Applied Medical Systems Receives HBMA Compliance Accreditation

Applied Medical Systems is an accredited revenue cycle management company by the Healthcare Business Management Association (HBMA). The HBMA Compliance Accreditation Program is designed to assess compliance with a range of federal healthcare industry regulations, including provisions to protect patient privacy under HIPAA, promote cybersecurity, and prevent fraud, waste and abuse in medical billing.  As… Continue Reading

7 Questions to Ask Before You Outsource Medical Billing

Trusting a third-party provider to manage your medical billing and coding is not a decision you should take lightly. Whatever company you choose will serve as an extension of your business, and can either enhance or damage a practice’s reputation and patient experience. Before you outsource medical billing, ask these seven questions: How many years… Continue Reading

10 Ways to Prevent a Healthcare Data Breach

The HIPAA Journal reported that there were 2,181 healthcare data breaches from October 2009 through 2017. These resulted in the theft and/or exposure of more than 176 billion healthcare records, which includes over half of the U.S. population. However, this number is likely higher as only HIPAA-covered entities that experience a breach affecting more than… Continue Reading

5 Tips to Prevent Denied Claims

Your practice does not get paid until claims are billed, so naturally, the coding and billing process is essential to effective practice management. While insurance providers usually get a bad wrap for denied claims, in reality, physician practices and healthcare organizations should share in the responsibility. You can improve your claim reimbursement rate by implementing… Continue Reading

2019 CPT Code Set: What You Need to Know

In September, the American Medical Association announced the release of the 2019 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set. “The CPT code set is the foundation upon which every element of the medical community—doctors, hospitals, allied health professionals, laboratories and payers—can efficiently share accurate information about medical services,” said AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, M.D. How… Continue Reading

5 Ways to Automate Healthcare Processes to Improve Practice Productivity

The average patient load of a primary care physician is 2,300 patients with an average of 93.2 patient encounters each week. This equates to roughly 22 minutes per patient encounter. This does not include the administrative tasks associated with each patient such as charting, coding and billing. As a result, doctors across the country experiencing… Continue Reading

Is Your Billing Practice Hurting Your Financial Health?

There is a growing challenge facing healthcare organizations, small and medium-sized practices in particular. As a physician, you spent years of time and thousands of dollars to learn how to diagnose and treat conditions that are harmful to your patients. What you may not have learned is how to identify and treat conditions that are… Continue Reading

Why Medical Billers and Coders are Vital to the Healthcare Industry

When people think of the healthcare industry, they often think about physicians, specialists, or hospitals first. While of course the healthcare industry wouldn’t exist without medical providers, there are also countless healthcare professionals who work behind-the-scenes. Medical billing and medical coding are two separate tasks. Ideally, these are handled by different individuals, but in some… Continue Reading

5 Simple Steps for Going Paperless

Healthcare professionals spend a substantial amount of time on paperwork and other administrative tasks. The average doctor in the US spends 16.6% of his or her time on non-patient-related paperwork. This equates to nearly 9 hours each week that could be spent with patients instead. Heavy reliance on paper products are estimated to cost the… Continue Reading

How Secure is Your Healthcare Data?

The healthcare industry continues to be a high-valued target for hackers. Both healthcare providers and third-party service providers are at risk. Before you outsource areas of your business like medical billing or electronic health records, consider the security of this data. Why is health data being targeted? Between 2009 and 2017, there have been more… Continue Reading

What does a Medical Biller Do?

Every time, a doctor, dentist, nurse, or another healthcare professional sees a patient, they provide a service that must be billed for. The service provider will inform a medical coder of what service was provided to the patient. Once the coder receives this information, they will code the service using industry guidelines. Next, a medical… Continue Reading

The Benefits of Value Based Purchasing in Health Care

Value based purchasing refers to reimbursement that is based on quality instead of quantity. In the past, the health care system in this country has been focused on treating the sick and paying providers for the number of services and procedures ordered. This fee-for-service model is now transitioning into a value-based purchasing model that emphasizes… Continue Reading

Best Practices for Billing Out Medicare Claims

If your healthcare organization accepts Medicare, your goal should be to accurately and efficiently process Medicare claims. This way, you can ensure you get paid for the services you have provided your Medicare clients in a timely fashion. Here are some of the best practices for Medicare billing: Stay on Top of Changes Medical billers… Continue Reading

New ICD-10 Codes You Should Know in 2018

The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification or ICD-10-CM is a system used by healthcare providers to classify and code all symptoms, diagnoses, and procedures in the United States. Just like the healthcare industry is always changing, so are ICD-10 codes. ICD-10 codes have been updated for the fiscal year 2018, which runs… Continue Reading

Medical Billing Compliance: Do’s and Don’ts

Let’s be honest. Medical billing compliance can be complicated. The good news, however, is that a reputable medical billing company such as Applied Medical Systems can handle all of your medical billing needs so you can spend more time providing your patients with the highest quality of care. Here at Applied Medical Systems, we take… Continue Reading

Paper Billing: A Thing of the Past?

