Request a Quote


Our Services


Summary of Services

The FIRM provides professional claims billing services for individual providers, clinics and facilities. We service all disciplines of practice, i.e., medical, dental, diagnostic testing, chiropractic, physical therapy, optometry/ophthalmology, mental health, chemical dependency, and durable medical equipment.

We offer specialty services such as consultation, collections and appeals, contracting and credentialing, verification and preauthorization and personal injury settlement negotiating. We offer form development and revision services, office reorganization and personnel training.

We have extensive experience in all areas of commercial insurance, Workers Compensation, personal injury, Third Party Administrators, Medicare, Medicaid, and other state and federally funded programs. We offer personalized services designed specifically to meet your needs.

­

UnitedHealthcare wins court case over Medicare Advantage overpayment rule

Healthcare Finance -Susan Morse Senior Editor - September 10, 2018 Ruling throws out 2014 rule, leading to question of how CMS will determine whether it has overpaid an MA insurer. UnitedHealthcare wins court case over Medicare Advantage overpayment rule Ruling throws out 2014 rule, leading to question of how CMS will determine whether it has overpaid an MA insurer. UnitedHealthcare has won its court case over the way the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services calculates whether it has overpaid Medicare Advantage insurers. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Friday granted UnitedHealth's motion for summary judgement and vacated CMS's 2014 overpayment rule, leading to the question of how CMS will amend the rule to determine whether it has overpaid an MA insurer. CMS could also appeal the ruling. Federal Judge Rosemary Collyer said the 2014 overpayment rule was not equitable to Medicare and Medicare Advantage insurers, which is required by law. One of the issues for insurers is that the current way CMS calculates payment results in the false appearance of better health among Medicare Advantage enrollees compared to traditional Medicare participants, leading to systematic underpayments to MA insurers, according to the ruling. Judge Collyer said the current way CMS calculates payment subjects the insurers to a more searching form of scrutiny than CMS applies to its own enrollee data, resulting in a false appearance of better health among Medicare Advantage beneficiaries. Medicare pays hospitals based on the diagnosis related group, or DRG, at the time of patient discharge. Under Medicare Part B, physicians submit diagnosis codes, but payment depends on the services provided, and not on the way the diagnosis is submitted. In contrast, MA insurers are not paid based [...]

By |September 12th, 2018|Blog, Chiropractic, Doctor, doctor, doctor Credentialing, Medicaid, Medical Billing, Medical Coding, Medical Compliance, Medical Insurance, Medicare, Medicare, medicare claims, Obamacare, Physical Therapy, Physician Credentialing, Podiatrist|Comments Off on UnitedHealthcare wins court case over Medicare Advantage overpayment rule

Legal Compliance: One More Reason to Collect Patient Deductibles and Copays

WEBPT - By Tom Ambury - June 24, 2018 Collecting coinsurance, copays, and deductibles upfront is an important piece of the effort to accurately value the services we provide. And yet, we still hear about practices that routinely waive their patients’ deductibles and copays. Today, I’ll discuss another reason not to routinely waive deductibles and copays. In the past, I’ve written about collecting deductibles and copays when a patient presents with a federally funded insurance like Medicare. In cases involving the Department of Justice, the powers that be have stated very clearly that the practice of routinely waiving deductibles and copays can be a violation of the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute. But what about commercial insurances like BlueCross BlueShield, Aetna, and Cigna? That’s what I’ll chat about today. Why You Shouldn’t Waive Before I get into the compliance-related reasons to collect full payment for our services, let me say that to me, from a business standpoint—and with the knowledge that payments are continually being reduced as the cost of doing business keeps rising—it’s hard to imagine why a provider wouldn’t want to collect full payment for his or her services. Here’s an example I came up with to better explain my point: Let’s say you’re getting paid $75 per visit from a commercial insurance company, with $25 of that total coming from the patient’s copay and $50 from the insurance company. (These totals don’t necessarily reflect what’s happening in the real world; for illustration purposes, we’re staying in Tom’s World.) Wouldn’t you rather get paid $75 per visit versus waiving the copay and accepting only $50? Aren’t your services worth the full $75—if not more? And if the business reasons are not enough to sway you toward collecting [...]

