ICD-10: Got Questions? CMS Has Answers (Or At Least A Forum)

August 26th, 2010 by Joann Doan

We at Kareo were pleased to be invited to participate in a phone conference with the American Medical Billing Association (AMBA) yesterday on ICD-10 and its implementation. We were the only software vendor represented, and found that many members had a lot of questions on ICD-10 and when they would be able to test.

Like many of you, Kareo is in the process of planning our strategies for addressing this change, and we’ll get back to you and the AMBA members in future on how we’ll be handling it. However, in the meantime we found some information from the CMS that we wanted to share with you. CMS is holding telecons on a regular basis to provide information on the new requirements. According to the CMS site, “Subject matter experts will review basic information on both ICD-10 and 5010 and explain how they are interrelated. A question and answer session will follow the presentations.”

If you are looking for more information on ICD-10, you may want to consider participating in one of these calls. The next one is on September 13, 2010; you can find more information at https://www.cms.gov/ICD10/02c_CMS_Sponsored_Calls.asp and register at http://www.eventsvc.com/palmettogba/091310 Please note that registration will close at 12:00 p.m. ET on September 10, 2010, or when available space has been filled.

For your convenience, here is the agenda from the CMS site:

ICD-10 Implementation in a 5010 Environment
Follow-Up National Provider Call

When: Monday, September 13, 2010
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET
Target Audience: Medical coders, physician office staff, provider billing staff, health records staff, vendors, educators, system maintainers and all Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) providers

• ICD-10 implementation for services provided on and after October 1, 2013
• Differences between ICD-10 and ICD-9-CM codes
• ICD-10-CM basic information for all users
• Tools for converting codes – General Equivalence Mappings (GEMs)
• Proposal to freeze ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 code updates except for new technologies and diseases

HIPAA Version 5010
• Compliance dates and timelines (No contingencies)
• 5010 before and after ICD-10 Implementation
• Readiness review for implementing HIPAA version 5010 and D.0
• What you need to be doing to prepare
• Medicare fee-for-service activities update
• Other issues and considerations

Conference Call Registration Information:
Date: September 13, 2010
Conference Title: ICD-10 Implementation in a 5010 Environment Follow-Up National Provider Call
Time: 12:00 p.m. ET
In order to receive the call-in information, you must register for the call. It is important to note that if you are planning to sit in with a group, only one person needs to register to receive the call-in data. This registration is solely to reserve a phone line, NOT to allow participation.
Registration will close at 12:00 p.m. ET on September 10, 2010, or when available space has been filled. No exceptions will be made, so please be sure to register early, prior to this time.
1. To register for the call participants need to go to: http://www.eventsvc.com/palmettogba/091310
2. Fill in all required data.
3. Verify that your time zone is displayed correctly in the drop down box.
4. Click “Register.”
5. You will be taken to the “Thank you for registering” page and will receive a confirmation email shortly thereafter.

Read More | No Comments | Filed in General, HIPAA

New Release: Institutional Electronic Claims in BETA, Plus 30 New Timesavers

August 24th, 2010 by Dan Rodrigues

Thank you for your suggestions and ideas on how to improve Kareo. In this release, we have added many improvements that came from you, our users, all designed to make your billing easier, save you time and streamline your billing process. Please continue to let us know how we can improve Kareo to reduce your billing headaches by sending your ideas to features@kareo.com. Below is an overview of the enhancements you’ll find in our new release.

Institutional Electronic Claims Now in BETA

One of the most interesting new features that we’re working on is support for institutional billing in the ANSI 837(i) electronic claim format. Back in May of this year, we released support for institutional paper claims in the UB-04 claim format. Institutional claims are used to bill government and commercial insurance companies for non-professional charges, such as hospital, ambulatory surgery center, home health, nursing facility, and other services. Now, with this release, electronic institutional billing is in limited beta testing with a select group of users, and soon, will be available for beta testing by a broader group of Kareo users. If you’re interested in participating in our beta testing program, please email us at support@kareo.com and we’ll contact you once institutional electronic billing is ready and available for broader testing.

Plus 30 New Timesavers and Other Enhancements

You’ll find a variety of new timesavers and other enhancements in this release, all designed to make your work easier:

• Location automatically populates on new appointments for single-location practices
• Calendar views default to the provider and location filters you selected during your last session

• Sort the list of claims by column on the Find Claims screen
• Search the list of claims by the Billed To field on the Find Claims screen
• Redesigned action panel on the Find Claims Screen
• Removed duplicate ERA transactions for claims with multiple service lines
• Simplified transaction descriptions on the Claim Detail and Payment Detail screens
• Set a follow-up date on claims as a tickler and to override the “No Response” reminders

• Enter new authorizations when selecting an authorization while entering encounters
• The Appointment, Patient, and Case fields are no longer editable once encounters have been approved