Even though more than half of today’s patients prefer to receive medical bills electronically, 77 percent of healthcare organizations still use paper based billing methods for their patients. While recent research has proven that electronic patient billing acceptance is low, incorporating electronic billing in healthcare facilities can lead to faster, more complete payments. Approximately 52%… Continue Reading

The Importance of Price Transparency

As high deductible health insurance plans increase in popularity, healthcare consumers are starting to expect their experiences with healthcare facilities to be similar to those in the retail industry.   In today’s world, discretionary choices related to food, clothing, and travel are driven by convenience. For instance, online shopping and mobile apps make life easier… Continue Reading

Patient Communications Plays a Role in Collections

Many healthcare practices do not realize that their patient satisfaction, collections, and staff morale all depends on how they communicate with their patients. Amy Floria, the CFO of Goshen Health in Goshen, Indiana explained that the sooner healthcare organizations communicate with their patients, the more they will benefit. Floria found that 35 percent of U.S.… Continue Reading

3 Reasons to Undergo Medical Credentialing in 2018

Medical credentialing is the process of reviewing a doctor’s qualifications and career history including their education, residency, licenses, training, and any specialty certificates. It must be completed to hire a new doctor and on a regular basis afterwards in order to adhere to the regulations of organizations such as the The Joint Commission and the… Continue Reading

The Future of Optometry

Due to increasing competition, online retailers, and new technology, the future of optometry is constantly questioned. While some optometrists are optimistic about the field and enjoy the challenges they are facing and will continue to face in the future of optometry, others are worried and unsure of what to do. Let’s take a closer look… Continue Reading

Achieve Work-Life Balance with AMS

As a medical professional in a private practice, your days are spent seeing patients, dictating notes, and handling administrative tasks, just to name a few. The amount of hats you have to wear on a daily basis can’t even fit in your closet. For many, this means that the time you spend at the office… Continue Reading

2018 Medical Trends

The medical industry is always changing. Each year, there are new medical trends that significantly impact healthcare organizations of all shapes and sizes. Even though 2018 has recently made its debut, there are already several medical trends that many healthcare facilities have noticed. A few of these trends include: Physician Burnout The Mayo Clinic recently… Continue Reading

Is It Time to Upgrade Your Practice hardware?

If you feel that in this day and age as soon as you buy a new television, launch a new website, or upgrade your cell phone your brand new technology is already outdated, you are probably right. It is no secret that technology changes quickly. As a medical professional who relies on technology to perform… Continue Reading

CPT Coding Guidelines

Do you have questions about CPT coding guidelines? If so, we are here to help. Current Procedural Terminology, or CPT codes for short, were initially published in 1966 to assist in determining the amount of reimbursement that medical providers receive for the services they’ve provided. CPT codes are maintained and copyrighted by the American Medical… Continue Reading

All About the HIPAA Law

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known commonly as HIPAA, was created to protect working Americans and their family members when they lose or change job. Here are several of the reasons the HIPAA law is so important: It allows patients to deem who may speak on their behalf. If they were to get… Continue Reading

Medical Billing and Coding Classes

This Holiday Season, give yourself the gift of a satisfying career. If you’d like a flexible career that will give you the opportunity to make a positive difference in the field of healthcare, you should consider becoming a medical biller and coder. By taking medical billing and coding classes to earn a certification, you can… Continue Reading

5 Medical Billing Benchmarks to Live By

A benchmark is known as a point of reference, or a standard, for which things can be compared or assessed. When it comes to your medical billing running smoothly and efficiently, it is important to compare your efforts to those of industry benchmarks in order to gain an understanding of how your medical billing is… Continue Reading

Did You Meet the MIPS October 2nd Deadline?

The Merit-Based Incentive Payment System or MIPS is designed to provide health care providers who have 100 or more Medicare Part B patients or more than $30,000 in Medicare allowables and are a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or certified registered nurse anesthetist with a performance-based payment adjustment to their Medicare payment… Continue Reading

What is Medical Billing?

As a healthcare provider, your goal is to provide your patients with the highest quality of care while getting paid for the services you provide. To ensure you receive compensation for your services, you must have a team of in-house or outsourced medical billing specialists. Medical billing specialists handle the entire medical billing process which… Continue Reading

Physician Billing Services for Hospitals

In order for your hospital to thrive, you must provide your patients with the highest quality of care. It’s also imperative that you put a great deal of time and effort into managing all of the business aspects of your hospital including appointment scheduling, billing, insurance filing, accounts payable, and managing healthcare professionals. Since it… Continue Reading

This Fall it is a Good Idea to Outsource Medical Billing

Fall is officially here and with it cooler temperatures and the threat of flu season. If you are a medical practice that has been contemplating outsourcing medical billing, fall is the perfect time to year to do so. Don’t get me wrong, it is a good Idea to outsource medical billing year round, however fall… Continue Reading

The Importance of a Medical Credentialing Specialist

A medical credentialing specialist works for a group practice, hospital, credentialing agency, or another healthcare organization to ensure that medical professionals are compliant with government credential standards. They are responsible for verifying the legitimacy of health care professionals with universities, licensing agencies, and certification groups. In addition, a medical credentialing specialist maintains a database of… Continue Reading

Medical Billing Outsourcing vs. In House Medical Billing

Medical billing is imperative for medical providers who would like to claim funds that insurance companies owe them for the services that they’ve provided to their patients. In the past, medical billing was typically kept in-house. However, in recent years, many medical facilities have made the wise decision to outsource medical billing for a variety… Continue Reading

Medical Practice Management: What It Is and How We Can Help

As a physician, your job is to treat patients and focus on their health. Unfortunately, your medical practice cannot run itself, and many times physicians get bogged down with administrative tasks. In most cases, physicians hire a practice manager to handle the day-to-day operations of the practice and manage everything from payroll to human resources,… Continue Reading

3 Reasons to Work with a Top Medical Billing Company

If you have made the decision to outsource your medical billing, the next step is vetting companies to determine the one that is best for you. Although there are many medical billing companies out there, from mom-and-pop operations to large corporate powerhouses, you want to work with a top medical billing company. As a business… Continue Reading

Top Medical Billing Companies

What to Look for in Top Medical Billing Companies In recent years, more and more medical practices have made the smart decision to hire a medical billing company to improve their efficiency and increase their profitability. If you are interested in hiring a medical billing company, you will find that you have many options. With… Continue Reading

