Is Your Medical Practice Disaster Plan Ready?

Lea Chatham October 31st, 2012

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Be Ready With a Medical Practice Disaster Plan

Are you ready for a disaster? The best time to create a medical practice disaster plan is long before the disaster hits. If you don’t have a plan, consider putting these five best practices in place before it’s too late.

  • Create a disaster policy. A policy or policies can provide specific guidance to your staff about what to do in a disaster. There are tons of sample policies online for everything from general disasters to specific events like fires, floods, and medical emergencies. Having policies in place and ensuring your personnel are familiar with them can save valuable time.
  • Get insured. You should have insurance coverage for your business to help you get back and up and running. Talk to your insurance agent about riders for flood, earthquake, and business income in addition to property coverage. Also, ask about business interruption insurance to cover business expenses during any closure. Video or photograph your office and assets to make the claim process as fast as possible. Keep this documentation and your insurance policies in a secure location such as safety deposit box.
  • Backup your data. Your data is a key part of your business. If you have cloud-based software like Kareo, your practice management data is already backed up. If not, or if you have other important information you need, then you have to make a plan to regularly backup your data and store it securely.
  • Maintain communications. How will you stay connected? Develop a plan for getting your mail, transferring phones, and managing bills and payroll while your office is closed.
  • Keep a disaster kit on site. Build a kit that includes the items you’ll need if a disaster or emergency strikes during the work day. Include basic first aid and tool kits, flashlights, blankets, bottled water, and a crank radio (or radio with spare batteries).

One last thing to consider is creating a post-disaster checklist of all the things you need to do when the crisis is over and the cleanup begins. Every practice and scenario is different but it might include things like calling a meeting of staff, contacting patients, contacting your insurance carrier, rerouting phone or mail service, and setting up a temporary workspace.

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Complimentary Webinar: Become a High Performing Primary Care Practice

Lea Chatham October 24th, 2012

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012
1:00 PM EDT/10:00 AM PDT

Join this panel of great thinkers and doers who will lead a discussion about how to build high performing primary care practices.

  • Dr. Sreedhar Potarazu, renowned physician, author of widely acclaimed book “Get off the Dime, The Secret to Changing Who Pays for Health Care”, Fox Business News contributor, and CEO of Vital Spring Technologies.
  • Dr. Jean-Luc Neptune, a licensed Internal Medicine physician, entrepreneur, and national leader of Health 2.0 developer challenge and Doctors 2.0 initiatives.
  • Terry Douglas, advocate for small medical practices and healthcare marketing leader at Kareo, Inc.

Are you ready for change?
On this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • Secrets that helped 7 primary care practices improve the patient experience, staff satisfaction, positive clinical quality metrics, and practice profitability.
  • How primary care physician practices could play a key role in forming a more nimble health care system.
  • Insights into a new approach for “reliable care” – where innovations, quality, and outcomes meet patient service.

Who Should Attend
Private practice owners, physicians, office managers, billing managers, billers, billing service owners and others who want to improve the performance at their primary care practice or the practices of their clients.

Register now to learn how to improve the performace of your primary care practice

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Smart Phone = Smarter Healthcare?

Terry Douglas October 17th, 2012

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There is a high likelihood that most of the patients you see in your practice are carrying around the latest smart phone.   So, how has this changed the workflow of your practice?  Or should it?

In today’s connected world we are now presented with multiple mediums to help meet the real needs of patients.  This infographic from Allied Health World should force us to start thinking about how the gap between the real world and digital world has shrunk and eventually, your work as a patient care giver won’t always happen in the exam room.

Infographics:Smartphone = Smart Healthcare?

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Medical Billing Tip of the Month – October

Joann Doan October 8th, 2012

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Our judges (you) have spoken, and we have our Medical Billing Tip of the Month. We received a terrific volume of votes! Thank you to everyone who voted on our blog and Facebook. The winner of our Medical Billing Tip of the Month contest this month is…

How to increase Provider payment flow using KEY INDICATOR SUMMARY effectively.

Reports – > Key indicator -> Key indicator Summary – Fill date (01/01/12) to (08/31/2012). – Just click the REFRESH to run the report

•The generated reports shows the total encounter, charges, Adjustments, Receipts & other from Jan 2012 – Aug 2012.

•Just click, the charge total and you will see the list of CPT performed by the provider from Jan 2012 – Aug 2012 with the total billed amt.(Refer the below screen shot).

•Here is the drill down of the charges.

Medical Billing Tip, October

•Go to Customize tab and select the “Measure type” as UNIT COUNT and generate the report.

•Now the reports shows, the total count of each CPT performed by the provider from Jan 2012 – Aug 2012.

