Set Up an Instagram Account for Your Medical Practice

Lea Chatham September 20th, 2016

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Social media channels can provide you with a powerful tool to connect to your patients, build loyalty, and grow your medical practice. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ are vital channels to increase patient engagement but there is one more social media powerhouse that you should consider for your practice, Instagram.

Instagram is arguably the most visual of all of the social media options you can utilize to reach out to both existing and potential patients. This channel is based on posting photographs and videos with captions and using hashtags to tag them, allowing visitors to more easily find your content. Because visual content works so well in social media, Instagram has grown exponentially. In fact, it hit 150 million active users faster than any other platform except Google+.

You can take the first step to putting the power of visual marketing to work by setting up an Instagram account for your medical practice with these seven easy steps: Tweet this Kareo story

Step # 1 – Download the Instagram App
Instagram does offer a desktop version of their app, where you will be able to manage your account after set-up, but to get started you will have to download the Instagram app to your mobile device. You can get this download in the App Store on an iOS device, like an iPad or iPhone, or in Google Play for an Android device.

Step # 2 – Register and Choose Your Username
Once you have downloaded the app, a screen will come up with the option to either register or sign-in. Click “Register” and fill in your account details. Be sure to choose a username that reflects your practice and is consistent with your other social media channels.

Step # 3 – Find Your Facebook Friends
Next, you will be given the option to find your Facebook Friends. Here you can invite all of your patients who are following you on Facebook to connect with you on Instagram as well.

Step # 4 – Find Your Contacts
You will now be given the option to find more contacts from the device you are using. If you do not want to use this option, click “Skip”.

Step # 5 – Choose Who to Follow
Instagram will now give you a list of choices of people or organizations to follow. You can pick ones that you like, or skip this step.

Step # 6 – Edit Your Profile
Your Instagram account is now set up but there are still a few things you should do. Click on the icon on the bottom of your screen that looks like a newspaper on the far right to go to your profile settings then click “Edit Profile”. Here you can add your website address, information on your practice, and a profile picture. Again, try to maintain consistency across your social media channels in how you describe your practice and the profile picture you choose.

Step # 7 – Share to Your Other Social Media Channels
To get the most out of your Instagram account for your medical practice, click “Share To” and choose all of your other social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. This allows you to share your photos and videos simultaneously on your other social networks and allows your followers on Facebook and Twitter to see your content and choose to follow you on Instagram as well.

Once your Instagram account is complete, you are ready to start posting photos and videos to boost patient engagement with your practice. You might want to post pictures of you and your staff so that patients can get to know you better, videos of your office as you decorate for the holidays, or pictures of an event that your practice hosts or sponsors. Whatever you choose to post, just remember that the point of sharing on Instagram is to give both existing and potential patients a behind-the-scene, more personal look at your practice. You want them to feel connected to you, your staff, and your practice and giving them these little glimpses through your photos and videos can accomplish that.

For more tips on managing your online reputation, download this helpful guide.

About the Author

Adria Schmedthorst is a writer focusing on the medical device, technology, software, and healthcare industries. Adria is the founder of AMS Copy and a healthcare professional herself with more than 10 years in practice. She now uses her knowledge of the industry to help companies achieve their goals of writing content that speaks to the hearts and minds of medical professionals. She has been featured in blogs, written articles, and other publications for the industry, and ghostwritten books for doctors in both the United States and Australia.

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Free Webinar: How to Choose the Right Telemedicine Software

Lea Chatham September 15th, 2016

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Register now to learn more about telemedicinePopular Telemedicine Myths Debunked & How to Select the Right Software 
Wednesday, September 21
10:00 AM PT, 1:00 PM ET

In this free webinar expert Sean Brindley will debunk some common myths and discuss how to choose telemedicine software Tweet this Kareo story


Many healthcare providers and their staff have assumptions about the value, level of difficulty, and reimbursement process for using telemedicine. There are some common myths about using telemedicine in independent practices. And often providers simply shy away from trying something new and untested. But there are many benefits to telemedicine, and it isn’t as complicated as you might think.

