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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.

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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

Come out and hear our owner Tia Aspra speak at 11th edition of Larry Laurent’s Chiropractic Law Seminar

Come out and hear our owner Tia Aspra speak at 11th edition of Larry Laurent’s Chiropractic Law Seminar series on Saturday, September 8, 2018. This fall’s event will be held in Austin, at the Granduca Hotel – 320 South Capital of Texas Hwy, Bldg B, Austin, Texas, 78746 from 8:00 a.m. to approximately 5:30 p.m. Ms. Tia Aspra of Financial Investigation & Reimbursement Management and Ms. Kathy Jones of NACA - Texas, will be providing tips on risk management, coding, credentialing, documentation and office compliance practices to ensure that your new practice complies with all state and federal laws, as well as our Board’s regulatory programs. This Chiropractic Law seminar has been approved for 8 hours of CE credit, including the 4 hours of Ethics, Documentation and Jurisprudence required by the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners. We have kept the cost low - $198.00 for doctors, $79.00 for staff accompanying a doctor and $98 for CA/staff attending without a doctor. You will have the opportunity to obtain thousands of dollars worth of free legal information, consulting services and information on office procedures for a very low registration fee. To register give Larry Laurent a call at (512) 996-8844 or send an email to (larry@larrylaurent.com) if you have any questions. We hope to see you in Austin on Saturday, September 8, 2018.

By |September 4th, 2018|Chiropractic, doctor, doctor Credentialing, Health Insurance, Healthcare Changes, Healthcare Professionals, Medical, Medical Billing, Medical Coding, Medical Compliance, Medical Credentialing, Medical Insurance, Medicare, medicare claims, Multi-Specialty, Obamacare, Physician Credentialing, Specialties, Staff Training|Comments Off on Come out and hear our owner Tia Aspra speak at 11th edition of Larry Laurent’s Chiropractic Law Seminar

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 [...]

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 [...]

Are you prepared for the ICD-10 deadline?

ICD-10 is coming October 1st. Are you ready? By Julie Henry | September 11, 2015 The October 1 deadline for converting from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is fast approaching. As of October 1, ICD-9 codes will no longer be accepted. “At the end of the day, claims for services delivered on or after Oct. 1, must be coded using ICD-10 codes in order for the provider or organization to be paid,” says Pam Jodock, senior director of Health Business Solutions at Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society (HIMSS). “There is no grace period.” So are hospitals and other healthcare providers prepared for the switch? Robin Settle, partner at global management consulting firm Kurt Salmon, says that most, if not all hospitals and large physician groups are ready for ICD-10 and have been ready for well over a year. “Most have made the transition to EHRs to take advantage of the meaningful use incentives and to avoid meaningful use penalties,” she says. “ICD-10 compliant versions of software have been implemented as part of routine maintenance. Many hospitals also provided some ICD-10 training to their employed and community physicians.” Jodock says indications are that the majority of providers will be ready for the conversion on Oct. 1. “However, we do anticipate there will be small pockets of providers – primarily solo or small group practitioners – who may not be fully prepared,” she says. Is your organization prepared for the switch? Dr. Reid Conant, a board-certified emergency physician and CMIO at Tri-City Emergency Medical Group in Oceanside, CA, says he feels like his practice is prepared, but they are not taking the transition lightly. “We have prepared on both an educational level as well as a [...]

CMS Releases Medicare Cost Data on Physicians. Now What?

Credentialing, Revalidation Services professionals at The Firm Services Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media , June 4, 2015 Data limitations don't give an accurate picture of what Medicare reimbursement really means for physicians. But patients are increasingly aware of healthcare costs, and physicians should not shy away from a conversation. The report released this week by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services detailing that over 950,000 providers were paid $90 billion for medical services they provided to Medicare beneficiaries in 2013 has spawned sensational headlines about Medicare's millionaire doctors. The headlines aren't wrong, but it's a small group of physicians that are garnering the attention of many. To prevent an inaccurate narrative, doctors may need to prepare for patients' questions. This is the second time CMS has released physician-specific data for Medicare payments in an effort be more transparent. In a prepared statement, American Medical Association President Robert Wah, MD, commended CMS for its effort, but criticized the agency for giving so little context to what the data means for patients. "Specifically, the data released today do not provide actionable information on the quality of care that patients and physicians can use to make any meaningful conclusions … [or] enough context to prevent the types of inaccuracies, misinterpretations, and false assertions that occurred the last time the administration released Medicare Part B claims data." It's true that the data has many limitations. For one, there is no information that gauges quality. It also shows information only on Medicare services. Depending on the payer mix of a physician office, Medicare beneficiaries could be a minority or majority. Geographic variation in payment amounts isn't accounted for. Despite the criticism and the limits of the data, [...]