•Generate the report into excel format such as “CPT, Total CPT count and add another column as “Medicare Allowable”.

•Then update the Medicare allowable for each code by checking the Medicare fee schedule or Use V-look up formula.

•Sort the Medicare allowable value from Descending order.

•Once the Medicare allowable is updated in the list and again sort the report for the CPT in descending order.

•By sorting it, you can find the provider most performing codes as well as highly paid Medicare allowable codes.

•Now check the Top 25 CPT which has high Medicare allowable in the list.

•If the Highly paid Medicare allowable (CPT count performed by Provider) is less, Escalate / submit the report to the Provider to perform those CPT’s constantly.

•The report will helps the provider to perform more CPT which has high reimbursement.

•The Cash flow of the provider will gradually increase month over month by using this report effectively.



This Kareo report is very useful for the Provider to compare his CPT performance month over month as well to increase the cash flow. The report will be very effective for the specialty based Provider.

Henry Richards
EccoHealth LLC

Henry, you’re on a winning streak!—Congratulations! But we’re throwing out the challenge to our many other fine billers, billing services and billing managers: Send your tips in, and you could win the $250 prize!

Please be sure to submit your Medical Billing Tip of the Month to by October 26th, for inclusion in the next round of judging. We’ll post the top three tips on our Facebook page and on the Kareo blog for your vote! You will win a $250 American Express gift card if your tip is chosen. Good luck!

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Medical Office Meets Innovation

Terry Douglas October 5th, 2012

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Is your practice a place where the medical office meets innovation?  Think about these things:

1.  Medical offices use many technologies innovations to get through the day…

     - from sophisticated diagnostic tools, to connected billing systems, to EHRs, to scheduling software, and patient portals.

2.  Patients turn to technology to find out more about their healthcare…

     - from exercise apps, to glucose meters, to educational websites, and even online bio-social communities.

3.  Every week new technology innovations come on the scene…

     - from wireless weight scales, to nutrition monitoring apps, to preventive alert systems, and even differential diagnostic programs to help direct care protocols.

This weekend, a group of doctors and innovators (Kareo included!) are meeting at Health 2.0 in San Francisco to discuss the practical places where the medical office meets innovation and how these tools can impact their patient care and the financial health of their practices.

We’ll be investigating questions like…

  • What tools will medical staff have in their hands?
  • How to merge cloud-based patient and practice data?
  • Will technology draw patients and doctors closer?
  • Can technology be tools for better health?
In end, the greatest of inventions are useless unless they are used.  Those who use embrace technology in the way they the practice and interact with patients will make the evolution to the “new doctors” and the “new practices” and will lead change to a “new healthcare” system.

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How Your Sign-in Sheet Impacts Patient Experience

Terry Douglas October 2nd, 2012

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Patient Experience Insights from Dr. Andrew Bronstein

Many of us have fallen into the routine of double-, triple-, or even quadruple-booking patients in the first appointment slot of the day.  We all have our reasons for intentionally taking this approach.  But, what could we be unintentionally communicating to our patients?  How does it impact the patient experience?

Put yourself in your patients shoes for moment.  It’s 8:30 in the morning.  You’ve done your best to manage the morning rush hour to get to the doctor’s office.  You step inside with just minutes to spare.  As you approach the check-in counter, you see the sign-in sheet.  Because of HIPAA, you can’t see peoples’ names, but as you are writing your name and the time of your appointment, you glance up at the three lines above yours.  At closer inspection, the three lines show three other patients who have signed-in and have indicated they too have an appointment at 8:30 – the same appointment time as you.  What goes through your mind?

When this happens, patients can often be left wondering why their appointment slot has three other people in it or second guessing if they messed up the time or if your office forgot about their appointment.  Though unintentional, your patient’s perception of you and your office may be negative from the very beginning of the appointment.

What can you do about it?  To make sure I don’t let my patients think that way, I stagger the appointments so that never more than one or two patients have the exact same appointment time.  I take the 8:30 slot used in the example and create four separate appointments – one beginning at 8:25, one at 8:30, one at 8:35 and maybe even one at 8:40.  This simple change in the appointment scheduling template helps us avoid a patient’s negative perception and helps us create the best patient experience we can.

I encourage you think about how simple things like this can help your practice create the best patient experience.  When you come up with more ideas, share them with us!

 About the Author

Andrew Bronstein, MD is a hand and microvascular surgeon who uses Kareo as his medical office software for the Bronstein Hand Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Welcome to Getting Paid, a weblog by Kareo offering ideas, news and opinions about medical billing and practice management with the goal of making medical billing easier and yes, getting you paid. Visit the Product Blog for more information on our products.

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