Problems Facing Optometric Billing

Problems Facing Optometric Billing Optometrists throughout the United States have noted that they are experiencing issues with optometric billing. Fortunately, they have also reported some good news. Fifty six percent of them stated that they enjoyed an increase in eye exams, which is proof that more patients are visiting optometrists for their annual eye exams.… Continue Reading

How to Reduce “No-Shows”

As a medical practice, there are few things more frustrating than “no-shows”. When patients make an appointment, they are expected to show up and show up on time, just like they expect the same out of you. As much as you would like for patients to call and cancel in a timely manner, there are… Continue Reading

The American Health Care Act

With recent leadership changes in the U.S. government, come changes to U.S. Healthcare. During his campaign President Donald Trump promised to repeal or amend the Affordable Care Act, known informally as “Obamacare”. As promised, the American Health Care Act has been drafted as a replacement plan for Obamacare. For many American’s, there is confusion surrounding… Continue Reading

The Danger of Overbilling

As a medical practice, billing errors happen. Although mistakes with billing errors can be common, at times they can also be purposeful. For example, a medical practice may decide to overbill in order to collect higher reimbursements from insurance companies. In order to avoid the repercussions that come with medical billing fraud, it is important… Continue Reading

Mental Health Coding Tips

Are you a primary care provider struggling with mental health coding? If so, you are not alone. Many healthcare providers find coding for mental health services to be challenging, especially since it is not something they specialize in. Below you will find mental health coding tips designed to make your life a little easier. But… Continue Reading

The Secret to Fighting Denials

As a medical practice, there is nothing more frustrating than receiving denials on insurance claims. In order for your practice to grow and thrive it must remain profitable, which means you rely on insurance reimbursements to pay your expenses and your staff. If denials keep occurring, your staff has to spend more time fighting denials… Continue Reading

Reasons Your Practice Would Benefit From a Certified Coder

If your medical practice has a medical billing and coding team in house, it is important you understand what a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) is and what the benefits of having a certified coder on staff are. Just as you wouldn’t trust your medical care to a person without a medical degree, you should not… Continue Reading

Benefits of Medical Staff Training

As a business, your employees are your biggest asset. Just like any asset, you must take care of your employees in order to benefit from their full potential. For this reason, offering medical staff training is imperative to operating a successful medical practice. Providing training allows you to grow and mold your medical staff to… Continue Reading

Top 5 Employee Benefits To Offer Staff

One surefire way to attract talent to your practice is the offer of employee benefits. Employee benefits range from vacation days to health insurance and although some may cost your practice a hefty sum, others are relatively inexpensive to offer. Therefore, it you are struggling to attract and retain talent, taking a look at your… Continue Reading

3 Tips for Patient Collections

Collecting outstanding balances from patients can be a tiring task. As a medical provider, your hope is that your patients pay their bills upon receiving them. However, realistically you know that is not always the case. Maybe your patients have misplaced the bill, are waiting for the funds, or have decided they just don’t want… Continue Reading

5 Characteristics of a Great Medical Billing Specialist

As a physician, you may have a medical billing specialist in-house or you may have outsourced your billing services to a reputable company, such as Applied Medical Systems (AMS). Regardless of where your billing is housed, working with an exceptional medical billing specialist is extremely important. Billing is a crucial part of your business, and… Continue Reading

3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Changing Physician Billing Services

Is your current physicians billing service no longer fulfilling the needs of your thriving practice? Maybe it is their poor customer service that irks you, or even worse, increasing denials. Whatever the reason, you are ready to switch to a billing service that meets all your needs. Unfortunately, you may be worried that making a… Continue Reading

What You Need to Know About Medical Practice Management Consultants

Could your practice benefit from a medical practice management consultant? If you answered no, chances are that is because you are unclear on what a medical practice management consultant could do for your practice. Medical practice management consultants just don’t wear one hat. They offer a variety of services, allowing them to be whatever it… Continue Reading

Saying Goodbye to PQRS and Hello to MIPS in 2017

2017 is bringing about changes in the way physicians and medical practices are reimbursed by insurance companies. Physician Quality Reporting Systems, known in the industry as PQRS, was created by Medicare and Medicaid in 2006. However, in 2017, PQRS has become a part of new Medicare quality reporting program known as the Merit-based Incentive Payment… Continue Reading

Helping Patients Understand Their Health Insurance Coverage

Just like people, healthcare insurance plans come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Even when working with the same insurance company, plans can vary drastically. And let’s be honest, understanding insurance terminology is almost like learning a new language. Terms such as PPO, HSA, and HMO are foreign to most average Americans. That is… Continue Reading

The Top 5 Reasons Medical Claims Are Denied

Let’s face it, receiving reimbursements is an important component in keeping your practice up and running. You need these funds to pay staff, purchase supplies, and treat patients. For these reasons and more it can be frustrating when a claim is denied. Unfortunately, denials can make up to 30% or more of a practice’s billing.… Continue Reading

Changing EHRs: Is It Worth It?