Physician Credentialing Services

Physician Credential Services Credentialing with the government and commercial payers is challenging any way you slice it. Our job is to make this process as painless for you as possible. We take care of everything from start to finish and allow you to focus on other things. We offer physician credentialing services in all 50 states and have successfully credentialed hundreds of physicians over the years. Our team of experts understands the insurance companies but as former practice managers we also understand what these insurance contracts mean to your bottom line. We provide insurance credentialing services to Solo or Group Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants, Group Physicians, Solo Physicians, and Hospital Employed Providers. Our new physician credentialing services can include all or parts of the following: CAQH Registration Commercial Insurance Credentialing / Physician Credentialing (Overview of Credentialing Process Here) Managed Care & Government Payer Credentialing Workers Compensation Credentialing Medical License Application Processing & Tracking DEA Registration & Tracking NPI Registration (Type I & Type II) Individual Medicare Enrollment Medicare Enrollment for Group & Reassignment Commercial Insurance Contracting Payer Fee Schedule Creation & Evaluation Management of all Credentials What is Physician Credentialing? Physician Credentialing is often referred to as Primary Source Verification and is the Physician Credentialing process that hospitals, health plans and other facilities go through to verify the credentials of a particular physician. Physician Credentialing is also often used interchangeably to mean insurance enrollment, and that is what this page is all about. As a company, the Firm Services does not provide primary source verification services (verifying credentials), but we do credential hundreds of providers every year with insurance plans across the country. Whether it is Medicare, Medicaid, the various commercial insurance [...]

BILL HR4302 PASSES, ICD-10 IMPLEMENTATION DELAYED UNTIL OCT 1, 2015

         On April 1, President Obama signed into law a bill to delay the planned ICD-10 implementation until Oct. 1, 2015. Specifically, the bill prohibits CMS from enforcing a mandate to switch from ICD-9 to ICD-10 until Oct. 1, 2015. Details on implications to providers, health plans and technology companies in the health care industry are as yet unclear. Availity remains confident that we are prepared to accommodate any scenario that could unfold. We are committed to helping you operate a healthy, thriving business—even in an industry constantly redefined by change. Because we have solid yet flexible contingency plans for ICD-10 and other programs, you and your business will have the support you need. We are committed to preserving the uninterrupted flow of your administrative, clinical and financial information exchange on our networks, to assure continuous cash flow to your business. The Firm believes successful Physicians view their office as a business. In order to meet today’s healthcare needs of the patient, profits are critical for a Medical Practice to survive and thrive. As a trusted intermediary between payers, providers and other industry partners, the decision to delay the ICD-10 implementation will cause businesses to rethink their plans. As we consult with payers about their strategies, we will advise you on potential impacts to testing, training and implementation as soon as possible. The FIRM, with 30 years of combined experience specializes in Medical Billing, Credentialing and Consulting services to assist physicians and their staff to operate a more efficient, compliant and profitable medical practice. At The FIRM, optimal insurance reimbursement is our goal! The Firm’s expert medical billing staff understands the importance of excellent and efficient medical billing and collections as well [...]

Medical Billing – Credentialing- Insurance Claims Processing Management Professionals at The Firm Services

Medical Billing professionals at The Firm 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. Outsourcing your billing is advantageous and cost effective, consider the following key points: Minimal set up fee Cost of forms, paper, envelopes, postage, and ink for paper claims Cost and hassle for electronic claims submission Personnel costs to perform billing and fight denials Delays in billing and reimbursements: illness, vacation, unexpected absences, and termination of in-house staff Cost of ongoing training and education for billing personnel (claim and procedure changes), changes in codes, deletion of codes and other billing issues Unlimited, free support to answer questions and guide you The FIRM gives your billing undivided attention. The number one complaint from providers regardless of specialty concerning in house billing, is the billing persons’ constant interruptions, i.e., telephone, chart retrieval, assistance with patients, running off-site errands, filing, copying, faxing, etc. Practice analysis reports provided monthly, additional reports available upon request Remote access to your practices Credentialing Services:  Credentialing for all carriers including all necessary follow up and tracking to completion of process.FIRM CREDENTIALING Medical-Billing-Compliance-Checklist Professional and affordable credentialing to allow you to focus on patient care Reduce your billing issues due to improper credentialing. Changes in your practice or business status effect your reimbursement. The FIRM can identify problem areas and know how to properly execute those changes [...]

MEDICARE NEWS:

Congress Is Poised To Change Medicare Payment Policy. What Does That Mean For Patients And Doctors? Topics: Politics, Medicare, Delivery of Care, Health Costs By Mary Agnes Carey KHN Staff Writer Jan 16, 2014   After years of legislative wrangling and last-minute patches, expectations are high among physician groups, lawmakers and Medicare beneficiaries that Congress could act this year to permanently replace the current Medicare physician payment formula. While committees in both chambers have approved their own "doc fix" proposals, the approaches have yet to be reconciled, and none have identified how they would pay for a repeal. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers about the formula – known as the "sustainable growth rate" – and how Congress may change it. Q: What is the sustainable growth rate? A: Known as the SGR, the formula was created as part of a 1997 deficit reduction law designed to rein in federal health  by linking physician payment to an economic growth target. For the first few years after it was created, Medicare expenditures did not exceed the target and doctors received modest pay increases. But in 2002, doctors reacted with fury when they came in for a 4.8 percent pay cut. Every year since Congress has staved off the scheduled cuts. But each deferral just increased the size – and price tag – of the fix needed the next time. Q: What is Congress doing to scrap the SGR and what would they replace it with? A: Two committees in the House – the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means panels – and the Senate Finance Committee have passed bills that would repeal the SGR and replace it with a system of rewarding physicians based [...]