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Medical billing services, Healthcare IT experts

4 Approaches to Managing Old Homes to Minimize COVID-19 Community Spread

Medicare promotes and safeguards the health of senior citizens. A survey reports that by 2030, every 1 in 5 people will be 65 or above. As a result, exhaustion of the Medicare program is more than likely to happen.

However, with the recent COVID-19 spread in full-bloom, to protect the senior citizens and managing old homes is more important than ever before.

We see hospitals and practices, in general, are equipped with the latest certified EHR systems aiding a new-age healthcare system to evolve, sustain, and respond to improved outcomes – technology is now an essential part of the healthcare system. In such times, optimal use of tech is where it all begins and ends.

Furthermore, medical billing services have a responsibility to play in these critical times. They have to support healthcare providers who are fighting on the frontlines with coronavirus disease. As our healthcare heroes risk their lives, we, as healthcare IT experts, have a responsibility to fully support them in this time of crisis.

For the most part, growing old isn’t easy, but due to innovations in technology and new inventions, caregiving has become more manageable. As a senior citizen, you deserve all the care out there as it is your right to have that. We are here for you as a provider’s systemic support during the coronavirus pandemic. You mustn’t go on blaming yourself for running a cold, persistently coughing, or sneezing without a break because it is no one’s fault.

Let’s look at a few approaches we can adopt to minimize the COVID-19 community spread.

  1. Reunite seniors with their Professions   

We don’t realize our growing age, but others do not let it go unnoticed. The slow deterioration of health; the gray hair; the wrinkles on the face & neck give it away and have a story to tell the others. The fact of the matter is that the number of gray hairs tells us the number of years you have cared for others. Therefore, never feel the shame in being old. It is the exact opposite – you are the wisest of all!

As we reach the latter part of our lives, we grow fonder and closer to our memories, especially the most-cherished ones. We may not be able to perform even the basic tasks like going to the bathroom and back, but those memories are what hold us together during the darkest of times.

If you want the senior citizens to listen to you, you must respect their memories during the COVID-19 lockdown. A big part of their survival depends on the good times they had in the past. Make use of those memories as part of the place where they sit and spend most of their time. For example, put a movie on which they like from the past to take off the edge from this whole pandemic situation buildup.

Let them do what they do best. For instance, if someone is a carpenter, include semi-finished wooden shelves in their skills room. They can use tools under supervision to create the next masterpiece. This way they get to be happy and kill some time as well.

Similarly, a professor will be happy with books and students in a class.

On the whole, to keep coming up with ideas to engage them is a difficult but necessary process.

  1. Make them Feel Ageless

They are our seniors, and we have to give them respect more than anything else.

To never let them feel old should be one of our goals.

From where we see them, they are young and energetic souls and will forever remain like that. To stop the COVID-19 community spread, much needed along with the stay at home part is the motivation for them every hour of the day; and words of love and support to look past their problems could just be it.

In an old home, look for ways to make them feel young. It’s not a piece of advice but an opinion that we would do the same thing if we were in your place. When we feel happy, we feel young inherently; it helps in mental and emotional stability. (which we need at the time)

  1. The crippling old age demands a perfect meal during the coronavirus pandemic

A way toward happiness is to eat delicious meals. You must equip the facility with nutritionists who are ready to prescribe corona-friendly weekly diet plans to residents. Foods that add variety to the menu and also strengthen their immune systems.

Something delicious but allowed in their age brings color to their faces and puts an end to the routine doom & gloom. Hence, have a plan in place to prepare a variety of foods for them – Foods that do not interfere with their healing cycle, of course.

Since food is a natural motivator, to ask each of them of their favorite food item is a good start. Moving forward, set up diet charts for them with the help of nutritionists.

An example of food can be scrambled eggs; a name everyone understands. I am not a food specialist or an old home administrator, but I say these things out of my experience with elders at home and materials I read on the web.

  1. Ensure the flooring has no apparent obstacles

This is one of the factors we must take into consideration in a caregiving facility. It can be a real game-changer. The flooring should be plain and simple without any speedbumps. So, if you find some flooring that needs repair, it could help them from tripping over and falling. Since corona is in full effect, we don’t want hospitals to fill up with non-corona patients.