Is your EHR difficult to use? Is it slow? Is it time consuming? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it may be time to consider switching EHR companies. Specifically if you adopted an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system back when they were a relatively new technology, you may be missing out on… Continue Reading

Outsourcing Medical Practice Services

Like any business, when you are running a medical practice you are interested in recognizing the most profits. At times, this requires eliminating costs, such as outsourcing medical billing to save on salary expenses, technology costs, and the like. Although medical billing is a surefire way to increase the profitability of your medical practice, there… Continue Reading

6 Tips For Coding Medical Complications

The introduction of ICD-10 brought extensive changes to healthcare coding including the introduction of thousands of new codes, many of which providers are still getting comfortable with. One area that providers have found particularly challenging is the coding of medical complications. Although ICD-10 has made it easier to code complications through the elimination of separate… Continue Reading

3 Practice Management Resolutions for 2017

Each new year brings the opportunity to reflect back on the previous year and outline successes and areas of improvement for your medical practice. From this reflection comes ideas and resolutions on how to better manage your practice in the new year. If your medical practice management resolution for 2017 is to increase profits, Applied… Continue Reading

What You Need To Know About Medical Credentialing

As a medical professional, medical credentialing is most likely a topic you hear of often. Medical Credentialing is a method used to assess the qualifications and practice history of a doctor. This systematic, in-depth, and time-consuming process also includes the process of becoming associated with insurance companies (also known as provider enrollment) so that you… Continue Reading

The Gift of Private Medical Practice

This holiday season, give yourself the gift of private practice. You have worked hard all year long and deserve to treat yourself with something nice. If you have been dreaming of opening your own practice, purchasing an existing practice, or growing your already established practice, now is the time to act. Applied Medical Systems (AMS)… Continue Reading

Ambulatory Surgery Center Coding: No Room For Errors

Ambulatory Surgery Centers, known in the medical community as ASCs, are healthcare facilities that focus on outpatient (same day) surgical care. In 1970, the first ambulatory surgery center, coined Surgicenter, opened its door with five doctors performing surgery on opening day. Up until that time, all surgeries were performed in the hospital, which resulted in… Continue Reading

ICD-11 2017 Changes: What to Expect

It seems like just yesterday that the release of ICD-10 rocked the medical industry. As a medical professional, when the October 1st, 2015 implementation deadline came and went, you most likely breathed a sigh of relief that you survived the implementation. However, soon after, the realization set in: you had to learn to navigate the… Continue Reading

Physician Compensation Models: A Shift in Focus

With all the changes in healthcare that have taken place in recent years, there is one more to add to the list: physician compensation models. That’s right, insurance companies, such as Medicare, are changing the way they compensate medical practices for services provided. Insurance reimbursements for medical practices come from three main sources: Medicaid, Medicare,… Continue Reading

The Secret to Sports Physical Coding

There are many unanswered questions in this world. Why is the sky blue? Why is the grass green? Why does CPT (current procedural terminology) not have a sports physical code? If you find yourself stumped over the last question, you are not alone. With millions of students participating in school sports each year, and likely… Continue Reading

The Importance of Patient Demographics

As a medical provider, you understand the struggle that comes with collecting timely payments on outstanding patient bills. Once the insurance provider has made their adjustments and a bill is sent to the patient, you may be left waiting for months on end for a payment to arrive. You pick up the phone to call… Continue Reading

Get Paid Faster with AMS

                      If you have been toying with the idea of outsourcing your medical billing, you have come to the right place. At Applied Medical Solutions (AMS), we treat all our clients like family and truly care about your success. That is why we work diligently… Continue Reading

5 Reasons to Outsource Your Medical Billing

                            The medical industry is constantly changing and evolving, and with these changes come more regulations surrounding medical billing. If you are searching for reasons why you should outsource your medical billing, look no further. We have compiled the top 5 reasons… Continue Reading

How to Hire Exceptional Medical Office Staff

One of the most overlooked essentials for any healthcare organization is hiring high-quality medical office staff that leave your patients with good first impressions and keep your practice running smoothly. In order to hire the very best staff members for your medical office, you must understand what skills are vital for each position. Additionally, you… Continue Reading

You Still Control Your Medical Billing Services

Medical practices are often faced with the question of whether outsourcing medical billing services makes sense. Outsourcing medical billing offers many benefits that are not usually seen when medical organizations decide to keep their medical billing services in-house. Here at Applied Medical Systems, we work with a wide variety of medical facilities that use our… Continue Reading

Common Medical Billing and Coding Errors

  Upcoding Upcoding occurs when a medical billing code is incorrectly used to reflect a diagnosis or treatment that is more severe. It is imperative that only codes that are supported by the documentation for the visit. Too often upcoding occurs when the physician  “feels” that a service was worthy of a certain code but… Continue Reading

How a Medical Billing Company and Medical Practice Collaborate

  If you’re interested in hiring a company like Applied Medical Systems to take care of your medical billing and coding, it’s important to understand how a medical billing company and medical practice collaborate. While outsourcing medical billing will save you time, money, and errors, you will still be a part of the process. In… Continue Reading

Can Medical Billing Services Really Save Me Money?

Can Medical Billing Services Really Save Me Money? Due to insurance industry inconsistencies and continuously changing regulations, medical billing has become increasingly complex. In order for medical facilities to achieve a properly functioning cash flow, these complexities must be navigated in a timely and efficient manner. Insufficiently trained staff, inefficient methods of billing, and regular… Continue Reading

How Does Medical Billing and Coding Work?

When a patient undergoes a procedure or medical exam, the medical facility will collaborate with the patient and his or her insurance company for claims. The medical biller will submit the claims in order to collect payment for the services provided by the healthcare practice. Claim submission involves learning a large amount of claims that… Continue Reading

What’s new for Optometrists in 2016

2015 brought big changes for optometrists with regards to PQRS (the Physician’s Quality Reporting System). (See our 2015 blog here.) The number of measures jumped from three to nine, and ICD-10 also served to make reporting even more exacting. 2016 looks much the same in terms of measures and penalties, but there have been changes… Continue Reading

Should You Outsource? Three Questions to Ask Yourself

Outsourcing medical billing and coding is a practical option for many healthcare organizations. If you’re wondering whether or not it makes financial sense for your medical practice to outsource these services, you should ask yourself a few questions to gain a better understanding of the current state your facility is in and what needs to… Continue Reading

