Goodbye to the Year Gone By!

It feels as if in the blink of an eye, a year has gone by. It is not just the twelve months that make a year, but the countless memories these months bring with them. The good and the not so good memories that fill our hearts and make us cherish the year gone by and welcome a new year with brighter aspirations. Let us review how the last twelve months have been for us on various parameters.

Personal life: We should be able to review if we had an interesting and successful personal life in the last year which should be our eternal wish and resolution for every year. No person in this world can ever be happy with just a successful professional life. We need to check if we have spent enough time with our parents, spouse, and kids and added value to our and their life in any way. We need to ask ourselves how many meals we had together as a family and how many times we enjoyed a family outing that has rejuvenated our family bonds. It is not just enjoying the good, but braving the hard times that define our character. Let us take note of those tough times that brought the empathy and caring attitude of ours to the fore when one of our family members fought with a health ailment and we took care of them with sheer love and compassion. We can take pride in those tough times that have strengthened us as a person when we stood like a rock beside our loved ones in their struggles with life. We should feel proud of those moments when we have been a confidante to our family and friends who could share their worries and get relief from their pain.

Social life: Having a good social life is as much necessary as having a good personal and professional life. Social life is not about having a great number of friends but it is about having people who can inspire us. Joining networks that have people from different spheres of life and have seen the ups and downs of life can do a lot of good to us. Let us review if we have joined such groups or have acquainted people who can influence us in a positive way. Have we got in touch with any such person who can show us the path to a happy and successful life? Let us identify if we are in a wrong company and being influenced in such a way that it is impacting our lives in a negative way.

Professional life: Nothing excites us more than recognition and appreciation at our workplace. For better prospects in the career next year, we ought to review the kind of work we have done this year. Let us review ourselves or ask our employers and co-workers their feedback about the areas that need improvement and the areas we are struggling to meet the requirements. Let us identify the kind of work that has given us recognition and a sense of achievement.

We all anticipate a good future but ignore the fact that the future depends on the past deeds and today’s actions. Let us introspect thoroughly what we have done in the last year and realize how we can make ourselves better in the coming year. Let us say goodbye to the year 2018 with a sense of gratitude that we are still breathing.

Factors Affecting Healthcare Providers’ Revenue Cycle

Medical billing or revenue cycle management is a critical process for a healthcare provider that records and organizes patient payments and whose efficacy can either enhance or tarnish a patient’s experience and the provider’s financial position and reputation. A healthy revenue cycle management is an essential element for a healthcare facility to provide the best healthcare experience to its patients and build a strong bond with them for a long-term loyal association. Here are some of the significant factors that affect a healthcare provider’s revenue cycle and which can be managed well by hiring one of the best RCM services providers.

Inaccurate patient information: The revenue cycle of a healthcare provider starts from the time of the first encounter of a patient with the healthcare facility and this is the time that the facility staff should collect accurate and complete patient information so that they do not face any hurdles while collecting payments. This is an absolute necessity per the experts in RCM services because inaccurate patient information leads to difficulties while collecting payments from either patient themselves or insurance payers.

Incorrect medical coding: A majority of medical billing errors are a result of medical coding errors and many times these lead to medical claim rejections and denials. It is essential for the healthcare facility to concentrate on its medical coding process to give accurate codes to the services provided to the patients so that it is correctly reflected in the medical bills and accurate bills are prepared and it receives its due payments promptly.

Increased patient responsibility: One of the factors that are increasing troubles for healthcare facilities in managing their revenue cycles is the increased patient financial responsibility. Although the patient financial responsibility is increasing, adequate measures to provide appropriate and timely information to patients or their families regarding the amount patient has to pay and the payment options available to the patient to remit the amount.

Manual revenue cycle process: Revenue cycle management is a complex process and it is no surprise when it has so many issues. When a process is complex, it needs a robust system in place that facilitates automated billing and claims processes; there will be no room for mistakes. But, this is not the case with many healthcare facilities which follow the manual record-keeping methods. To counter this situation, facilities can hire RCM services companies that offer efficient systems to provide effective and quality healthcare to patients.