In this webinar, you’ll hear from Sean Brindley, who works with practices just like yours that are using telemedicine today. He’ll share:

  • What modern telemedicine is, its uses, and how to get paid
  • The truths behind common myths
  • How to select the right software for your practice
  • How to get started and build telemedicine into the practice workflow

This is your chance to get the real scoop on using telemedicine and how you can make it work for your practice.

Register Now


About the Speaker

Sean Brindley is a health tech entrepreneur with strong interests in both the clinical and consumer sides of healthcare. He holds a degree from TCU in Fort Worth, TX and has spent the majority of his career working with early stage start-ups in the health space. Through his work, Sean is focused on creating operational efficiencies and empowering patients and providers to receive and deliver the best care possible.

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Telemedicine Tips and Other Ways to Increase Visits in Newsletter

Lea Chatham September 13th, 2016

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The September Getting Paid Newsletter offers information on increasing patient visits, using telemedicine in your independent practice, and the latest on ICD-10. You can also check out recent events you may have missed as well as upcoming events you might want to add to your calendar.  Read all this and more now! Tweet this Kareo story


Get telemedicine Tips in Kareo September Getting Paid Newsletter

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CMS ICD-10 Grace Period Coming to an End

Lea Chatham September 12th, 2016

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ICD-10 ResourcesICD-10 has been a big change for healthcare providers. Prior to last October 1, the entire industry was investing resources in trying to be sure that the transition would be a smooth as possible. However, there were ongoing concerns about readiness from many industry groups.

To provide a bit of leeway, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) created a grace period for one year. Essentially, it allowed practices to code without worrying about getting to the highest level of specificity and use unspecific codes without being penalized. While they didn’t have a specific “grace period” many commercial payers were also more lenient during this first year of ICD-10.

A year of flexibility allowed practices that were struggling with the transition to do their best without fear of going unpaid. Luckily, all the advanced preparations and the latitude of payers made for a much smoother changeover than anyone could have predicted. Like Y2K, it went better than expected with little increase in denials and rejections.

In a couple of weeks, the ICD-10 grace period will come to an end. Healthcare providers will be expected to code to the highest level of specificity, and the use of unspecified codes will be looked at more carefully. There are certainly cases where an unspecified code may be appropriate, but if something more specific is available and there isn’t a legitimate reason for the unspecified code, the claim may be denied.

With October 1 looming, here are a few reminders on how to ensure claim accuracy with ICD-10. Tweet this Kareo story

  1. Update forms and templates to reflect ICD-10 specificity if you haven’t already. This includes patient intake forms, EHR templates, insurance forms, and superbills.
  2. Bring out your code maps. If you’ve been relying solely on an ICD-9 to ICD-10 crosswalk, you may not be getting to the highest level of specificity. You will likely need to create some code maps with higher specificity or have your ICD-10-CM Coding Guidelines handy so you can look codes up. Your EHR and billing software can help but ultimately to ensure the most appropriate code, you may need to do some look ups.
  3. Make sure everyone has adequate training to support ICD-10 coding to the highest level of specificity. Remember, the providers need to know the coding and documentation changes. If they are struggling, consider bringing in a documentation improvement specialist to help. They won’t be able to get away with not being detailed enough after October 1.
  4. Check with your EHR and billing software vendor to make sure they will be ready with the new and updated codes that are coming October 1 as well.
  5. Finally, be sure to monitor claims closely after October 1 for denials and watch for denial trends. Identify problems quickly and work to fix them. Don’t let this last ICD-10 step be a stumbling block for your practice.

Hopefully, you have spent the last year getting comfortable with ICD-10 and the specific changes that impact your specialty. If so then you should be ready for this last change. If not, now is the time to invest in some additional work and training before October 1.

If you have struggled because your software has been lacking or your biller or billing company hasn’t gotten up to speed, now is a good time to consider a change there as well. If your software isn’t what it should be now then push the button on making a change to a better solution. And if your biller isn’t getting it done, look at other options before October 1 rolls around to prevent potentially damaging revenue problems.

Check out the Kareo ICD-10 Resource Center for more information on how to be successful with ICD-10.