Relieve Headaches by Outsourcing Medical Billing Services

If you are in charge of managing a healthcare organization, it may seem like your duties are never-ending. By being held accountable for such a diverse array of tasks, you may find yourself stressed out or overwhelmed. The way to alleviate some of these stressors is to take some responsibilities off your plate. Outsourcing medical… Continue Reading

5 Medical Billing Tips to Improve Collections

A successful and profitable medical practice is not possible without efficient medical billing and collection processes. However, each year it becomes more challenging to collect payment from both patients and insurance companies. This is mainly because of rising documentation requirements and an increasing amount of patients that are responsible for a portion of their medical… Continue Reading

Benefits of Transcription Outsourcing

Transcription Outsourcing Transcription outsourcing can help you maximize your practice’s revenue and improve its overall efficiency.Your main role as a healthcare professional should be to provide each and every patient with top-notch medical services. Therefore, focusing on the business aspect of your practice to determine whether or not insurance has paid you for your services… Continue Reading

Optimize Medical Billing With Office Managers In Mind

A medical office manager is one of the most important individuals in a healthcare facility. While medical professionals are busy caring for patients, office managers help optimize medical billing and insurance, supervising the staff of the practice, handling patient complaints, overseeing bookkeeping and finances, and more. An organized, detail-oriented office manager with excellent time management and leadership… Continue Reading

Improve Medical Practice Reputation With Medical Billing

Improve Medical Practice Reputation Selecting the right medical billing company to provide you with dependable medical billing services can greatly improve medical practice reputation and the way your patient’s view your practice. Medical facilities that decide to outsource medical billing services must find a company that delivers the most efficient and reliable service possible. After all,… Continue Reading

Ways to Ensure HIPAA Compliance

Ways to Ensure HIPAA Compliance The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was developed to protect health insurance coverage for employees and their families when they lose or change jobs, so it’s critical for providers to find effective ways to ensure HIPAA compliance. Healthcare providers that handle any electronic medical data must ensure that… Continue Reading

When Should You Outsource Medical Billing?

Determining whether or not to outsource medical billing services can be tough for many medical facilities. However, it’s an important decision to make as it can impact the efficiency of a practice. Here at Applied Medical Systems, we specialize in medical billing services and have helped countless healthcare providers save money, reduce errors, ensure compliance,… Continue Reading

What the ICD-10 Codes Transition Means for Medical Billing & Coding

On October 1st, 2015, the United States government mandated a shift from the ICD-9 coding system to the ICD-10 codes system that that has been used in almost every country in the world except for the United States.  This change will increase the number of codes from 20,000 to over 155,000. Therefore, healthcare providers will… Continue Reading

Why Outsource Medical Billing?

  Your private medical practice has probably considered outsourcing medical billing at some point in time. Covering medical billing in-house can take up your valuable time dealing with insurance companies and attempting to comply with HIPAA requirements. These time-constraints can also affect your practice’s profits. Smaller practices in particular are bogged down with increasingly complicated… Continue Reading

How ICD-10 Changes Optometry Coding and Billing

  The ICD-10 transition is coming on October 1st! The time will fly by as you try to prepare your practice for this major change in the medical industry. Is your optometry practice prepared? Read up on our list of changes regarding optometry coding and billing as the ICD-10 transition comes. What to Expect for… Continue Reading

4 Reasons Why Your Medical Revenue Isn’t Being Optimized

Revenue from a medical patient is not collected immediately after an appointment is done and the patient walks out the door. Unfortunately, getting paid for a medical service is not so simple. The process starts from the moment a patient comes into contact with your practice, to the moment the service is completely paid. Mistakes… Continue Reading

4 Challenges Payer Influence Creates for Medical Practice Management

Third-party payers have been increasingly wedging in between the patient and doctor relationship for the past 10-15 years. Overhead costs and fewer reimbursements from payers are making it more and more difficult for providers to cover expenses. Payer influence can lead to a lack of proper revenue cycle management, among other issues. As payers gather… Continue Reading

Implementing a New Coding System? You May Have Protection

During their annual meeting in June, the American Medical Association (AMA) voted in favor for a 2-year grace period for practices rolling out new medical coding systems. As you may have heard, the ICD-10 transition, which will work with Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement and is intended to document and code patient care with profound detail,… Continue Reading

Optometry Billing Mistakes, Legal Cases and Audits

Over the past couple of years optometry billing mistakes and blatant fraud have become more and more common. Last year an Oklahoma optometrist was being sued by the state after his business wrongfully received over $1 million because of fraudulent billing. This year an optometrist from Kentucky has settled to pay the federal government $800,000… Continue Reading

4 Key Components of Medical Revenue Cycle Management

Revenue cycle management in a medical practice or facility usually requires the involvement of much of the practice’s staff. Revenue cycle management can get very confusing and unorganized, especially in today’s healthcare world. The Affordable Care Act and upcoming ICD-10 codes are going to add steps and compliance oversight to the already confusing revenue cycle… Continue Reading

ICD-10 Transition Closing In!

ICD-10 is just around the corner. In October of this year, things are going to get hectic! The ICD-10 transition will result in an increase of about 55,000 codes – a huge challenge for any medical practice. EMRs and new quality metrics from the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality are adding to what… Continue Reading

7 Essential Medical Billing Tips

Is your medical billing causing you a headache? Looking for ways to streamline the process? Here are 7 essential medical billing tips that you need to know about… Start at the beginning! Step back and take a big picture look of your current situation. Take the time to analyze whether your current billing system is… Continue Reading

Electronic Health Records on your Watch?!