Tech company once lauded for growth shutters Tampa office suddenly, leaves over 100 without jobs

By Janelle Irwin – Reporter, Tampa Bay Business Journal-Jun 21, 2018, 6:55pm EDT Updated Jun 22, 2018, 12:47pm Health care technology firm CareSync closed its doors on Thursday despite previously announced plans to hire 350 people by the end of 2017 and expand its Tampa headquarters. A manager with the company, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Tampa Bay Business Journal that there had been several rounds of layoffs in recent weeks, but that a plan to sell the company gave remaining employees hope their jobs would remain intact. The employee said a deal fell through and the company had been “bleeding money” the past several weeks. The company's Twitter and Facebook pages were both taken down Thursday evening. Employees at the Tampa and Hardee County offices were told Thursday to pack up their things and leave and that the business was closing permanently. The employee said the company was not offering COBRA benefits to employees and that existing health coverage would be terminated immediately. Employees were also not offered severance. “It really saddens me and most of us because we were blindsided,” Kathy Clem, who identified as an employee, lamented on Facebook. “Someone was supposed to buy the company, but it fell through." Multiple sources said the closure was the result of a buyout by internet-based grocery delivery company Shipt falling through. A request for comment from Shipt was not immediately returned. In December 2017, Target Corp. acquired Shipt. (Update: Shipt CEO Bill Smith was personally going to buy CareSync. Read more here.) In 2014, CareSync moved into 51,000 square feet at 14055 Riveredge Drive in the Hidden River Corporate Park, and brought with it 150 jobs, planning to reach a [...]

By |June 28th, 2018|Blog, Commercial Insurance, Doctor, doctor, doctor Credentialing, Healthcare Changes, Healthcare Professionals, Medicaid, Medical Billing, Medical Coding, Medical Compliance, Medical Credentialing, Medical Insurance, Medicare, Medicare, medicare claims, Obamacare, Physical Therapy, Physician Credentialing|Comments Off on Tech company once lauded for growth shutters Tampa office suddenly, leaves over 100 without jobs

New Medicare Advantage rules hold big potential for pop health

Healthcare Dive- Meg Bryant- June 13, 2018 The push toward valued-based care and population health management has raised visibility around nonmedical conditions that impact health outcomes. Improving health outcomes using population health strategies could get a major boost with a new Medicare Advantage rule taking effect this week. Payers will now be able to work with companies like Uber or Lyft to provide transportation, for example, as part of a more complete set of benefits for the quickly growing MA population. CMS issued a final rule in May giving MA plans more flexibility in determining the types of supplemental benefits they can offer chronically ill enrollees, including nonmedical benefits. The new policy, part of a broad 2019 Medicare payment rule, means plans like UnitedHealthcare and Humana aren't harnessed to a set palette of supplemental benefits for members with chronic conditions, but can tailor them to the specific needs of individuals. The rule could see an array of new benefits aimed at improving health outcomes by addressing issues such as housing and food insecurity, transportation and social isolation. Potential benefits include ride-hailing services, home visits, nutritional support, air conditioners for people with asthma, home renovations like grab bars and other accommodations to prevent falls, and home health aides. Providers have praised the expansion of benefits. “We now have a funding stream effectively within Medicare Advantage around social services,” Don Crane, president and CEO of America’s Physician Groups (APG), told Healthcare Dive in an interview. He called the change a “necessary and appropriate step” in managing chronic diseases. The focus on social determinants of health and population health management is part of the broader shift to value-based care and reimbursement. Some providers, payers and employers already offer wellness and prevention programs or [...]