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Video: Use Your Data to Increase Patient Visits

Lea Chatham September 12th, 2016

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Patient visits are the cornerstone of your success. There are many ways to increase visits, but one of the best is to use your own data to create a recare program. Learn how to increase patient visits by using your own data to bring patients back in for needed care in this short video. Tweet this Kareo story

Want to learn more? Download our free guide on how to increase patient visits.

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Infographic Shows How to See More Patients with Telemedicine

Lea Chatham September 12th, 2016

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New infographic from Chiron Health shows how your practice can see more patients with telemedicine. Tweet this Kareo story

See More Patients with Telemedicine
Courtesy of: Chiron Health

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SEO Basics for Doctors: Responsive Mobile Websites

Lea Chatham September 8th, 2016

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Have you been hearing the phrase responsive mobile website and wondering what it is and if you have one? Or how does this impact your practice marketing? Expert John Kim answers your questions about responsive mobile websites for medical practices in this short video.  Tweet this Kareo story


Get more tips on how to create an effective and engaging website in this simple guide.

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Simple Steps to Set Up A Medical Practice YouTube Account

Lea Chatham September 6th, 2016

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By: Adria Schmedthorst

Social media is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools available to independent practices. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ all allow small practices to engage with patients, outside of the office setting and share useful tips, updates, and practice insights. While these channels are vital to your practice’s marketing efforts, there is one more social media outlet that you should not overlook, YouTube.

With YouTube, your practice can post procedure videos, before and after videos, a series of videos with health information, a “Meet Your Doctor” clip, and more. And, with more than 1 billion people visiting YouTube each month globally, it is easy to see how using this social media powerhouse can help you grow your independent practice, increase patient visits, and generate practice awareness. Since YouTube is part of Google, set up is easy and very similar to setting up your other Google social sites.

If you already have a Google+ account for your independent practice, follow these three simple steps and you will have a YouTube business account to help you connect with patients using the power of video: Tweet this Kareo story

Step # 1 – Using Your Google Account
Go to and click “Sign In” in the upper right corner. Make sure to sign in using the information you set up for your practice’s Google+ page. Next, click “My Channel” on the left-hand side of the screen. A box will pop up showing “Use YouTube As”. Make sure your information is correct and click “Create Channel”.

Step # 2 – Automation Makes It Easy
Since you signed in through your Google+ account, Google automatically transfers all of your practice’s information to your YouTube channel.

Step # 3 – Verification
Now that your YouTube channel is set up, the final step is verification. Click “Channel” on the left-hand side of your screen and then “Status and Features”. Next to your profile picture you will see a button that says “Verify”. Click it and choose whether to verify via phone or text. Once YouTube is assured that you are not a robot, you will be free to start posting videos for your practice.

If you have not set up a Google account for your practice yet, use the following steps to get started on your medical practice YouTube:

Step # 1 – Getting a Google Account
Your first step is to go to and click “Sign In” on the upper right. Next click “New to YouTube? Create an account”. You will then be prompted to fill in the blanks to create a new Google account. Remember, since your YouTube channel will be used for your practice, it is best not to use a personal Google account to set it up. Instead, use a separate Google account created for your business and a sign-in that you feel comfortable sharing with your staff members who will be posting your videos.

Step # 2 – Confirmation
Google will send you an email to confirm your account. Follow the link provided and then move to the next step.

Step # 3 – Your Username
In this step, you will choose your username for your practice’s YouTube account. Ideally, this will be your practice name. However, if it is already taken, get creative. You can add the name of the city you are in to your username or even its initials.

Step # 4 – Profile Set Up
This is actually a non-step. Since your profile will be linked to your Google account rather than a Google+ account, you can skip setting up the profile here.

Step # 5 – Channel Name
Now that your housekeeping is done, click “Back to YouTube” and click the “My Channel” link on the left-hand side of the page. A box will pop up showing “Use YouTube As”. Make sure that the name you have chosen is entered correctly and then click “Create Channel”.

