NAVIGATING THE COMPLEXITIES OF REVENUE CYCLE MANAGEMENT!

NAVIGATING THE COMPLEXITIES OF REVENUE CYCLE MANAGEMENT!


With the growing body of regulations today, nephrology coding has become more complex. Practices must navigate not only a new level of required specificity but also additional requirements from payers. Needless to say, it can be daunting to stay on top of all of the guidelines for CPT, E & M, and ICD-10 coding — all while continuing to provide quality care for patients. Periodic reviews and education, however, can save you and your practice time, resources, and money. Coding reviews can help nephrologists assess the accuracy and completeness of the documentation of services provided as well as to determine if that documentation supports the claims ultimately submitted for payment. It is critical to the success of a nephrology practice to be accurately reimbursed for services provided.

 

NAVIGATING THE COMPLEXITIES OF REVENUE CYCLE MANAGEMENT!


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Patient Experience Can Be Improved
with Telephone Etiquette

Patient Experience Can Be Improved with Telephone Etiquette


Every patient’s satisfaction with their care starts with their experience in the physician’s office. As the importance of online reviews and satisfaction surveys has grown, the way staff interacts with your patients has become more important than ever. Consider these tips the next time you talk to a patient on the telephone. 

 

Patient Experience Can Be Improved
with Telephone Etiquette


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HOT TOPICS TO WATCH IN NEPHROLOGY MEDICAL BILLING & CODING

Hot Topics to Watch in Nephrology Medical Billing & Coding

With the growing body of regulations today, nephrology coding has become more complex. Practices must navigate not only a new level of required specificity but also additional requirements from payers. Needless to say, it can be daunting to stay abreast of all of the guidelines for CPT, E&M, and ICD-10 coding — all while continuing to provide quality care for patients. With changing federal guidelines and payer requirements, complex conditions like chronic renal disease, global periods and the unique billing rules for inpatient and outpatient services, nephrology medical coding is quite complex. An in-depth understanding of this specialty is imperative for accurate documentation and reimbursement. The experts at Tower Physician Services can help avoid these headaches and reduce the rate of claim denials for nephrology offices. Tower can provide timely and affordable coding solutions to save your time and maximize your revenues.

Is your billing company prepared to offer your practice the information and support you need to bill successfully? Avoid interruptions to provider revenue stream by working with Tower Physician Solutions.

Tips for succession planning for Nephrology Practices


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Medical Practice Revenue Management and the self-pay patient


As we reach the end of 2018, a lot of reflection is happening from everyone – both personally and professionally. The team at Tower Physicians Solutions wants to help offer some tips or resolutions that your Nephrology Practice can make for 2019 in order to grow your medical practice and improve patient care. Where do you see your practice headed in 2019? 



Click here for some ideas on how to build a great company culture.

Where Do You See Your Practice Headed in 2019?


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Medical Practice Revenue Management and the self-pay patient

Keep Your Medical Staff Happy this Holiday Season!

Happy workers are also known as “engaged” workers. Engagement in the workforce has a direct correlation to productivity. Engaged employees are less likely to leave your facility in search of a new position. For the sake of your patients and your facility’s reputation, it’s always a good idea to take steps to keep your employees happy on the job. Healthcare can be a very demanding career, with large caseloads, long shifts and – on occasion – difficult patients. Many healthcare professionals can suffer job strain, especially around the holidays, that drags them down throughout the workweek; it’s your job as an employer to help your healthcare workers stay on task and in high spirits.

Click here for some ideas on how to build a great company culture.

5 WAYS TO PASS YOUR NEXT MEDICARE AUDIT


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Medical Practice Revenue Management and the self-pay patient

Very important dates for MACRA 2018 - 2019

The year is almost over and we gathered important dates that you should note going into 2019. As always the experts at Tower are here to be your MIPS/MACRA resource. Starting your reporting early can help you catch errors and improve processes!

5 WAYS TO PASS YOUR NEXT MEDICARE AUDIT


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Medical Practice Revenue Management and the self-pay patient

Your practice’s revenue and the self-pay patient

In healthcare today, patient financial responsibility is on the rise. Patients are increasingly responsible for a higher percentage of their own healthcare costs. Employers are shifting those costs to employees, and insurers are offering high deductible health plans which increases out-of-pocket expenses. It's also harder for healthcare organizations to get paid for the care they provide. When patients can’t pay, your accounts receivables (AR) days go up, cash flow slows down, bad debt mounts and revenue shortfalls are almost inevitable.

5 WAYS TO PASS YOUR NEXT MEDICARE AUDIT


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5 WAYS TO PASS YOUR NEXT MEDICARE AUDIT

5 WAYS TO PASS YOUR NEXT MEDICARE AUDIT

A medical practice can pass a Medicare audit easily if they have the right information. One of the consequences of treating Medicare patients is that the practice is then subject to Medicare audits. These can lead to the suspension of payments and Medicare fees. For a practice with lots of Medicare patient accounts, this can cause a financial crisis.

