6 Keys to Sustaining Your Practice Through the Pandemic

Sustaining Your PracticeThe SIX KEYS to sustaining your practice through the COVID-19 pandemic are online payments, Telehealth, automation tools, cyber protection, financial aid, and a good patient experience.

When Coronavirus first started to impact medical practices across the country, providers quickly put temporary solutions in place to ensure they were still able to see patients safely. As the pandemic endured, some of these “temporary” solutions became a “normal” part of doing business. While we can’t predict exactly how COVID-19 will affect us in the future, one thing is becoming clearer every day: Some of the changes that have been made the past few months will shape how healthcare is managed after the global health crisis is over.

So, it’s time to start thinking long-term with your COVID-19 strategy. Here are six ‘keys’ for sustaining your practice right now that will continue to be important after the pandemic is over.

1. ONLINE PAYMENTS
Most businesses already process a good amount of their payments online (including EZClaim), but healthcare has been slow to adapt in this area. Practices no longer have the luxury of taking their time adopting digital payment options. It’s time to give patients what they’ve been wanting for years: the ability to pay their bills online.

Because the pandemic is still with us, contactless payments have surged. No-touch payments are an easy way to reduce the spread of germs, and most people already have the tools they need to complete these types of payments: phones, computers, and credit cards.

Online payments are encouraged even when you’re meeting patients in the office. EZClaim customers can easily facilitate this with LinkPay. The process is easy and can be done once an appointment is made.

Here’s LinkPay in three simple steps:
1) Create customized payment link with required amount
2) Email or text the link to patient before their visit
3) Patient pays the required amount, which is immediately confirmed and processed

COVID-19 demanded contactless payments for safety, but now patients now expect them for convenience. Medical practices will need online payments if they are to stay relevant in the future.

2. TELEHEALTH
Telehealth threw providers a lifeline when patients stopped coming into the office. The government acted quickly to relax Telehealth reimbursement policies so providers would be paid just as much for a Telehealth visit as they would for an in-office visit.

Congress is hoping to make these changes permanent. Whether they succeed or not, plan on keeping Telehealth as an option for your patients. Because Telehealth is not just useful during a pandemic, it’s great during normal life, too. Not all visits require an in-person encounter, and patients of all ages can benefit from the convenience of not having to physically leave their homes to get the medical care they need.

Patients have become used to having Telehealth as an option. Keeping it as an option going forward will set you apart from other practices.

3. AUTOMATION TOOLS
Chances are you are working with fewer people than normal. So, with less people to handle your billing and payments, your best option is to automate whatever you can.

This could mean setting up AutoPay for patients you see regularly, so they don’t have to manually pay their bill every time. It could also mean setting up a payment plan, in which a fixed amount will be paid automatically every month until the balance is paid off. It could also mean outsourcing your collections.

Automation doesn’t mean you lose control. Rather, it gives your staff more time to manage other essential operations. EZClaim customers have all of these automation options available to them through BillFlash.

4. CYBER PROTECTION
With digital tools becoming more prevalent, it is more important than ever to make sure your systems are protected. Hackers are out in full force right now, so it is imperative that you have proper malware and anti-virus software in place to protect your practice, your patients, and your employees. Do your homework on the tech companies you work with, too. Protecting your practice and your patients should be a top priority!

Of course, your staff will need to be up-to-date on HIPAA protocols, as well. Make sure you are doing everything you need to to protect patient privacy online as well as offline.

5. FINANCIAL AID
Some practices are struggling financially and may need government aid to get them through the current crisis. Keep an eye on government funds that are available and stay informed on their different requirements.

If you haven’t already, consider applying for a line of credit. This is standard operating procedure—even during normal times—and can help protect you from further financial disruptions in the future. No one knows how long this pandemic will last, so having a line of credit to fall back on during the coming months and years could be a game changer for your practice.

6. A GOOD PATIENT EXPERIENCE
Above all, you need happy patients. That is true whether we are in a recession or not. Happy patients are more likely to pay their bills, more likely to return for future care, and more likely to recommend you to family and friends.

 

So, as you make some of the changes you made during the pandemic permanent, make sure you are still doing the little things to ensure a positive patient experience. These include:

• Keep wait times short
• Maintain eye contact during visits to assure patients that you care
• Be transparent about payment expectations and insurance, as well as what you’re doing to keep patients and staff safe
• Allow patients to pay using their preferred payment method
• Offer payment plans in lieu of paying large bills in one lump sum

A positive patient experience will be key in bringing your patients back to the office as the global health crisis continues.

NexTrust from BillFlash offers a variety of innovative billing and payments solutions for EZClaim customers. Visit billflash.com or e-mail them at Sales@BillFlash.com to learn more about how you can get paid more, get paid faster, and ensure you have the online tools you need to thrive during the pandemic.

For details and features about EZClaim’s medical billing software, or the other partners they have integrated into their billing solution, visit their website.