Step # 6 – Verification
Just like in the verification section of step # 3 above, click “Channel” on the left-hand side of your screen and then “Status and Features”. You will see a button that says “Verify”. Click it, and choose whether to verify via phone or text. Once YouTube knows you are not a robot, you are ready to go.

Whichever way you choose to start your YouTube business account for your practice, you will be glad that you did. Engaging your existing and potential patients through video is a valuable tool in your practice’s growth. And, as an added benefit, YouTube can help you build your email list, allowing you to reach out to potential patients easier by letting you embed a sign-up form directly into your YouTube videos. Don’t wait any longer to put the power of video to work for your independent practice. Start setting up your YouTube account today.

For more tips on managing your online reputation, download this helpful guide.

About the Author

Adria Schmedthorst is a writer focusing on the medical device, technology, software, and healthcare industries. Adria is the founder of AMS Copy and a healthcare professional herself with more than 10 years in practice. She now uses her knowledge of the industry to help companies achieve their goals of writing content that speaks to the hearts and minds of medical professionals. She has been featured in blogs, written articles, and other publications for the industry, and ghostwritten books for doctors in both the United States and Australia.

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Can an EHR Help Save Time? Yes… with These 7 Savvy Tips

Lea Chatham August 30th, 2016

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By: Lisa Eramo

There are few things more frustrating than wasted time—especially in the workplace. Most of us want to be productive—to feel as though we’ve accomplished something or made a difference. We certainly don’t want to be slowed down by technology. Neither do physicians, many of whom are afraid to make the transition to an electronic health record (EHR) system for this very reason.

Anticipated loss of productivity continues to concern physicians considering a transition to an EHR system. In fact, 59% of office-based physicians who haven’t yet adopted an EHR say loss of productivity is one of the biggest barriers, according to a 2014 report published by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC).

Here are seven tips for how physician practices can stay on track—and not lose precious time—during and after an EHR implementation. Tweet this Kareo story

1. Ensure that the practice has the proper connectivity and speed to complete all tasks. Practices that lack the necessary bandwidth will experience extreme slowdowns even despite proper planning and execution. provides several bandwidth recommendations, depending on the size of your practice. Note that these are minimum bandwidth speeds based on the Federal Communications Commission recommendations.

2. Choose an EHR system that meets Meaningful Use requirements. According to a 2011 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, EHR systems that meet MU criteria are more likely to save physicians time on certain tasks:

  • Eighty-two percent of physicians with an EHR system that meets MU criteria agree that e-prescribing saves them time, compared with 67% of physicians whose EHR system does not meet MU criteria.
  • Seventy-five percent of physicians with an EHR system that meets MU criteria agree that their practice receives lab results faster, compared with 61% of physicians whose EHR system does not meet MU criteria.

3. Advocate for time-saving features. Talk with your EHR vendor to ensure that it can provide the following:

  • Relevant clinical content. This includes specific checklists, documents, and tools that support your specialty.
  • Copy-and-paste functionality. When used appropriately (i.e., with validation of data), practices save a considerable amount of time.
  • E-prescribing. This includes the ability to enter prescriptions using multiple parameters as well as easily search for pharmacies and transmit information.
  • Patient portal. Patients can use the portal to access lab results, schedule appointments, pay bills, request refills, and message physicians directly.
  • Patient summary screen. This includes a list of medications, current conditions, and outstanding care items.
  • Templates. This includes templates designed for most common diagnoses and/or procedures related to your specialty.

4. Choose your hardware carefully. A wide variety of options are available from handheld devices to desktop workstations. Decide what option is best for your preferred workflow and style. Many physicians find that going mobile at the point of care is most efficient because they have access to information immediately wherever they see the patient.

5. Take a test drive before you buy. Physician practices don’t have the time, money, or staff members to offset significant drops in productivity. User friendliness is in the eye of the beholder, meaning physicians and all other staff members must see the product in action before a final decision is made. Ask for a product demonstration or trial log-in. Does anyone anticipate productivity slowdowns as the workflow changes? If so, address these concerns with your vendor.