New Medicare model for paying doctors passes key test

Credentialing? Let the experts at The Firm Services complete it for you. BY LAUREN CLASON, THE HILL EXTRA - 04/13/17 03:00 PM EDT A far-reaching Medicare payment proposal cleared a crucial hurdle this week, as the federal health program seeks to reward doctors for keeping patients healthy. The pitch from the American College of Surgeons would allow more than 75 different specialty doctors to participate in Medicare’s new value-based payment system. Specialty physicians have been largely left out of the system, commonly known as MACRA after the bill that created it. Doctors would be graded and slotted into four different participation tiers — excellent, good, acceptable and unacceptable. Doctors using a less risky, lower-paying track could only reach the level of “good.” To reach “excellent” and earn bonuses through shared savings, doctors would have to be in the top 10 percent of participants. The surgeons’ group on Tuesday squeaked its proposal past the newly created Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee, which is reviewing and recommending ideas to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. It didn’t come easy. The surgeons pushed the committee to take a risk in greenlighting the model after the panel expressed significant reservations. The panel had raised questions about a lack of specifics with the software to be used in the program. Members eventually voted to recommend implementation, but only on a limited scale. “We’re all in a learning phase,” Medical Director for Quality and Health Policy Frank Opelka, of the surgeons' group. The model is only the second to earn the committee’s approval. “I feel like we’re building the car while we’re driving it.” The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Center has approved 11 so-called [...]

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Electronic Medical Records

Credentialing, Revalidation Services professionals at The Firm Services Crystal Lombardo- The Next Galaxy  The advancement of technology has changed the way the entire world functions. One big change that has happened has to do with the medical world. Electronic medical records, or EMR’s, are used in just about every single hospital and doctor’s office in the United States. Electronic medical record means that a patient’s paper chart, which is what contains all of their medical history, information on medical conditions, treatments, and other types of information, are all stored electronically. It has been a great asset to the medical community, but has brought some pretty hefty issues right along with it. Advantages of Electronic Medical Records 1. Instant Access is an Advantage EMR give medical professionals quick and simple access to all of the patient information that they may need in order to provide an accurate and speedy diagnosis. Much of the confusion, and bureaucratic characteristics of the medical world are eliminated with the use of electronic medical records. 2. Doctor’s Have Bad Handwriting It is no secret that the majority of doctors have pretty illegible penmanship. This has been a problem that has haunted the medical world for decades. Electronic medical records have solved this problem! Doctors no longer have to scribble notes that may not be able to be read, instead they type them into the electronic medical record database, so there is never anymore confusion about if that is an “r” or a “z”. 3. Record Keeping Has Been Cleaned Up Keeping a physical record for each patient can begin to take up a pretty intense amount of space. Boxes and boxes of records are filed in order to be [...]

Trump urges insurers to work together to ‘save Americans from Obamacare’

Will Obamacare survive? Washington Post - By Carolyn Y. Johnson and Juliet Eilperin February 27 at 12:19 PM  President Trump met with major health insurers Monday morning, in the midst of political divisions over how to dismantle and replace President Obama's signature health-care law, the Affordable Care Act, and intensifying public pressure to preserve the policy. The meeting included leaders from Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, Anthem, Kaiser Permanente and the industry lobbying group, America's Health Insurance Plans. "We must work together to save Americans from Obamacare," Trump said in public remarks before the closed-door meeting. He criticized the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, for creating minimal health coverage requirements that restricted the types of plans insurers could sell. "Obamacare forced providers to limit the plan options they offered to patients and caused them to drive prices way up," Trump said. "Now a third of U.S. counties are down to one insurer, and the insurers are fleeing. You people know that better than anybody." Over the past month, more insurers have warned that they could pull out of the Affordable Care Act’s health-care exchanges where individuals can buy government-subsidized insurance. Aetna chief executive Mark Bertolini has described the exchanges as being in a "death spiral." Humana — which insures about 150,000 people on the exchanges this year — announced in mid-February it would exit the exchanges in 2018. In an earnings call, Molina Healthcare disclosed that its exchange business lost $110 million in 2016 and said it would evaluate its participation for next year on a state-by-state basis. A Molina spokeswoman said the company, which insures 1 million members through the exchanges, was not invited to the meeting. Trump gave [...]