Unfortunately, Medicare audits are a necessary part of the system. Healthcare waste, fraud, and abuse lead CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) to be diligent in recovering as much federal money as possible. This places a burden on facilities that follow the rules. Even when there is no intent to be dishonest, the practice can still face penalties if found guilty of improper Medicare billing.

5 WAYS TO PASS YOUR NEXT MEDICARE AUDIT


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Medical Billing Process

How to Get the Most Out of Your Medical Billing

 

The most successful nephrology practices don’t reach their position in the industry without paying close attention to all aspects of their revenue cycle. Of course, success is based on numerous factors and not just on the financial side of things at your organization. You may have assembled a group of highly dedicated medical professionals who are at the top of their game. You also have a large base of satisfied and loyal patients, many of whom also happen to refer new patients to you.

Medical Billing Process


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Medical Billing Process

REDUCE INCORRECT BILLING WITH A PRACTICE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

One of the biggest financial problems that have affected Nephrology medical practices is inaccurate billing and coding at various stages of the medical billing process. Incorrect billing and coding can occur due to several reasons, including slow collection of patient receivables and coding at improper levels. Medical errors can happen anytime, even by the most professional and well-trained staff members. By automating outsourcing billing functions with a practice management solution, you’re effectively eliminating unnecessary medical practice expenses.

Medical Billing Process


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MIPS: Start your MIPS reporting early

Starting your MIPS reporting early can help you catch errors and improve processes! Early reporting can also help to improve MIPS scores in the second half of this year and alleviate that last minute pressure to report before the deadline…

Tips for tackling 2018 reporting:

  • Identify your deficiencies in 2017 reporting and focus to improve those areas.
  • The minimum number of measures to report has increased, in fact it’s beneficial to report on as many measures as possible.
  • Review the list of 92 improvement activities, and identify at least one improvement activity your practice completed for each activity in 2017.
  • The most affordable and easiest way to submit data on improvement activities is by attesting to participation via the new data submission system on the QPP website..

  • RPA's Advocacy Weekend


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    What Your Nephrology Practice Should Know…MIPS/MACRA Updates 2018

    The trend toward value-based payments began with the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) that was signed into law in April 2015. Since then, there have been updates and additional programs included in MACRA, such as the Quality Payment Program (QPP). MACRA created a new framework for independent physicians who will be rewarded financially for providing high-quality care. Physicians may qualify for one of two tracks for payment: Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (AAPMs).

    RPA's Advocacy Weekend


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    IMPROVING YOUR ICD-10 CODING

    Why are there so many ways to submit an ICD-10 cause code? As a medical billing department specializing in Nephrology, we know it can be frustrating to try to sort out the differences in coding requirements among various payors. The more individualized your coding is on claims, the cleaner your claims submissions will be, resulting in more expeditious reimbursement.

    Education Improves Coding Accuracy

    If your practice management system does not automatically update coding according to the level of service indicated in your visit notes, then it’s essential to know how to choose the appropriate codes for service and procedures provided. Not only is this a key step in the revenue cycle, but accuracy at this point may be evaluated in an audit.

    RPA's Advocacy Weekend


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    Hill Day and NCAP Forum June 22-24!

    This year, RPA's annual Hill Day is June 22, followed by the NCAP Advocacy Forum on June 23 and 24. RPA's Advocacy Weekend is open to all nephrology providers and practice managers and NANI’s leaders will be there.

    According to NCAP attendee and practice CEO Brian O'Dea, CPA, "All the thought leaders in nephrology are here. We get to work with other groups to find out what they are doing around the country and share our collective knowledge. You realize that you aren't out there alone."

    RPA's Advocacy Weekend


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    Brian O’Dea, CFO/COO of NANI NEPHROLOGY TODAY PODCAST

    Brian O’Dea, CFO/COO of NANI discusses the many challenges facing medical practices today and how physicians can maintain their independence in the ever changing medical industry. We know that navigating MIPS/MACRA is one of the top challenges that practices will face in the year ahead. Learn how to get ahead of these challenges and more by working with the professional at Tower.


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    NANI & Tower are Headed to Kidney Week:

    The World's Premier Nephrology Meeting

    The Nephrology experts of NANI and Tower Physician Solutions will be heading to New Orleans, LA. on October 31st for ASN’s Kidney Week, the premier conference in our field. More than 13,000 kidney professionals from across the globe will be in attendance at this year’s Kidney Week 2017.



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    Nephrology Today Interview with Dr.Degani, MD

    Hear how having the right help with your medical practice back office can help you focus on patients and work life balance.

    Dr. Omaima Degani is a nephrologist in Gurnee, Illinois and is affiliated with Advocate Condell, Vista Regional and Midwestern Regional Medical Centers. She received her medical degree from American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine and has been in practice for 11years.


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    Sandeep Bajaj M.D, is an accomplished healthcare professional with over 10 years experience.

    She provides strategic direction and oversight of health quality programs and initiatives aimed to improve physician practices. Listen to our online podcast Nephrology Today as Sandeep reviews important dates for MIPS/MACRA and the impact on medical practices.