6. Once you have it, use it. As with anything, practice makes perfect. One study found that as interns use EHR systems, they become more proficient at it. Another study found similar results—as novice EHR users gain more experience with technology, they become qualitatively better at using it. The bottom line is that physicians certainly won’t gain productivity if they don’t become accustomed to using the EHR system.

7. Delegate and/or automate certain tasks. For example, ask medical assistants to perform first-level reviews of electronic lab results and flag information that requires a physician’s attention. Consider sending automated messages to patients prompting them to set up appointments for annual visits or other preventive services.

For more tips on how to effectively implement your EHR to get the most of our it, download this helpful guide.

About the Author

LisaEramofreelanceLisa A. Eramo is a freelance writer/editor specializing in health information management, medical coding, and healthcare regulatory topics. She began her healthcare career as a referral specialist for a well-known cancer center. Lisa went on to work for several years at a healthcare publishing company. She regularly contributes to healthcare publications, websites, and blogs, including the AHIMA Journal and AHIMA Advantage. Her focus areas are medical coding, and ICD-10 in particular, clinical documentation improvement, and healthcare quality/efficiency.

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Server-Based vs Cloud-Based Practice Management Systems: Which Provides the Best Security for Your Independent Practice?

Lea Chatham August 25th, 2016

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Cloud-based EHRBy Adria Schmedthorst

When you are choosing a practice management system for your independent practice, you have two main options to consider. Tweet this Kareo story

Your first option is a server-based system, where you manage your patient’s data in-house on local servers, with all of the maintenance, security, and upgrades (both software and hardware) handled by you. Your second option is a cloud-based system, where your practice’s data is stored externally, outside of the office, accessible via the Internet. Each has their pros and cons, and which option offers better security has been a highly debated topic. Let’s take a closer look at this issue.

With a server-based system requiring an in-house server, the responsibility of security falls squarely on you, the provider. Maintaining a secure location, firewalls, and backups are just the start. Disaster recovery plans must also be in place to protect patient data, which could be compromised in the event of fire, flood, tornado, or other natural disaster. In fact, more than 50% of businesses that need data recovery say it’s as a result of a weather event.

Backups for client-server records are also vulnerable to breach in transport to storage facilities. Even worse, server-based systems are often left unencrypted and only as secure as the room where they are stored, leaving them at risk of data compromise or even physical removal and theft. Having your records stored on-site may increase your control over the data, but it also leaves you susceptible to data loss should the server hard drive crash or the data become corrupted. This means that to ensure the security of their records, practices with server-based systems need to maintain an IT staff, including IT security personnel, in order to protect patient data and maintain seamless operations in the event of possible compromises.

With a cloud-based practice management system, all of these issues are resolved. Your practice’s data lives safely in a virtual location. Cloud systems achieve HIPAA compliance through data centers with bank-level security and high-level encryption methods that render data unreadable, even if a security breach occurs. Host companies also have deep technical support available 24x7x365, something most independent practices are unable to afford.

Storing information in the cloud also often means greater protections for practices in the event of a catastrophe, since cloud-based data is safely backed up in multiple locations. If a disaster hits, you can still access your data from any Internet-enabled computer. The practice’s records can easily be exchanged and retrieved. You can contact patients to reschedule appointments and continue processing claims with no disruption to workflow even if your physical location is unavailable. All of this happens without the need for you to remember to backup your data.

A great deal of sensitive data is already stored in the cloud, everything from our shopping and social media to our banking. As cloud-based systems becomes more common in everyday life, independent practices are becoming more comfortable with putting this technology to use for storing and maintaining their own data. And, with the secure environment provided by these cloud technologies, it is clear to see why more and more practices are choosing the convenience and affordability of the cloud over a server-based system.

If you are looking to choose or change practice management systems, use this checklist to help you choose the right solution.

About the Author

Adria Schmedthorst is a writer focusing on the medical device, technology, software, and healthcare industries. Adria is the founder of AMS Copy and a healthcare professional herself with more than 10 years in practice. She now uses her knowledge of the industry to help companies achieve their goals of writing content that speaks to the hearts and minds of medical professionals. She has been featured in blogs, written articles, and other publications for the industry, and ghostwritten books for doctors in both the United States and Australia. 


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