Imagine the headache of keeping track of patient medical records. It used to be all paper, then it moved to computer files and paper, now electronic health records (EHR) have made it possible for everything to be digital. Now it is even possible for doctors to gain access to EHR information directly on their wrists.… Continue Reading

ACA Effects on Healthcare Compliance and the Medical Industry

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has changed the landscape of healthcare compliance within the medical industry. The ACA regulations being implemented for medical providers across the country cover a broad range of healthcare operations, but demand strict standards in each individual segment. This has already changed and will continue to change the internal workings of… Continue Reading

4 Common Medical Practice Management Roadblocks

There are many things that can get in the way of running an efficient and helpful medical practice, most of which have very little to do with practicing medicine. As a physician, you want to treat your patients, do your part to make sure the practice runs smoothly, and to be able to trust that… Continue Reading

Michelle Durner Elected to HBMA Board

Press Release: HBMA Elects Durner to Board of Directors Healthcare Billing and Management Association (HBMA) members have elected Applied Medical System‘s president Michelle Durner to the HBMA Board of Directors. Durner was elected to serve a three year term that began on January 1, 2015. The HBMA Nominations Committee selected Durner as one of four candidates… Continue Reading

Medical Billers and Coders- What do they do? Why the demand?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the medical records and health information technician job category is expected to increase 22 percent by 2022. Medical billers and coders fall into this category and their numbers are expected to increase as well. The question is, “Why are these medical biller and coder jobs expected to… Continue Reading

What Optometrists Need to be Aware of in 2015

Big changes are afoot in the world of PQRS for Optometrists, among others. It’s important to be aware of the government’s reporting requirements in order to avoid penalties.   What is PQRS? Physician’s Quality Reporting System. This system was created by CMS to “promote reporting of quality information” by Medicare providers.   Do I have… Continue Reading

Michelle Durner Receives Healthcare Management Award

Press Release: Michelle Durner receives the J. Dennis Mock Award   Applied Medical Systems is proud to announce our very own president, Michelle L. Durner, CHBME, received the J. Dennis Mock Award at the Healthcare Billing and Management Association (HBMA) Fall Annual Conference this past September in Las Vegas, NV. Healthcare Management Distinction The J. Dennis… Continue Reading

$125 Billion Lost on Medical Billing Errors

Billing Errors Everywhere! It is estimated that $125 billion is left on the table by doctors in the U.S. every year. This money is either lost or ignored because of poor medical billing practices. Medical billing errors are so prevalent, in fact, that around 80% of medical bills are estimated to contain errors. As medical… Continue Reading

New Medical Practice Management Accreditation

The Changing Landscape of Medical Practice Management Healthcare practices rely on Practice Management Systems (PMS) to keep practices organized, revenue cycles operating smoothly and medical records up-to-date and available. Practices use EHR or other practice management systems provided by outside vendors to keep administrative practice tasks taken care of. It has been hard for practices… Continue Reading

5 Tips for ICD-10 Transition

ICD-10 has been delayed again. The Department of Health and Human Services will not be allowed to adopt the ICD-10 codes until October 1, 2015. The medical industry and physicians around the nation have been having trouble preparing for this new set of medical standards for a while now. As a physician, you might be… Continue Reading

EHR Networks in the Future

There is no denying that electronic health records (EHR) have taken over. It has created a convenience for patients and cured a lot of management headaches for physicians. Now the nation seems to be trending towards an even more fluid way to manage health records for hospitals and practices. EHR networks are starting to be… Continue Reading

What does your optometry coding look like?

As an optometrist, you might have a demanding schedule, numerous appointments in the morning and walk-ins in the afternoon. Your office might be under-staffed with your employees taking on numerous tasks, while organization and performance is suffering because you are spread too thin. Then you can’t even begin to think about the abyss that is… Continue Reading

Value Add Services, What are the Benefits?

What is a Value Add Service? A value add service, by definition, is when you take a homogenous product or service and enhance it with more features or benefits. A simple example of this would be providing a car-buyer with a 10-year warranty. These extra benefits differentiate companies, brands, products, and services in the eyes… Continue Reading

Optometry Billing

Now that you have set up your optometry practice you have discovered that your medical training neglected a very important factor. It did not train you in medical billing. Insurance is a business and it has become a complex business as well. Incorrect coding of your patient visits can result in lower reimbursement rates or… Continue Reading

What Medical Billing Companies Can Do for You

You chose medicine as a career because you wanted to help people and of course, earn a living. In medical school you learned all that you needed to know to be able to diagnose your patient’s health problems and formulate a treatment plan that would heal them. When you graduated you were certain that you… Continue Reading

Physician Billing Services that Help Your Reputation

When you are choosing physician billing services to help your practice handle its billing efficiently, the goal is for your patients to think that you and the billing service are one in the same. What good would it do for your patients to be aware that the person that they are talking to or questioning… Continue Reading

Medical Coding Services Save You More Than Money

As a medical practice, in addition to providing stellar medical care comes the need to use your resources wisely. Among the many resources required are time, money and plenty of staff. Because these resources are not unlimited, sometimes using outsourced medical coding services help to cut down on the need for these resources. This will… Continue Reading

Optometry Coding Differences In Eye Codes & E/M Codes

Optometry Coding Differences Optometrists have their hands full when it comes to billing because of the complex nature of procedure optometry coding. Not only are there a large number of codes available, there are two different types of codes to choose from before getting into the specifics. Evaluation and Management codes, otherwise known as E/M… Continue Reading

How ICD-10 Will Change the Superbill for Optometry Coding

Optometry Coding Changes ICD-10 is coming and optometrists everywhere need to be prepared for changes in optometry coding. Perhaps the largest area of concern is the superbill that most of us have become so comfortable with using. ICD-9 made it possible to squeeze every diagnosis into one page, making it easy for eye doctors to… Continue Reading

