CMS will begin mailing new cards with Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs) to all beneficiaries. Practices are urged to remind patients to look out for their new cards in the mail and to be sure to bring them to their next appointments.
Patients who receive friendly, competent information are more likely to trust their clinicians, and customer service begins with the management and the physicians setting an expectation for professional behavior among all staff and clinicians.
Clinicians and their teams may want to identify which patients and families to prioritize for advance care planning initiatives.
Effective two-way communication between primary and subspecialty care practices can improve referrals and care coordination for both by making some basic infrastructure adjustments.
As physicians convert to the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, they will eventually be required to consider the cost of care they deliver to patients.
A “pick your pace” option for quality reporting under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 will give internists a chance to ease into the new payment system by choosing their levels of participation.
The Quality Payment Program created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) is not as intimidating as it sounds—at least for 2017, which is a transition year that will determine what internists are paid in 2019.
The ACI final score is composed of three categories: base score, performance score, and bonus score.
A high number of self-pay patients in the patient panel can lead to increased headaches for front-office staff.
Physicians want to know how to tell if their practices might qualify as an Advanced Alternate Payment Model, which will garner extra reimbursement for quality patient care, and whether they might meet the standards of a qualified professional under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act.
As adolescents become young adults, there comes a time when pediatricians will no longer see them. For those patients with chronic, sometimes complex, conditions, it can be hard to know how to transition into the adult internal medicine world. ACP, in collaboration with several pediatric and adult subspecialty societies, has developed a toolkit to help patients and practices manage this transition.
Confusion exists about how and when patients can access their personal health records under the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act.
Value-based payments are on the horizon, and practices need to prepare. There are very worthwhile reasons for getting ahead of the payment reform curve.
Now is the time to begin getting ready for the new Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 payment system, which will shift payment to a value-based model to reflect both the quality and efficiency (cost) of the care provided to a patient population.
In 2019, new Medicare incentive programs take effect. There will be 2 avenues from which to choose: participation in an alternate payment model or the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System.
The cost of medications can be a significant barrier for many patients who are on a fixed income or who might be taking multiple, sometimes expensive drugs. Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans might provide a solution for your patients, and there are tools to help with the enrollment process.
Data breaches are costly, but there are simple ways to bolster electronic security.
Effective July 1, 2015, physicians who prescribe drugs to Part D enrollees must either be enrolled in Medicare or have a valid opt-out affidavit on file in order for the prescriptions to be paid for.
Care coordination isn't new, but value-based payment, patient-centered medical homes, accountable care organizations, and other alternate delivery and payment programs have moved the topic into the forefront of many conversations and policy discussions.
Medicare now reimburses internists for chronic care management services, but a few criteria need to be met. Learn more about how to recoup payment for services that many physicians are already providing.
Try motivational interviewing as a method of communication in which the physician coaches—or rather coaxes—the patient toward lifestyle changes via his or her motivations.
Electronic health communication in health care must be secure. Text messaging is not, but it's how many patients want to talk with their doctors. Consider the ramifications of a message that gets misplaced, and then consider other ways of communicating.
Bring in an expert to manage shrinking reimbursement, changing regulations, and rising business costs.
What should physicians look for when reviewing their Open Payments information online?.
Physicians need to be prepared to use tact and skill when communicating with patients with limited English proficiency and those with hearing impairments.
There are exceptions that may apply for some physicians who cannot meet the meaningful use electronic health record incentive requirements due to circumstances out of their control.
Efficient practices not only run better, they offer better patient outcomes. Benchmarking is the first step in this process because it shows where to focus attention first.
There are several ways to increase practice revenue, including patient volume, better collections, or better contract rates.
Computerized order entry requires a licensed or certified staffer. Learn how to fulfill this requirement with new hires or by training existing office staff.
While many of the omnibus changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act are subtle and may not require a great deal from a practice, the penalties for noncompliance are severe.
Learn how to bring patients up to speed on their new access to health care via health insurance marketplaces, or as they're known, “exchanges.”.
A new online registration tool may help internists avoid looming penalties by helping them to enroll in the Physician Quality Reporting System.
It's important to protect your practice by documenting opioid management in the medical record and adhering to extra regulatory requirements.
With the release of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) omnibus rule, it's time to take a fresh new look at office policies, procedures and practices.
Use digital communications' strengths to streamline its glut of information instead of being carried away.
As more and more practices move to a hospital-employed model, internists will have to engage in due diligence about how the change affects billing, service contracts and collections.
Two new codes allow for reimbursement for non-face-to-face care when patients transition from an acute care setting back to the community. Learn the fine print of how to properly use these codes.
When deciding on how satisfied they are with a practice, patients look foremost to how quickly they can be seen, and how they can reach a physician for after-hours problems. Eleven quick tips can strongly influence the quality of care and how it's perceived by the patient.
Enforcement begins on a new Medicare rule that mandates a personal encounter for the initial certification of home health and hospice services.
Your office photocopier stores permanently every image it's ever scanned, copied or faxed. Those images stay with the machine after it's re-sold, and the images can be easily hacked. Learn how to maintain security over medical records, taxes, bank statements—or any other document that's ever been copied.
The federal government's substantial incentive program for electronic health records is no reason to rush out and buy one. Final rulings on how to interpret issues such as “meaningful use” won't be decided upon until the summer. Diligence is needed to choose a system that matches the practice workflow.
Shared office visits offer 90-minute blocks of time to groups facing common and chronic conditions. A few distinct models have gained broad acceptance by doctors and their patients.
Federal regulations require doctors' offices to set up written procedures to protect against identity theft. Practice pearls outline steps to follow to comply with the new law.
In today's economy, tight financial management is more important than ever. Relative Value Units can be used as a powerful tool for financial management in medical practices.
Celebrate, network and learn with special courses tailored to ACP members.
Patients' perceptions of waiting are key to their satisfaction, and therefore return and referral business. Making waiting rooms more like living rooms is one way to increase patient satisfaction and reduce frustration with delays.
Make sure your practice is collecting payments from patients and insurers.
Much of the time physicians spend on patients' paperwork is uncompensated, but insurers usually will reimburse physicians for filling out forms, such as home health plans and copying medical records, that require a significant investment of time.
Needlesticks happen. Patients have the same or similar names. OSHA inspectors visit. Drugs are recalled. Now what?.
Despite the information-sharing benefits of an EHR, many physicians are reluctant to invest in this technology.
In a quest to unveil common problems for small practices and offer solutions, the College's Center for Practice Innovation visited 34 practices across the U.S. over a two-year period. Part one of the six-part series looks at the unique staffing issues faced by small offices.