Stairs should not be part of an old home with seniors. If there are stairs, keep them locked at all times.

At an older age, we tend to fall without rhyme or reason. Hence, stairs present a big threat or an injury that is waiting to happen. Keep elders away from stairs and only let them use them as tools for exercise. A supervised trip to level one and back to the ground floor once a day can be a good workout for them.

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MIPS reporting in 2019, Physical Therapist, MIPS meaningful use, healthcare system, Quality Payment Program, QPP, MIPS Qualified Registry, Medicare & Medicaid Services, Healthcare Solutions, CMS

A Guide to MIPS 2019 Reporting for Physical Therapists

Physical therapists are included as one of the groups of healthcare practitioners eligible for MIPS reporting in 2019. It was time their duties were rewarded with an open heart and a clear head. Physical therapy is a serious branch of medicine that, now, comes in the quality circle of the government where physical therapists (PTs) can receive incentives based on their performances. Moreover, MIPS measures relevant to their line of work highlight the broader spectrum of the US healthcare system.

Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), as some of the PTs must already know, is where the disadvantaged gets rewarded equally as one with advantages. By advantages, I mean those clinicians who have to face geographical constraints or practices working in the countryside where there are fewer facilities as compared to ones in the city.

So, a system that speaks of justice is a system that works for people everywhere in the world.

MIPS is a combination of programs such as the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), the Meaningful Use (MU) program and the Value-Based Modifier (VBM). Promoting interoperability (PI) category correlates with the MIPS meaningful use.

The four categories in which the performance of clinicians and clinician groups are measured are –

  • Quality,
  • Promoting Interoperability (PA),
  • Improvement Activities (IA),
  • And, Cost

Generally, PTs will only be scored in two categories in 2019 – Quality and Improvement Activities. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) participates actively in every provision of the Quality Payment Program (QPP).

MIPS 2019 Reporting for Physical Therapy Made Easy by P3Care

With the pre-designed MIPS 2019 reporting packages in the form of MIPS Essentials, MIPS Budget Neutral and Benchmark MIPS, P3 Healthcare Solutions is tailor-made for it. Doctors falling across various specialties, now, adopt one of these packages to report data. Their MIPS final scores in the 80s and 90s are a clear manifestation of the efficiency of P3 Healthcare Solutions.

Give it a try by talking to us at this number: 1-844-557-3227.

Being a MIPS Qualified Registry gives us an edge to report with consistency and data completeness. The latter qualifies as one of the factors judging the quality of data by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The Deadline

Another important factor that keeps us on the edge of our seats is deadlines. In this case, Physical Therapists (PTs) can report MIPS measures until December 21 as far as improvement activities are concerned. However, the submission of Quality occurs all over the year, P3 Healthcare Solutions, Ontario, CA has done it in the past and continues to report MIPS Quality measures for eligible clinicians year after year.

Submission deadlines vary according to the submission types. For those who undergo MIPS claims-based reporting in 2019, the claims must get processed “no later than 60 days after the performance year ends”. Groups using the CMS web interface option have to submit within 8 weeks after the performance year. The time window for this 8-week reporting opens from January 2 to March 31.

As a general rule, participants must submit measures before March 31 of the year after the performance year.

MIPS Consulting Services with Results

Physical Therapists (PTs), Occupational Therapists (OTs) and Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) are three crucial branches of health care. All of them can make use of P3Care to report MIPS performance categories, score high, and get a chance at incentives. That’s right. Leverage our services to convincingly compete in the Quality Payment Program 2019.

Improvement Activities (IA) category measures their performance in terms of practice improvement over an elaborate period. Ideally speaking, a MIPS Qualified Registry is suitable for reporting IA for

PTs and OTs as they can work on measures such as enhancing care coordination, expanding patient access to care, and improving patient-doctor decision-making. All of this to land the best score out of a total of 40 points.

How to Avoid Penalties in MIPS 2018, 2019 and Beyond?

Please comment to assist the other readers.