Healthcare facilities can control some of the factors influencing their revenue cycle, but not all. Partnering with the best RCM services providers is the best option for healthcare providers struggling with their revenue cycles.

How Deadlines Improve Us?

What is the first thing that comes to our thoughts when we list out the reasons for stress in our lives? A majority of us think of deadlines to be the major reason of stress we go through in our daily life. However, deadlines are crucial to achieving success in both small and large goals that vary in personal and professional lives. Deadlines are all the important in an organizational setup where people with different backgrounds and mindsets come together to accomplish one common goal. Without deadlines, everyone would do according to his/her own interests, go haywire, and nothing would fall in place. Let’s see here, how deadlines matter and play a role in improving our professional as well as personal life.

Set expectations: Deadlines help us set expectations that we have to reach. When we clearly know what is expected of us we have a clear and certain goal and are away from confusion. We start our work without any delays with clarity.

Prioritize tasks: When we are confronted with deadlines, we are pushed to prioritize our work and when a deadline is ahead, we will set aside all other things that are not very important and not very urgent.
Complete work: When there is no deadline, we don’t bother to even start work, set aside completing it. Deadlines help us to remember tasks to be completed and work towards it lest we may be called losers and failures.

How to set realistic deadlines that improve our work?

Evaluate: Firstly, we should understand the requirements of a task and evaluate what it takes to finish the task. Estimation regarding the complexity of the task and the time it would require completing is essential to set a deadline.

Source: The next important aspect of setting deadlines is to source the appropriate resources that are required to complete the task efficiently. This is also important because the time required to complete a task depends on the quality and efficacy of resources that are utilized.

Exigency: While setting deadlines one has to take into account the possibility of exigencies that would require more time than usual because it doesn’t happen that things always work out exactly as we planned. There is always a probability of issues arising due to our illness, unplanned and urgent leaves, technical glitches etc.

Schedule: Breaking down a task into multiple smaller tasks and setting deadlines for these individual tasks helps to complete a task on time and be on track. Adhering to the schedule of the smaller tasks ultimately leads us to finish the bigger task promptly. Even if there is any deviation in achieving the target of a small task according to the deadline, it can be adjusted in the next task to meet the overall deadline.

Communicate: We ought to communicate any kind of issues and delays, if any, in deadlines to the stakeholders so as to minimize the impact of missing a deadline because the reputation of a person or business lies in keeping up promises. People will understand the situation better when kept informed and may even come forward to help.

Setting realistic and achievable deadlines is really necessary to streamline our thoughts and work as they push us to act. Getting into action is what proves our worth and brings success to us. It’s not late if we have not set any deadlines yet. We can do that right now and streamline all our life.

Some Medical Coding Changes to Expect for 2019

Medical coding professionals use ICD-10 and CPT codes to describe the patient conditions and the procedures performed on them for facilitation of the medical billing process. ICD-10 is the medical classification list of diseases and health problems, given by the World Health Organization. It contains thousands of codes to describe the various diseases, signs, symptoms, causes of injury or diseases etc. Along with the ICD codes, CPT codes are also used that are provided by the American Medical Association through the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set that describes the diagnostic and treatment procedures.

The CPT codes are designed with an aim to provide uniformity to the healthcare information about the patients for the use of all healthcare providers like physicians and insurance payers. These codes are revised every year and this year’s revision has come with 335 changes for the year 2019. Medical coding companies ought to ensure that their employees in medical coding jobs are updated with these and other relevant changes related to ICD-10 and CPT code sets regularly. Let’s see some of the CPT code changes for 2019 that every medical coder should know.

Many guidelines are revised for inter-professional telephone, internet, and EHR consultations. Codes 99451 and 99152 based on medical consultative time are added to report assessment and management services. A new code is added that requires a minimum of 20 minutes of a physician or other qualified healthcare professional’s time in a calendar month for interactive communication with the patient/caregiver and this is code 99457. Two new codes are added to report remote physiologic monitoring services during a 30-day period and some other codes were revised.
Many other new codes are added for procedures related to biopsies; allografts; insertion, replacement, or removal of the pacemaker; gastrostomy tube placement etc.