[ Written by Kathy Scott, Marketing Manager at BillFlash and NexTrust, Inc. ]

2020 MIPS Reporting is Half Over. What Do You Need to Do Right Now?

The 2020 MIPS reporting is already half done, and given that MIPS (Merit-based Incentive Payment System) is a points-based program, the goal is to earn as many points as possible to avoid this year’s 9% penalty and potentially even earn a positive payment adjustment.  However, earning the 45 points necessary to avoid the penalty for the 2020 reporting period will be no easy feat. With over half of the reporting period already behind us, it is imperative you ACT NOW so you don’t find yourself in position later in the year that you can’t recover from in terms of earning points.

2020 MIPS Reporting

 

With all the complexities and nuances of the program, its challenging to know what you can do to impact your score.  Here are three critical actions to take right now so that you will still optimize your ability to earn points for the 2020 reporting period:

1. Focus on the Quality Category
There are various points available within each of the categories and the Quality Category has the most points associated with it. Based on a number of factors, the category is worth anywhere from 45 to 85 points.  This is a critical category to be focused on throughout the year, so now is the time to ensure that you are tracking all relevant data so that it can be properly reported on within your submission.

2. Understand the Timeframe Requirements
Two of these categories, Promoting Interoperability and Improvement Activities, have timeframe requirements where you must perform for a minimum of 90 continuous days.  These are not easy categories in which to be successful and so if you wait too long in the year you will find it impossible to put the right actions in place in order to complete the activities necessary to earn any of the points in these categories.

3. Choose the Right Reporting Methodology
Not all reporting methodologies are the same and the reporting methodology you select has a significant impact on the points you could earn.  Additionally, there is strategic maneuvering that can be done throughout the reporting period with exemptions and reweighting of points that can set you up to optimize your performance and your score.  Therefore, you must select a reporting partner that will help you earn the most points available and leverages technology to facilitate the ease, accuracy, and completeness of tracking and reporting to maximize your score.  Reporting via a CEHRT, like Health eFilings, is the best approach because it optimizes the points that could be earned and therefore, maximizes Medicare reimbursements.


Health eFilings
is a certified EHR technology (CEHRT) and the national leader in automated MIPS reporting. Their cloud-based ONC certified software fully automates the reporting process.  Because Health eFilings’ service is an end-to-end electronic solution that doesn’t require any IT resources, administrative support, or workflow changes from you, the practice will save significant time while maximizing its financial upside.

To learn more about how to properly perform your 2020 MIPS reporting, contact EZClaim’s partner, Health eFilings, so they can help before its too late!


For details and features about EZClaim’s medical billing software, or general information about the company, visit their website
.

[ Written by Sarah Reiter, SVP Strategic Partnerships, Health eFilings ]

Webinar: Understanding QPP MIPS Measure Specifications on July 28, 2020

WEBINAR: Understanding QPP MIPS Measure Specifications

Hear it from the experts! Learn how to interpret Quality and Promoting Interoperability Measure Specifications from Alpha II’s Qualified Registry auditors.

They will reveal the most common mistakes found in quality reporting and show the importance of understanding your measures. Topics include:

• Understanding denominator exclusions
• Adding required denominator G-codes
• Visit requirements
• Importance of notes
• Numerator instructions
• Special numerator criteria such as minimum day requirements
• Promoting Interoperability measure requirements and more…

Understanding QPP MIPS Webinar details:

• Date: July 28, 2020 @ 1pm (EST)
EZClaim Link: https://alphaii.zoom.us/webinar/register/2915940667921/WN_7pUJlJs3RGSytrMoNsrYJQ

MIPS Reporting Webinar on July 22, 2020

Join this MIPS Reporting Webinar to be sure you are up to speed on the latest updates and changes.

MIPS Reporting WebinarNow that the MIPS (Merit-based Incentive Payment System) submission period is drawing to a close, join our partner, Alpha II, as they review the updates and changes for MIPS reporting in 2020. This session will discuss important program updates for 2020 reporting including:

• Eligibility requirements
• Performance thresholds
• Payment adjustments
• Performance category weighting
• Measure updates and more…

MIPS Reporting Webinar details:

Start reporting correctly now to ensure success for the 2020 performance year!

New Compliance Regulations for Working at Home

Whether you and your workforce are back in the office, or still working from home, there are new compliance regulations, and your HIPAA Compliance program may be a bit different.

New Compliance RegulationsReliable and Effective Compliance

Completely online, our role-based courses make training easy for remote or in-office employees.

Contact-free and accurate Security Risk Assessments are conducted remotely. All devices are thoroughly analyzed regardless of location.

Policies and Procedures curated to fit your organization ensuring employees are updated on all Workstation Use and Security Safeguards in or out of the office, and  updated in real time.

Electronic, prepared document sending and signing to employees and business associates.

Don’t risk your company’s future, especially when we are offering a FREE Organization Assessment to help determine your company’s status regarding the new compliance regulations. [ Click here to download a “HIPAA Compliance Requirements” document ].

Live Compliance is a partner of EZClaim, and you can contact them directly by either calling them at (980) 999-1585, e-mail Jim Johnson at Jim@LiveCompliance.com, or visit them at LiveCompliance.com

[ Written by Jim Johnson, President of Live Compliance ]

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