HIPAA medical billing, HIPAA medical billing and coding, healthcare services, healthcare system, outsource HIPAA medical compliance, Protected Health Information, PHI, billing companies, Medical Billing and Coding Companies, HIPAA violation, HIPAA compliance, HIPAA rules and regulations, HIPAA compliant medical billing, medical billing services, medical billing companies

HIPAA Medical Billing Is More Important Than You Think

If you belong to the healthcare industry in any capacity be it as a physician, nurse, surgeon, pharmacist, or health IT specialist, you would know the importance of privacy protection and confidentiality obligations.

HIPAA medical billing needs no introduction. The practice of HIPAA medical billing and coding has proved only to be fruitful for a progressive healthcare system in the USA.

Therefore, taking casual measures to ensure data protection and using ordinary software to store data is now just not enough.

Private Data is at Risk!

We say that healthcare services have progressed and we have gone automated, but so have data hackers.

Medical Billing and Coding Companies need to upgrade their systems and take standardized measures.

Lots of sensitive data is transferred from physicians to insurance companies to patients.

As billing companies are directly responsible for data handling, they are held accountable for any mishap.

Why HIPAA Compliance Is Important?

Because the expense for data breaches go far beyond fines and penalties.

No matter what the reason may be for healthcare organizations to outsource HIPAA medical compliance. We should keep in mind the following perspectives.

HIPAA Medical Billing Is Compulsory for Healthcare Organizations

According to the HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule, medical billing companies would be penalized for risking Protected Health Information (PHI). Any violations will not be entertained at any cost, and the company responsible for even minor negligence will have to bear heavy fines. Of course, it would also dent a company’s reputation leading to low revenue.

Data Security Threat Has Not Remained To Just Data Manipulation/Stealing

Not long ago, accidental exposure of sensitive data was considered a HIPAA violation. It means a situation in which you have to bear the financial loss.

However, the modern definition states that even unauthorized access to data is a threat to HIPAA compliance.

The following factors build the base for the damage of HIPAA violation.

  • The scope and type of healthcare data compromised
  • Characteristics of the party or person that accessed the data or violated the HIPAA rules
  • The measures, taken to avoid vulnerable areas to protect PHI

A medical billing company can only be successful by following the HIPAA rules and regulations. The best approach is to include clauses in the BAA – Business Associate Agreement.

Moreover, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) also allows a bit of relaxation in HIPAA regulations to promote the trend of HIPAA compliance.

Things to Remember

To safeguard the interests of HIPAA compliant medical billing, it is important to not over-commit responsibilities to clients. The things, which, medical billing services are unable to commit can be strictly stated to the physicians.

Here’s a List of Things Medical Billing Should Perform

  • Perform thorough risk assessment
  • Design and implement a full-proof security plan
  • Secure Privacy policy
  • Dedicate trained resources for operations

The accuracy of billing procedure is the second priority; the first remains the infrastructure that supports the cause of HIPAA compliance. Thus, meeting security parameters and confidentiality clause is the only way forward for medical billing companies.

4 Reasons to Outsource Credentialing by a Medical Billing Company

Medical billing companies save revenue cycle management for clinicians. Without the assistance of medical billing services, we doubt the efficient running of medical practice.

The Healthcare industry is quite sensitive and responsible. Physicians are supposed to practice their skills for the ideal health status of individuals. Especially in the on-going approach of the value-based healthcare system, physicians need to modernize their treatment methods now more than ever. Hereby, medical billing companies create medical bills and handle the billing tasks to get the reimbursements. Consequently, physicians can pay attention to their actual work.

However, in addition to the billing process, a professional medical billing company also offers credentialing services for clinicians, which is a vital part of revenue generation.

What is Credentialing?

It is a process, in which hospitals, insurance companies, or healthcare authorities verify and legitimize the educational background, expertise, and qualification of a clinician. Generally, this process takes place before including a physician in the working network.

Why is Credentialing Important?

When physicians are credentialed, they get timely and rightful reimbursements from the insurance companies.

Medical credentialing is not an easy process and requires extensive focus from the start of the process to the end.

