risk by Implementing Cash Controls

Physicians Practice – September 2013 by Karen Zupko and Cheryl Toth, MBA Several years ago, we visited a practice in which the receptionist drove a Jaguar. We were particularly intrigued about this after we learned that her husband had been in and out of work for several years. As part of our engagement, we observed…


Clean Up Your Revenue Cycle Now: 6 Survival Tips for ICD­10 ­Induced Payment Slowdowns

The American Journal of Orthopedics – May 2014 by Cheryl Toth, MBA You have read the scary headlines and dire predictions about ICD-10 claim submission complications and cash-flow crunches. What are you doing to avoid a near-certain slowdown in your revenue cycle this fall? Assessing and improving specific areas of the revenue cycle cannot only…


21st-Century Patient Collections: Implement a Point-of-Service Collections Program Now

The American Journal of Orthopedics – May 2015 by Cheryl Toth, MBA An 8-surgeon group in the Southeast had a history of high patient receivables, the result of a long-held culture of “We’ll submit to your insurance and bill you after insurance pays.” The billing and collections staff worked in the basement—far away and out…


To Outsource or Not to Outsource Your Physical Therapy Service Line Management?

The American Journal of Orthopedics – November 2014 by Jennifer A. O’Brien, MSOD You currently offer a physical therapy (PT) service line but feel like it could be doing better, or you are thinking of adding PT services and are not sure where to begin. Either way, the thought of your patients and bottom line…


Ten Key Things Surgeons Need to Know About “Meaningful Use”

ACOS News – August 2014 Cheyenne Brinson, MBA, CPA Say the words “meaningful use” to most surgeons, and the response is usually a sigh, groan, mumble, or headshake. As a consultant who has been helping surgical practices implement meaningful use since its inception, I most often have to debunk myths surrounding the EHR Incentive Program….


Tighten Cash Handling & Audit Controls: 9 Best Practices That Reduce Embezzlement Risk

Aesthetic Society News – Summer 2014 by Karen Zupko A few years ago, we worked with an aesthetic practice whose patients frequently paid in cash. To document the amount collected, the staff made copies of the cash, fanning out the bills to show the dollar amount listed on each, but displaying the serial number of…


Banking: Shop and Compare

Journal of Medical Practice Management – May/June 2014 by Jennifer A. O’Brien, MSOD, and Sherry DeJarnette, CPA There are many reasons to take a critical look at the practice’s banking relationship(s)—technology advancements, security measures, improvements in available services, recent banking enhancements designed specifically for medical practices, the impact of the financial crisis on bank ratings and stability,…


Avoid Billing Service Nightmares: Issues to consider before partnering with independent and hospital-based billing services

AAOS Now – April 2014 by Jennifer A. O’Brien, MSOD In addition to the compliance and security issues highlighted in part 1 of this series (“Avoid Billing Service Nightmares,” AAOS Now, February 2014), an evaluation of operations, experience, and costs is essential to selecting the right partner for the provision of billing services. This is…


Avoid Billing Service Nightmares: Use Business Rigor to Reduce Your Risk: Part I

AAOS Now – February 2014 by Cheryl L. Toth, MBA Recently, an orthopaedic surgeon remarked that he was thinking about outsourcing his billing so he could avoid learning ICD-10 and make ICD-10 “the billing service’s problem.” But hastily outsourcing billing and collections without carefully evaluating the company can lead to problems. Choosing the wrong billing…


Redefined Business Associate Agreements Create Concern

AAPC News – August 2013 by Cheryl Toth, MBA Guard against liability when someone else mishandles your practice’s patient records. True story: A journalist reported finding patient medical records at a trash transfer station. An investigation revealed that a Massachusetts physician group’s billing company improperly disposed of the private health information (PHI). Although there was…


All Work (RVUs) and No Pay?: Eight Questions to Ask the Hospital about Its Work RVU Compensation Formula

Greenbranch – January-February 2013 by Sarah Wiskerchen, MBA, CPC As more surgeons and specialists are offered hospital employment, work RVU-based compensation agreements are becoming more sophisticated and complex. In order to have a meaningful conversation with health system administrators and ensure that a compensation agreement addresses all issues pertinent to the physician’s practice and specialty,…


Employee Embezzlement: It Can Happen To You

Doctors Direct Insurance – Winter 2012 Cheyenne Brinson, MBA, CPA & Karen Zupko, Consultant and Speaker, KarenZupko and Associates Physicians unfortunately are easy targets for employee theft. A recent MGMA survey revealed that 83% of practices have experienced theft by an employee in amounts ranging from $250 – $250,000. Headlines across the country share this…


Creating Effective Patient Payment Plans

American Society for Surgery of the Hand – April 2011 Cheyenne Brinson, MBA, CPA High deductibles, co-insurance, self pay, oh my! Gone are the days that insurance paid for everything. More and more patients are responsible for a much greater portion of their health care costs leaving you the hand surgeon tasked with collecting from…


Therapy Billing for Beginners

AAOS Now (Volume 4, Number 12) – November 2010 by Sarah Wiskerchen, MBA, CPC How to bill for physical, occupational therapy Orthopaedic surgeons are increasingly incorporating physical and occupational therapy services into their practices. In-house billers, who may be inexperienced with the new services, terminology, and associated CPT codes, may be apprehensive about the move. Clarifying the services,…