Christine Hradsky No Comments

Tread Carefully When Renting Space

Medical fraud

Office spaces being rented between physicians and medical suppliers are getting more attention for potentially fraudulent activity and kickbacks.

As you know, medical practitioners are subject to a federal law that makes it a felony to influence the referral of federal health care business, including Medicare and Medicaid.

For example, if a physician refers a patient to a specialist and receives part of the specialist’s Medicare payment in exchange, the doctor has committed a felony under the Anti-Kickback Statute and could be subject to criminal and civil charges. The physician could also be excluded from Medicare and other federally funded health care programs. Read more

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Use Eight Strategies to Improve Self-Pay Patient Collections

Patient CollectionsWith the increase in health plans requiring members to pay for all or part of their office visits, practices are faced with the challenge of asking patients for full payment. This can be upsetting for the patients and uncomfortable for staff members. Here are eight strategies for improving collections, including preparing for time-of-service collections, setting up prompt-pay discounts and showing staff how to interact with patients. Read more

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Conduct an Effective Year-End Review

Year-End Review

Year-end meetings are a good time to evaluate organizational finances, structure, and operations.

Like any well-run business, a medical practice needs to step back periodically and try to get a bird’s-eye view of where it has been and where it is going. A good time to perform such a review is at the end of the calendar year. Go into the meeting with a plan, prepared to focus on three critical areas: corporate, financial and operational planning.

It is helpful to have a trusted adviser, such as your accountant, facilitate the meeting. An adviser who knows your practice can keep the agenda focused on the business issues, diffuse tense emotions and provide insight based on experience with other medical offices. Read more

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Selecting Malpractice Coverage and Evaluating Carriers

malpractice coverage

Selecting the terms of medical malpractice coverage is a complex, critical task, as is evaluating insurance carriers.

Medical malpractice insurance isn’t just a requirement — it’s also a major practice expense. Selecting the terms of coverage is a complex, critical task, as is evaluating insurance carriers. In fact, the future of the practice and the reputation of physicians may rest in the balance. Read more

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A Buy-Sell Agreement Can Protect Your Practice and Minimize Disputes

Buy-Sell Agreements

When healthcare practices bring on new physicians, it’s important to make sure they sign buy-sell agreements to protect the practice from disputes.

In the wake of health care reform, you might find your practice inundated with new patients. With the extra workload, you might want to hire one or more physicians to help out.

If so, and if these physicians intend to take an ownership share of your practice, make sure each one signs a buy-sell agreement. Reason: It can safeguard your practice from disgruntled doctors and minimize disputes should they arise. Read more

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A Clear Policy Improves Billing Results

Billing

Medical practices are always looking to speed up third-party payments and keep patients’ accounts current. Here are some ways to make your practice’s billing procedures more efficient to improve cash flow.

You may have heard about the Vermont doctor who was fed up with the way medicine is practiced today and opened an office she calls “Simply Medicine.” The sole practitioner doesn’t accept insurance. Her fee is listed on a board in the waiting room: $2 a minute for labor, plus the cost of supplies. Read more

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Tips on the Medicare Appeals Process

Medicare Appeals

It’s frustrating to have Medicare claims denied — and it happens to almost all physicians from time to time. To successfully appeal claims that have been denied, you need to understand the process.

Nearly every physician has claims denied from time to time. Medicare, as a government program, has its own way of doing things. As you know, the process is different from insurance companies, which also have their own way of handling claims.  Read more

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A Dozen Provisions to Include in Physician Employment Contracts

Physician Employment Contracts

A written physician employment agreement can ensure each physician understands and is comfortable with the contract provisions. Here are 12 common provisions to consider including in a practice’s contracts.

When it’s time to negotiate or renegotiate a physician’s employment contract, there are critical issues that must be understood and settled. The fulfillment and career potential of the phsician and the success of the practice depend on it. Read more

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Facing a HIPAA Audit: What to Know

HIPAA Audit

Since the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) was passed, the Department of Health and Human Services has been supplied with a range of tools to support enforcement.

Early in the history of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), violations typically involved receiving a warning letter from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It was basically toothless and carried no penalties. In 2009, Congress passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), which supplied the government with a range of tools to support enforcement. In short, HIPAA grew fangs. Read more

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What Tax Reform Means For Healthcare Entities: For-Profit & Non-Profit

HEALTHCARE EntitiesOn Dec. 22, 2017, President Trump signed sweeping tax reform, formerly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, into law, marking the largest change to U.S. tax policy in decades.

What changes are coming for healthcare companies?

To help organizations navigate the issues most impactful and urgent to the healthcare industry, we’ve prepared a summary of the major implications based on the signed legislation. Read more