No Immature can look into clinicians’ past and derive professional outcomes. The credentialing process is legal and can result in penalties if done unethically. Hence, this responsibility should only be given to medical billing companies.

What are the Challenges that Occur During This Process?

Credentialing Takes Time

Medical billing companies and healthcare industry

Checking one’s background is a complex process. Therefore, it requires at least 60-90 days to fully credential a clinician.

Medical billing services when enlisting a physician for credentialing, are required to complete the whole process before he takes up a new patient. There is no room for error as the process involves the verification of sensitive fields such as employment history, education, medical training, licenses, and more.

Peers Don’t Cooperate

It is obvious that physicians are always tight on their schedule. Hence, there is little possibility that peers, who can give a vote of confidence for the physician will be able to respond to inquiries on time.

To avoid this delay in the credentialing process, physicians can inform their peers prior to the process. Moreover, they can also set a time to complete this task.

No Access to the Latest Information

Physicians need to have access to up-to-date information. However, medical practitioners are so busy in their lives that they remain oblivious of the latest information. For Example,

Clinicians working in the ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) have to reevaluate their credentials after 1-3 years. When different clinicians have a different schedule for credentialing, it becomes hard for ASCs to manage all.

Thus, no access to the information at the right time creates issues for the credentialing service providers and the confirming authorities.

Inability to be Compliant with Value-Based Healthcare

Different states have different healthcare plans and so physicians are supposed to stay true to all the state exchange and federal healthcare plans.

Another challenge that a credentialing medical billing company faces is that physicians have to treat a reasonable number of patients to handle revenue cycle management. Moreover, medical practices should implement the right healthcare strategies. Otherwise, they’ll not be able to get reimbursements for the rendered services.

Considering the difficulty, medical practitioners choose to outsource for credentialing services. There is no way that unprofessional individuals should not take responsibility for this task. After all, physicians’ revenue generation is based upon it. Thus, only, a medical billing company as P3 Healthcare Solutions can outrun all the above-mentioned challenges for credentialing and insurance enrollment and offer an efficient solution.

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Looking Back At EHR Meaningful Use From A New Perspective

ARRA – The American Reinvestment & Recovery Act was legalized on February 17th, 2009. It aimed to revolutionize many economic and social sectors including healthcare. Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was also one of its considerations. This act was in great support of the meaningful use of the electronic healthcare records (EHRs), an initiative by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).

Its emphasis on the implementation of EHR technology throughout the USA. Moreover, it is also in accordance with the MIPS quality measure Promoting Interoperability (PI) in which physicians use innovative methods to improve the quality of care services. It requires the use of certified EHR technology to provide a secure exchange of healthcare information.

Plays an Important Role in MIPS Data Submission

The meaningful use of EHR technology also helps physicians to efficiently submit MIPS data to CMS. On the other hand, physicians using this technology can also report measures regarding value-based services to the Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS) and get incentives.

The Need for Meaningful Use (MU) Act

This act is helpful in generating five possible outcomes for the betterment of the healthcare industry.

  • Improvement in public health
  • Improved coordination in healthcare sectors
  • Increased engagement of physicians and patients
  • Protect patient’s private data from unauthorized use
  • Improved services, safety, and efficiency of the healthcare system

What benefits physicians have for meaningfully using EHR technology?

Meaningful use of EHR

The incentive payment ranges from $44,000 for 5 years to $63,750 for 6 years (Starting from 2011).   Eligible physicians (EPs) and eligible hospitals (EHs) demonstrating adaptation and efficient use of EHR, get valuable rewards. To encourage physicians to go for EHR meaningful use and reduce the burden for healthcare providers, it is classified into three stages.

Stage 1 of Meaningful Use

The requirements of this stage are divided into the 15 core set and 10 menu set objectives. There is an option of choosing 5 out of 10 menu set objectives with the compulsion of at least one population/public health measure.

Stage 2 of Meaningful Use

CMS and ONC have also set standards for the second stage of meaningful use (MU). It released the final rule for incentive programs of Medicare, Medicaid and EHR technology in August 2012.