Insurance Companies
• New warning helps prevent duplicate insurance companies from being entered
• New warning helps prevent duplicate insurance plans from being entered

• Customize the list of Referral Sources on patient records for each practice
• New support added for non-US patient addresses on paper claims

• New column for Reference # added to the Find Payments screen
• Search the list of payments by Reference # on the Find Payments screen
• Type the patient’s name to select a patient on the Payment Detail screen
• Type the insurance company’s name to select an insurance on the Payment detail screen
• Enhanced matching logic helps to match more claims when automatically posting ERAs
• Encounter level adjustments now highlighted in red when viewing ERAs

• The Appointment Summary report has been renamed the Appointment Detail report
• New Appointment Summary shows appointment totals grouped by provider and reason
• The Missed Encounters reports no longer includes No-Show appointments
• Email performance reports now turned off by default for new providers

• Permission categories have been reorganized to simplify the security group settings
• New customers now have 6 default security groups with predefined permissions

• The policy number validation settings have been removed from the Contract screen
• New warning when you enter an invalid EIN on the Service Location screen
• Now specify eligibility enrollment when completing the clearinghouse web enrollment form

Bug Fixes
• Fixed bug that prevented users from posting comments to the community using Internet Explorer 8
• Fixed bug that caused exception when loading the daily calendar view for a new practice
• Fixed bug that caused long patient alerts from hiding the controls on the Encounter Detail screen
• Fixed bug that caused exception when exiting Kareo when the application is locked

At Kareo, we continue working hard to make medical billing easy for you. Customer feedback drives our service and ensures we build the features that matter most to people like you, so your input is critical to us. Please email your suggestions, challenges and ideas for our next release to features@kareo.com.

Read More | No Comments | Filed in Company, Features, Releases

August Medical Billing Tip of the Month Winner

August 17th, 2010 by Joann Doan

TrophyWe’re pleased to announce that the winner of our August “Medical Billing Tip of the Month” contest and recipient of a $250 American Express gift card is Diane Bell, CHBME.

We received many excellent tips on how to streamline the medical billing process and better use Kareo medical billing software, and we thank everyone for their submissions. Below you will find the winning tip, as selected by our judging committee, and the two runners up.

August Medical Billing Tip of the Month Winner:
Faster Address Updates

I have learned that even though Kareo has now added an address update feature, there is another way to check on CO24 denials and addresses for Medicare patients.

By using the eligibility feature in Kareo I have found that patients tend to update their address with Medicare. Also, by scrolling to the bottom of the eligibility check you are able to find any other insurance Medicare may have on file. With Medicare Managed care plans, patients often change plans. Using the eligibility check with commercial carriers has also helped. This Kareo feature has saved hours of time in follow-up and helped avoid timely filing issues.

Diane Bell, CHBME
Phone: 770-412-8451

Faster, Easier Way to Print Single Patient Encounter Payments from an ERA

1. If your clearinghouse is Capario* and you need a faster, easier way to print single patient encounter payments from an ERA for attachment to secondary claims: (When we first started with Kareo, we would print 2 pages of an ERA. If the payment for a specific patient overlapped, then we’d manually cut and tape the pages together and copy that to attach to the paper claim. What a pain! What a waste of time & paper! The tips below look like a lot of steps, but you’ll find that you can do it all in less than 30 seconds after very little practice).

2. Go to “Claims” & find the patient & encounter you want

3. Highlight a line item, then double-click or click “Open” to see “Claims Edit.”

4. Scroll down to the primary payment and click on one of the line items

5. Look to the right side for the check number of the ERA (Total Check amount can work too).

6. Highlight either of the above, then right click and select “Copy”

7. Then go to Clearinghouse Reports and click on the “Other Reports” option. (Hint) We never mark ERAs in our “Other Reports” as reviewed so we don’t have to remember to unclick the “unreviewed only” button.)

8. Right click in the long “Look for:” box at the top below “Other Reports” and click “Paste” so the check # or amount appears, then click “Find Now” on the right hand side.

9. When your ERA appears, double click on it or highlight and click “Open”.

10. You can then search for the specific payment details by patient name, encounter #, whatever. To do so, left click in a blank area anywhere in the body of the ERA, then type CTRL F, then type identifying info in the pop-up box that appears. We usually just type the first few letters of patient’s last name and the one we want is highlighted.

11. When found, hold your left mouse button down and drag from top left to bottom right of the specific EOB you want to print.

12. Right click, then left click “Copy”.

13. Now, left-click the Windows START button at the bottom left of your desktop.

14. Search for NOTEPAD. Left-click on it, then right-click anywhere in the blank space, then left-click “Paste”.

15. Now left-click FILE at the top left and select PRINT. When your ERA selection prints, click on “Don’t Save”.

For Windows Pros, all this stuff is probably second nature. But for us old-timers & computer illiterates, discovering this process was like finding gold. Now, if somebody tries to take away our OTHER REPORTS option, we’ll be sending Guido and Vito out to persuade them otherwise!