Physician Billing Services and the Benefits for Optometrists

Optometry has its own set of specifics that must be adhered to when it comes to charting and billing. If you risk hiring a billing service not specifically experienced with billing for optometry, your revenue cycle could be at risk. If dealing with delayed payments, denied claims and hours of resulting headaches, outsourcing your physician… Continue Reading

Practice Expanding? Outsourced Medical Billing Can Help

Expanding your medical business is exciting and overwhelming at the same time. As your patient load increases, your extra time dwindles away before your eyes. Before you know it you are burning the candle at both ends and find that your medical billing and medical coding are a disaster. Before you let this situation become… Continue Reading

ICD 10 and Medical Practice Management

What will tomorrow hold? In the healthcare industry, this answer could continually change. As we graduate from ICD-9 to ICD-10 so much seems uncertain. Everyone is walking on pins and needles trying to figure out which end is up as well as trying to determine how to give patients the level of care that they… Continue Reading

The Business Side of Medicine

Patients are complaining about doctors who hardly have enough time to talk to them; but physicians have a reason to complain too. They feel that the odds are against them, and would give an arm and a leg to avoid administrative and financial hassles. Physicians’ undergraduate degrees are most likely in biology, not business. Medical… Continue Reading

ICD-10 Codes and Denial Management

The transition from ICD-9 codes to ICD-10 codes presents a huge challenge for medical billers and physicians’ revenues. The staggering number of additional codes makes the learning process complex. Moreover, the scope for error increases which is intensified by a harder denial management process. Insurers have an opportunity to target the bigger volume of ICD-10… Continue Reading

Are you compromising integrity on your EMRs?

You’ve heard the saying “Everything in moderation”. Sure, “copy and paste” is a great time saver when creating a patient note, but at what cost? Is it worth the risk of inaccuracy? EMR “copy and paste” is a largely discussed issue within the healthcare world today; much of which is negative. We would like to… Continue Reading

How Can a Physician Billing Service Company Help to Maximize Revenue

Physicians are constantly looking for a reasonably priced way to reduce the cost of their taxing but critical administrative work. So it has become quite common to employ a medical billing company to handle the cumbersome revenue cycle. So, how can a physician billing service company help to maximize revenue? Outsourcing to a physician billing… Continue Reading

Vital Consent Forms for Documentation of In Office Procedures

A patient comes in for a short follow-up appointment and the visit turns into a laundry list of issues and complaints. Extra tests and procedures are needed. Sound familiar? What protocol does your office follow regarding informed consent? Regardless of what you currently do, make sure there is documentation involved! There is no question that… Continue Reading

Times Are Changing: How to Make Your Practice Work Smarter Not Harder

It’s more difficult than ever to operate a lucrative medical practice – reimbursements are decreasing while overhead is increasing, insurance companies are becoming progressively difficult to deal with, and yet doctors are working harder than ever. With little that can be done to change this, the best resolution for medical practices is to acclimate. In… Continue Reading

Outside Medical Coding Companies vs. In-house Medical Coders

There are certain requirements that your practice just can’t avoid. Of these, medical coding is arguably the most crucial. There are two options to meet the demanding standards that your practice upholds: one is to hire a medical coder, the second is to hire a medical coding company. Hiring in-house medical coders is not affordable… Continue Reading

Need Medical Billing Help? Use a Physician Billing Service

The loss of a key employee, a backlog of old AR, practice growth, expanding or opening a new office locations, current physician billing service problems or a desire to increase cash flow can all lead to a practice needing some extra hands when it comes to their medical billing. In these types of situations it… Continue Reading

The OIG – Segment I: The Importance of Proper Physician Billing

What is the OIG? The Office of the Inspector General, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services, was established in 1976 in order to combat waste, fraud, and abuse within Medicare, Medicaid, and other government services. This includes the evaluation of proper physician billing as to avoid overspending. Why is this important?… Continue Reading

Do you share goals with your current medical billing solution?

Outsourcing medical billing to the right medical billing company is essential in ensuring you both share the same goals and are motivated to maximize revenues. Almost all medical billing companies are paid a percentage of what they collect, meaning they get paid when you do. It also means the more they collect for your practice,… Continue Reading

Spending Too Much Time With Paperwork Instead of Patients?

With or without a practice manager, keeping your practice in tip top shape is a challenging and time consuming job.  The list of tasks is extensive and the resources it takes to accomplish them is just as massive.  Financing the team in house to stay on top of that list is not always economical, which… Continue Reading

OIG Hot Topics Segment II – Medicare Parts A & B

(If you missed the first segment of our OIG running blog, click here.) The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has published a list of new and continuing points of focus with respect to Medicare claims filing. The entire OIG Work Plan for 2013 can be found here: The following is a very small… Continue Reading

The OIG – Segment I: An Introduction

What is the OIG? The Office of the Inspector General, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services, was established in 1976 in order to combat waste, fraud, and abuse within Medicare, Medicaid, and other government services. Why is this important? Theft and waste of government money hurts- it hurts the beneficiaries who… Continue Reading

How your practice can prepare for ICD-10 coding updates

ICD-10 coding updates Preparation Now is the time to organize and plan for a huge change in ICD-10 coding updates in healthcare; the transition from ICD-9 medical coding to ICD-10 requires much preparation. Preparing well in advance is necessary since the US Department of Health and Human Services is unyielding on the deadline, with no… Continue Reading

Top 3 Ways a Medical Coding Company Saves Practices Money

Making your medical practice as efficient and cost effective as possible is a constant concern. Finding ways to lower overhead costs, while maintaining a desired level of professionalism and patient care is no easy task. A simple solution to this consistent battle is to outsource your practice’s medical billing and coding needs. The top three… Continue Reading