For this stage, eligible physicians are required to meet for the exclusion to 17 core objectives and 3 out of 6 menu set objectives.

Whereas, it was a must for eligible hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) to qualify for an exclusion to 16 core objectives and 3 out of 6 menu objectives.

Stage 3 of Meaningful Use

In the modified version of stage 2 meaningful use for 2015-2017, clinicians attest to any combination of 2 measures out of 3, while EHs and CAHs attest for any combination of 3 measures out of 4. For stage 3, submitting data for meaningful use was obligatory in 2018.

ONC along with HHS (Department of Human Health & Services) released a final rule in the context of meaningful use and gave certification to the 2015 edition of electronic healthcare records (EHRs). This initiative allowed diverse types of healthcare organizations to get access to healthcare IT.

Thus, medical practices that adopted EHR technology in previous years are now in benefit and can target more incentives, as they have completely understood this method. To get incentives and adopt healthcare IT, physicians should invest their efforts in this system respectively.

HITECH provides high opportunities for healthcare providers to improve their medical practice. The phased approach of three stages allows room for improvement in the public health sector. Moreover, it sets the base of the healthcare system with fewer discrepancies and controls chronic diseases.

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What Is About MIPS That Is Making Physicians Unhappy?

This ongoing period is the MIPS 2018 reporting season! Physicians and MIPS consulting services have buckled up their shoes to assemble appropriate clinical data that best favors medical practice in terms of financial matters and physicians’ reputation.

MIPS QPP promises physicians to take their financial journey one-step more towards the progressive road leading to a better healthcare system. The eventual objective is to build a healthcare system that makes both patients and physicians happy; patients with value-based care service and physicians with accurate reimbursements, incentives, and bonuses.

From the past two years, physicians tend to have several reservations regarding MIPS. In their first year, they were not sure about reporting criteria and MIPS quality measures. However, for MIPS 2018 reporting period, physicians learned from their mistakes and performed to actually use this system in their benefit.

MIPS Quality Measures Are Huge Set Back for Physicians

Even though, CMS acted upon some reservations for 2018. Still, there are voices raised against MIPS 2018 to trap physicians within the penalty cycle that ultimately will lead to poor-quality services for patients.

  • According to the research of members of the American College of Physicians, around 37% of the 86 MIPS quality measures are not up-to-the-mark and can’t contribute to improved quality care standards.
  • Physicians also explained that the given measures are not meaningful. In addition, the investment made to improve the quality of these measures just increase the administrative cost.

Approximately, medical practices are spending $15.4 billion per year in the USA-healthcare industry that means about $40,000 per physician to report for MIPS.

There is a debate that whether MIPS quality measures for the industry’s improvement are worth investment or not. Because, if they are not good enough, they are just a waste of money on the patient’s behalf.

For Instance,

According to Dr. Catherine MacLean (lead author of the analysis and chief value medical officer at the Hospital for Special Surgery), there is a quality measure that ensures all patients to have a blood pressure of 140/90 or lower. However, this may be lower for some patients.

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has raised similar concerns. Therefore, Problematic areas of MIPS need to be overcome in order to improve healthcare quality standards and the payment model.

CMS Website Should be Updated on a Regular Basis

Moreover, physicians were facilitated with an online database to view their status. However, the CMS website doesn’t update on a regular basis. This may have led physicians to not meet reporting standards on time. All of the practices rely on the information provided by CMS. If data is not updated duly on the site, how will physicians ensure the accuracy of MIPS requirements? After all, the ultimate burden would have to be bear by physicians as a penalty or less MIPS score.

CMS is trying to Rectify Errors in MIPS!

According to the spokesperson of the CMS, they are very dedicated to looking into every issue that is a hurdle in raising the quality levels of the healthcare system.

MIPS Success Depends Upon How Much CMS Pays Attention Towards Reservations!

The MIPS 2018 performance period is over however, it is compulsory for CMS to render each problem that is making physicians unhappy, rather than, forcing them to report aimlessly without any attraction.

Another way to ensure success in MIPS reporting is via hiring a professional MIPS consulting service as P3 Healthcare Solutions that provide the best MIPS solutions.

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