Thought Leadership Interview: Karen Blanchette of PAHCOM

Thought Leadership Interview: Karen Blanchette of PAHCOM

Karen Blanchette is the Association Director at The Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM), managing membership, education, access to networks and resources, and medical office manager professional development nationally. We recently reached out to Karen to get a better understanding of the challenges facing managers of small medical practices today and the resources available to them. Here’s what she had to say: Tell us about PAHCOM. When and why was your organization started? PAHCOM was established in January...

Build a Stronger Medical Practice With the Use of Data

For a small practice, the idea of introducing data measurements to improve profitability may not seem like an affordable idea. But if your practice can make more money by engaging in data management, then the end result would seem to justify the added expense. Economics experts always say that the profitability is in the numbers and that holds true for medical practice billing as well. By using data and measuring important metrics, a small practice can improve performance and increase...

Practice Management and Requests for Patient Health Information

With all of the worries about identity theft these days, it’s more important than ever for business owners to protect customer data, but in the healthcare field, this concern becomes even more serious. On top of the potential for patient data loss or breach, HIPPA laws govern what and how a medical practice must keep and manage such information, and a simple loss or breach of data can end up costing a medical practitioner dearly. In fact, a singular instance...

Medical Billing Alert: CMS Adds Telehealth Codes

Physicians and medical billers will want to take note of a new CPT code (99490) that allows providers to bill Medicare a monthly unadjusted non-facility fee of $42.60 for remote chronic care management. CPT code 99091 lets providers bill $56.92 for remote patient monitoring of chronic conditions. In the past, Medicare did not pay separately for these services, so providers usually bundled them under the evaluation and management code. The new codes were part of a final ruledocument released by...

EHRs: Shorten the Time to Positive ROI in Your Medical Practice

In a study of 17 primary-care clinics, Canadian researchers found that providers were able to achieve positive ROI on their EHR investment within 10 months, on average. The main reason was an increase in the number of patients each clinician could see after the EHR implementation—a 27% increase in the active-patients-to-clinician ratio. Of course, provider experiences with EHRs vary greatly. Both the US and Canada have seen incredible successes and spectacular failures, with some practices going so far as to...

Docs: Are You Hiring PAs and NPs Illegally in Your Medical Practice?

As medical practices continue to grow, more and more physicians are finding the need to employ physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs). Hospitals are following the trend and adding non-physician providers to their staff. The need to efficiently provide care to more patients in a day requires more than running an advertisement and hiring the person who appears to be the most personable and qualified. Many other factors need to be considered. Be certain the rules of the specific...

Living Versus Irrevocable Trusts: What Docs Should Know

Trusts can be among the most significant components of a physician’s financial and estate planning, but not everyone understands them or how they can affect a medical practice. A revocable living trust is a set of assets that you can add to or take away from while you are alive. Living trusts have several important distinctions compared to irrevocable trusts. All trusts involve two main parties: the trustee (or trustees) and the trust beneficiaries. Trustees have the authority to use...

Physicians and Stolen Tax Returns: Avoiding Medical Practice Fraud

Physicians are not normally the segment of the population that comes to mind when one thinks of filing fraudulent tax returns. During this year’s tax season that culminates on October 15, 2014 for those who filed for extensions for turning in their tax returns, some physicians in Texas are realizing that they are in the midst of a scheme. Filers of bogus tax returns aim to defraud the federal government out of millions of dollars. Since June, physicians in Texas...

Where Does Your Practice Fall On The Medical Billing Risk Matrix?

Where does your medical practice fall on the Medical Billing Risk Matrix? Are you achieving preset revenue benchmarks on a regular basis? Additionally, can any practice afford not to have RCM Best Practices in place – managed by an experienced billing staff who utilizes advanced cloud software that features proactive RCM controls? Understanding where you are at risk can help you make the needed decisions to achieve peak revenue performance for your practice. A walk through the matrix will show...

Stopping Time Theft in Your Medical Practice

Medical office personnel know it is stealing to take home paper, ink cartridges or other supplies from the office. Unfortunately, the employees often do not consider it stealing from the medical practice when they spend work time making personal telephone calls, texting, checking their email, Facebook account or involving themselves in other social media. Surfing the Internet on the office computer while supposedly working is time theft in your medical practice. Dr. Joseph Eastern, a dermatologist from New Jersey, recently...

Boost Medical Practice Revenue with Technology and Human Resources

We understand the challenges facing private providers – shrinking reimbursement rates, increasing compliance mandates and an influx of newly insured patients, some who haven’t seen a physician in years. Naturally, these challenges have some practice managers struggling to find ways to boost revenue, or at least slow down the declining profit margin. Professional practice consultants, like Rosemarie Nelson (Medical Group Management Health Care Consulting Group), encourage clinicians to invest time and effort scrutinizing their processes and technology to find ways...

Selling Your Medical Practice? Do These Things…

Legal experts advice physicians to start preparing for the sale of their practice several years in advance. Careful planning ensures accurate valuations so that physicians are not compelled to sell their practice during unfavorable market trends. Retaining a team of professional appraisers, accountants and attorneys who specialize in medical practice transactions is also advisable. Entities that commonly express interest in purchasing a practice include other physicians, larger group practices wanting to expand and hospitals. As you prepare to sell your...