    Why is October 2nd important and what should a practice be doing now to prepare?

    If you participate in MIPS, you have a total of six options for reporting Quality Performance data to CMS, but you must decide by October 2nd of 2017.




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    September 7th

    MIPS/MACRA: Why October 2nd is Important
    and What You Need to be Doing Now!

    Wait! Don’t let your medical practice miss this deadline. You cannot afford to pass up Medicare revenue and incentives in years to come. Most physician practices are running a race against time to implement Medicare's value-based payment system. Read on to learn about MIPS, MACRA and what you need to do today.

    Understanding MACRA’s complexities is critical since the law exposes both providers and payers to greater risk and opportunity. MACRA does more than address physician payments; it is designed to reduce health care costs by rewarding quality care over service and procedure volume.


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    Focus on your patients,
    but don’t let the business slide

    Nephrology Today Interview with Dr. John Ducker, MD Listen as John Ducker, M.D. of Fort Wayne, Indiana discusses the benefits his practice realized when they joined a large private practice, NANI. His group has improved their best practices including the challenges of billing and coding, mergers, and MACRA/MIPS for 2017.

    Dr. Ducker explains how consolidating with NANI and having office functions consolidated in one office, from billing to HR, really helped cut down on overhead. He stresses how the partnership has made his job easier so he can focus on patient care. Dr. Ducker is a community leader and has brought a more advanced level of nephrology care to Fort Wayne by giving chronic kidney disease patients better access to outpatient procedures and transplants.


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    Let Us Audit Your Billing/Collections!

    Focus on your patients, but don’t let the business slide.
    The more efficiently your office runs, the better customer satisfaction will be. Every private medical practice can benefit from a billing process with few errors and consistent cash flow, as well as more time to focus on customer satisfaction.


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    June 16th

    8 BENEFITS OF OUTSOURCING MEDICAL BILLING

    Deciding whether or not to outsource medical billing can be a difficult decision for your practice. Medical billing has always required a specialized set of skills, and in the last few years there has been a steep increase in complexity and red tape. Whether you are a new practice startup, experienced veteran, or in the midst of turmoil like upgrading to a new system, referring your billing to a specialist makes a lot of sense. It has now become a necessity for practices to consider revenue cycle management services.

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    May 18th

    MIPS/MACRA Tips for 2017!

    As with Meaningful Use, the earlier your practice starts participating in MIPS, the better the outcome will be in terms of future penalty avoidance and Medicare fee increases.
    Although 2017 is a reduced reporting “transition” year, it’s a great time to choose a few of the new patient care protocols that will soon be essential for MIPS participation and incorporate them into your workflow.

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    May 2nd

    Succession Planning

    After years, or decades, of carefully building a Nephrology practice, most physicians want to be just as intentional about what will happen to their practice and your patients when it’s time to retire. Early retirement planning and open communication can help you find a buyer for your practice, ease your transition to retirement, ensure your practice thrives and still provide effective care for your patients.

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    April 20th

    onboarding

    A great article providing tips on “practice onboarding” for smooth integration of a small practice into a larger practice. Written by Bob Florio, Controller & Director of Finance for NANI, the article “Practice Acquisitions

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    April 1st

    ICD-10 for Optimists

    With a new, clean calendar comes the intimidating task of preparing your practice, your providers and your billing staff for the advent of ICD-10 coding. October 1st, 2015 may be an imposing, if not frightening, deadline for practice managers concerned about their Medicare payments.

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    March 27th

    Practice Acquisitions: What You Need to Know to Grow

    A great article providing tips on “practice onboarding” for smooth integration of a small practice into a larger practice.

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    March 1st

    Meaningful Use: Avoid Audit Panic

    Spending two weeks preparing for an EHR Meaningful Use audit may not be one of your top goals for this quarter. In fact, it’s almost certainly something you don’t have time for. After all, you’re in Healthcare to help patients and they are your top priority.

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    February 25th

    MACRA and MIPS Changes Summarized

    The MACRA Division The new 962 page rule can certainly not be summarized very well, but I would like to highlight some key points that will be useful to Providers.

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    February 1st
    Sept 2

    Now is the Time to Prepare Your Practice for MACRA

    Sandeep Bajaj, Meaningful Use Coordinator with Tower Physicians Solutions recently discussed in an interview what nephrology doctors need to know about MACRA. CMS released its long-awaited for new value-based payment programs under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

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    January 18th
    Oct 1

    Outsourcing Your Medical Practice Management

    According to the American College of Physicians, approximately 20 percent of new physicians create their own practice. While autonomy is one of the main benefits of a solo practice, it can be difficult for a small provider to shoulder the financial demands necessary to succeed with smaller budgets and fewer resources.

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    November 5th

    Small Changes in ICD-10 Coding is a Big Deal for Practices

    Once again, October 1st was the BIG DAY. Medicare’s one year ICD-10 grace period ended October 1st of this year, a year after ICD-10 coding requirements were turned on. That year wasn’t so tough, was it?

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