8 Tips That Help Practices Avoid Claim Denial

How Medical Practices Can Avoid Claim Denial One in five claims are initially denied. Denials might get worked and refiled but you’re wasting time and money in the process. For most physician offices there will be some claim denials that fall through the cracks and are never corrected and refiled, resulting in the in the… Continue Reading

3 Hidden Costs of Employee Turnover

There are obvious costs associated with the loss of an employee – recruitment, training and salary. Normal calculations put the average cost at 150% of the employee’s annual compensation figure. That’s a big number! However, every time an employee leaves, there are numerous “hidden costs” that many never consider and, while not as obvious, still… Continue Reading

Quick & Relatively Painless Security Fixes

Over the past 10 years we have been in numerous physician offices to work on computer systems. Most of these were small offices — two or three providers, and no on-site IT support. More often than not, within five minutes of arriving we would find system security issues capable of posing serious consequences for the… Continue Reading

Once Immune, Medical Transcription Work Heads Overseas

From Original article link here Companies are taking advantage of the benefits of a foreign labor force to outsource medical transcription work BY ANNE KRISHNAN, The Herald-Sun, November 13, 2004 BANGALORE, India — Nine time zones away from Cisco Systems’ campus in Research Triangle Park, Sekhar Reddy leads a 40-person team that’s creating next-generation mobile… Continue Reading

Medical Bill Collections: How Far Should Doctors Go?

With hospitals in the hot seat for aggressive medical bill collections, now is a good time for physicians to review how they deal with unpaid patient bills. By Katherine Vogt, AMNews staff. Sept. 27, 2004. Some stories about medical bill collections resonate like well-spun Hollywood scripts. The victims are everyday people who are arrested, forced… Continue Reading

Practicing Small Potatoes

Practicing Small Potatoes By Rachel M. Mitchell, CPC-H The word is out that small practices typically think that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will never audit them. Our consultants have even heard “I am small potatoes, they will never look at me”. This kind of thinking is exactly what caused two physicians… Continue Reading

Keeping a Healthy Financial Practice

Keeping a Healthy Financial Practice By Rachel M. Mitchell, CPC-H Are there ever days when you feel that you are treating twice the number of patients than you have previous years but collecting less? With reimbursement levels decreasing physicians must increase productivity to make ends meet. You may be driven out of practicing medicine if… Continue Reading

Minimizing The Risk Of An Audit

Minimizing The Risk Of An Audit By Rachel M. Mitchell, CPC-H Avoiding an audit is not difficult when you consider the number of audits there are in relation to the number of physicians and practitioners submitting claims. According to various medical publications the number of audits will increase in the near future. However, the good… Continue Reading

How Well Do You Know Your Managed Care Contracts

How Well Do You Know Your Managed Care Contracts By Rachel M. Mitchell, CPC-H and Michelle Durner, CPA Will Medicare drop rates again? Practitioners are on edge with the anticipation of the final ruling and at the moment it appears that the senate has slowed this process down. How long will the 4.4% rate reduction… Continue Reading

Conquering the Confusion of Coding Wound Repairs

Conquering the Confusion of Coding Wound Repairs By Rachel M. Mitchell, CPC-H Coding wound repairs often becomes cumbersome when trying to establish the difference between simple versus intermediate and complex repairs. These minor procedures are listed in the Current Procedural Terminology book by both anatomical site and wound length. Simple repair is defined as superficial… Continue Reading

HIPAA In The Small Practice

HIPAA In The Small Practice – Figuring Out The Minimum Requirements Small practices are struggling to find ways to comply with HIPAA regulations without restructuring their current procedures. One benefit of being a small practice is that if your office has less then 10 full time employees, you may be excluded from the standardization of… Continue Reading

Benefits of Contracting With An Outside Billing Company

Have there been months when the collectible amounts within your practice have been low? Months when your reimbursement for services rendered cannot keep pace with your expenses? If so, then you are not alone. In a system dominated by HMO’s and PPO’s it often requires a great deal of effort and expertise to collect what… Continue Reading

The Importance of Physician and Medical Coder Communication

The Importance of Physician and Medical Coder Communication By Rachel M. Mitchell, CPC-H Interaction between a physician and medical coder is a significant aspect of medical claims processing. It is important that both parties exhibit a mutual respect for each other’s skills and expertise. A coder should be comfortable advising a physician on medical documentation… Continue Reading

Billing Wake-Up Call

Billing Wake-Up Call  By Rachel M. Mitchell, CPC-H What will it take to convince physicians and practice administrators that efficient medical billing requires a staff with experience? Throughout my years of being a professional coding and billing consultant/manager, it has been my experience that the billing departments in medical practices are viewed as inessential. Even… Continue Reading

Preventative Medicine vs. Evaluation and Management Codes

Preventative Medicine vs. Evaluation and Management Codes By Rachel M. Mitchell, CPC-H Choosing a proper office visit code can become confusing unless one understands the rules separating preventative medicine and evaluation and management coding. Preventative medicine codes are meant only for the reporting of asymptomatic patients. In order to assign a preventative code, a comprehensive… Continue Reading

Brand Aid

Brand Aid By Bob Violino   Even Starbucks started small. A strong brand identity is essential for success, no matter what size your business. Was it Shakespeare who asked, “What’s in a name?” The Bard never had the opportunity to jog in Nike running shoes, ride a Harley through the streets of Stratford or kick… Continue Reading

An Investment You Can Trust

An Investment You Can Trust By Michelle Durner, Special to Company leaders must constantly evaluate the ROI on system-wide programs and initiatives. Things that were once considered simply a good business practice, like community and philanthropic involvement, are today considered an investment.  After all, in business, what is more valuable than your time and money?  Yet,… Continue Reading