Obamacare Hits a Pothole

Let the Experts at The Firm Services assist your practice. NY Times - Opinion Page- Paul Krugman OCT. 28, 2016 For advocates of health reform, the story of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, has been a wild roller-coaster ride. First there was the legislative drama, with reform seemingly on the edge of collapse right up to the moment of passage. Then there was the initial mess with the website — followed by incredibly good news on enrollment and costs. Now reform has hit a pothole: After several years of coming in far below predictions, premiums on covered plans have shot up by more than 20 percent. So how bad is the picture? The people who have been claiming all along that reform couldn’t work, and have been wrong every step of the way, are, of course, claiming vindication. But they’re wrong again. The bad news is real. But so are reform’s accomplishments, which won’t go away even if nothing is done to fix the problems now appearing. And technically, if not politically, those problems are quite easy to fix. Health reform had two big goals: to cover the uninsured and to rein in the overall growth of health care costs — to “bend the curve,” in the jargon of health policy wonks. Sure enough, the fraction of Americans without health insurance has declined to its lowest level in history, while health cost growth has plunged: Since Obamacare passed Congress, private insurance costs have risen less than half as fast as they did in the previous decade, and Medicare costs have risen less than a fifth as fast. But if health costs are looking good, what’s with the spike in premiums? It only applies [...]

Who’s Gaming Obamacare? Better to Ask: Who Isn’t?

Need answers? Contact the experts at The Firm Services. Bloomberg View-AUG 8, 2016 4:44 PM EDT By Megan McArdle Last week, I outlined eight possible futures for Obamacare. By curious coincidence, few of them looked like the paradise of lower premiums and better care that the law’s supporters had promised. In the best case scenarios, they looked more like what critics had warned about -- "Medicaid for all," or fiscal disaster, or a slow-motion implosion of much of the market for private insurance as premiums soared and healthy middle-class people dropped out. What I did not explore was why we seem to have come to this pass -- which is to say, why insurers seem suddenly so leery of the exchanges and why premiums are going up so much for Obamacare policies. No one really seems to know exactly why insurers are having so much trouble in the exchanges. Insurers may know, but they have generally issued vague statements about “worse than expected experience.” The closest we’ve gotten to an assessment was a statement from a big insurer last year to the effect that people who were signing up outside of the normal enrollment period seemed to have higher-than-expected bills, while paying fewer than expected premiums. Which tells us something, but doesn’t necessarily explain double-digit premium increases. This weekend brought a new suggestion across my desk. At Forbes, Bruce Japsen writes that insurers think providers are funding nonprofits to pay Obamacare premiums for high-cost Medicaid patients, thus sticking insurers with a lot of big bills for a lot of very sick patients. Why would they do this, you may be asking yourself? Because Medicaid reimbursements are extremely low. If you have a patient who is [...]

NCDs and LCDs Hit Hardest by ICD-10

ICD-10 update from physician practices By Beth Friedman, BSHA, RHIT, president and founder of Agency Ten22 Posted on: December 11, 2015 Despite physician resistance, the transition to ICD-10 has gone relatively smoothly for most physician practices. However, we've also heard the buzz that orthopedic and radiology practices may be facing some challenges related to specificity and medical necessity. Since ICD-10 codes are needed to prove medical necessity in medical group settings, this comes as no surprise to health information and IT professionals. Three coding experts chimed in this week about ICD-10 challenges witnessed at the 60-day mark of ICD-10 implementation. Following is a summary of their experiences to date: Kelly Whittle, MS, principal at ICD-10 Advisory and Whittle Advisors, LLC says confusion and technical glitches with Local Carrier Determinations (LCDs) and National Coverage Determinations (NCDs) are the biggest challenge in physician practices to date. Notably, in mid-November, CMS published a clarification about LCD and NCD updates. Regarding NCD errors, CMS states: "CMS is committed to resolving these small isolated issues quickly to ensure that claims continue to process. Interim solutions are currently in place to permit appropriate and timely claims payment. In most cases, claims inappropriately rejected or denied have been automatically reprocessed and no action is required by the provider." Regarding LCD errors, CMS says: "Once ICD-10 was implemented, some MACs identified LCDs for which they needed to further refine their edits to add allowable ICD-10 diagnosis codes. In general, claims affected by these edits with dates of service on and after October 1, 2015 were suspended until the fixes were implemented. Once the LCD updates were implemented, the MACs released and processed the held claims. Any claims inappropriately denied before the LCD updates [...]