*Note: We are able to use the following tip for Capario ERAs, but not for Gateway because their ERAs do not format into the “Other Reports” category in “Clearinghouse Reports.”

Bob Pedersen
RLP Medical Billing, Inc.
Phone: 913-322-6675

Moving a Credit on a Line Item into “Unapplied” So You Can Apply the Credit Somewhere Else

When you are in the payment screen, down at the bottom right there is a button labeled “More.” If you click on that button, it gives you a drop-down where you can select a payment, adjustment, re-bill and several items. If you select “Payment”, then another box comes up and you would then enter a negative (-) amount in there for the credit amount. Next you would click “Post.” This then puts that amount up in the unapplied field next to the amount of the check. This then allows you to move to another line item, or choose a different date of service, or even choose another patient. Say, if you have more than one family member and one has a credit and the other a balance, you can move the money from one family member to the other in this fashion.

I hope this helps! I use it a lot when the patient pays a co-pay and the insurance company takes a different amount or doesn’t take the co-pay. I can move the money to a different line.

Nancy A. Berlad, CPC
Phone: 512-687-7203

Submit Your Entry for the September Medical Billing Tip of the Month Contest
If you would like the opportunity to win $250 and get your company name in front of thousands of potential customers, enter our Billing Tip of the Month contest for September. Just submit your best billing tip by August 31 via email to Marketing@Kareo.com. We’ll announce the winner by September 14 and will post the best tips on our website and in our monthly e-newsletter, giving you and your company credit. (Please be sure to list your company name in your entry!).

We look forward to hearing from you!

Read More | No Comments | Filed in Company, General

How to Choose the Right Medical Billing Software for Your Practice or Business

August 10th, 2010 by Joann Doan

ChoiceChoosing the right medical billing software for your practice or medical billing service is challenging. A Google search for “medical billing software” generates 458,000 results, with several hundred companies offering different options. And of course, you must research your options and make a decision while continuing to run your business and dealing with multiple other issues.

And yet, this is a key decision; the right software can improve your profitability by double-digit percentages, and the wrong choice can affect your productivity and/or your profitability for years to come.

So how do you choose the right medical billing software for your practice or business?

Here are some key factors that you should consider:

Ease of Use—You want a system that won’t take weeks to implement and won’t frustrate your staff. Make sure that the system is intuitive and easy to learn so that your staff won’t resist the change, or you could end up spending thousands on a system that is not used. Include some of the end-users in the evaluation process, both to get their input on ease of use and to build buy-in. Many physicians have told us horror stories about software that costs them thousands and then their staff is either slow to adopt it or won’t adopt it at all.

Transparency—Busy physicians and office managers don’t need complicated systems that make it difficult for them to track the practice’s financial health. Look for a system that highlights important details like overdue claims, insurance underpayments, and monthly performance statistics on an easy to access dashboard that makes it very easy for physicians and administrators to access. Ask your providers for their wish list of reports for the new system, and determine whether the systems you’re considering can produce these reports.

Affordability—Be sure to consider the full cost of the system. Are there set-up costs and a long-term contract? One of the benefits of web-based software is that often there are no set-up costs, since in some cases you can simply sign on. Also, if you’re considering a long-term contract, ask what happens if the system doesn’t work for you–what recourse do you have?

Technical Requirements—Will you need to install, update and maintain software on your office computers? If you have the resources to dedicate to IT, this could make sense for you. However, if you don’t have an IT staff or consultant, you may prefer to avoid this problem. Using a web-based application means you have no software to maintain and update, and it’s available 24/7 wherever you can access the Web.

Security—How will you insure your data is secure and backed up on a regular basis? If you don’t have a dedicated IT professional, this can be a problem, and even with professional help, it can be expensive. With HIPAA requirements, you need to make sure that the system is secure and faithfully backed up. Again, one of the benefits of a web-based system is that your data is secure off-site and automatically backed up daily, without you or your staff needing to do a thing.

Training and Support—Be sure that the system you select provides the training and support your staff will need to be productive quickly. What happens when you’ve ended the initial training period and you hire new staff? You’ll want a system that offers a full selection of online training as well as multiple e-mail and phone support options.

Naturally, these are all areas we have focused on for Kareo. If you review our Benefits and Features sections, you will see how Kareo addresses these needs. You can also hear from your colleagues about how Kareo works for them.

But whether or not you decide that Kareo is the right medical billing software for you, we hope you will consider these important factors when doing your research and that this checklist will be helpful to you. It’s too important a decision to not follow a rigorous decision-making process. And if we can answer any questions for you, we are always more than happy to do so.

Read More | No Comments | Filed in Features, General

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Welcome to Building Kareo, a weblog by the team at Kareo about our products, our partners & competitors, medical billing, healthcare information technology, and much more.


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