It is the responsibility of medical coders to update themselves with the latest revisions to the CPT codes and code to the highest levels of specification with accuracy. This is required to enable the medical billers to make accurate bills and prepare claims that bring in appropriate reimbursements for the services provided.

Some Medical Coding Changes to Expect for 2019

Medical coding professionals use ICD-10 and CPT codes to describe the patient conditions and the procedures performed on them for facilitation of the medical billing process. ICD-10 is the medical classification list of diseases and health problems, given by the World Health Organization. It contains thousands of codes to describe the various diseases, signs, symptoms, causes of injury or diseases etc. Along with the ICD codes, CPT codes are also used that are provided by the American Medical Association through the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set that describes the diagnostic and treatment procedures.

The CPT codes are designed with an aim to provide uniformity to the healthcare information about the patients for the use of all healthcare providers like physicians and insurance payers. These codes are revised every year and this year’s revision has come with 335 changes for the year 2019. Medical coding companies ought to ensure that their employees in medical coding jobs are updated with these and other relevant changes related to ICD-10 and CPT code sets regularly. Let’s see some of the CPT code changes for 2019 that every medical coder should know.

Many guidelines are revised for inter-professional telephone, internet, and EHR consultations. Codes 99451 and 99152 based on medical consultative time are added to report assessment and management services. A new code is added that requires a minimum of 20 minutes of a physician or other qualified healthcare professional’s time in a calendar month for interactive communication with the patient/caregiver and this is code 99457. Two new codes are added to report remote physiologic monitoring services during a 30-day period and some other codes were revised.
Many other new codes are added for procedures related to biopsies; allografts; insertion, replacement, or removal of the pacemaker; gastrostomy tube placement etc.

It is the responsibility of medical coders to update themselves with the latest revisions to the CPT codes and code to the highest levels of specification with accuracy. This is required to enable the medical billers to make accurate bills and prepare claims that bring in appropriate reimbursements for the services provided.

Break Out of Your Comfort Zone and See the Magic

A situation in which we feel comfortable and secure without any fear of failure or stress is our comfort zone. We all tend to love to be in our comfort zone because we need not work hard or worry about any kind of failure and hence, it is also a condition that leads to stagnation in our lives. Loving to stay in our comfort zone means forgoing amazing and life-changing opportunities that could bring us happiness and success. So, how do we get out of our comfort zone to explore the unfamiliar world of opportunities and enjoy the magic of life experiences?

Getting to know what are the avenues out of our comfort zone is the first step to seeing the greener pastures on the other side. We should identify what are the opportunities outside our comfort zone that could bring us more satisfaction and happiness but, missing out on those because of our unnecessary fears and anxieties.
We should get to the root cause of fear that is holding us back and depriving us of our success in what we wish to do. We ought to find out if we fear to do a certain task, or talking to people, or feel awkward about our looks etc.

When we identify the cause of our fear, it is pretty easy to deal with it. To get out of any fear we should accept it rather than run away from it. Accepting our fears and working towards overcoming them is itself a gutsy thing which is the first success in getting out of our comfort zone.
The next thing after conquering fear is taking a step further towards doing something that we have longed to do. Since we have overcome our fear we should take small steps that would take us nearer to our goal. Small steps are to be taken so that we are not overwhelmed by the enormity of the tasks to be performed and don’t withdraw in the middle.

Getting out of comfort zone means we are going to struggle and possibly encounter failure. Like all other fears, we should conquer the fear of failure and it would be the greatest achievement as nothing else can stop us from going forward. Failures teach us good lessons of life and we should not let go those opportunities to evolve as a better and stronger person.

Although even the thought of venturing out of our comfort zone is terrifying, it could be enjoyed by being positive always and creating some fun in the process of discovering our capabilities and expanding our horizons. As we get comfortable in our new venture, we ought to push ourselves again out of that new comfort zone to explore and enjoy life further.

Basics of Hierarchical Condition Category Coding

Medical coding is an excellent career option that is challenging and needs a medical coder to be highly alert and attentive towards the job. One important aspect that people in medical coding jobs should be aware of is hierarchical condition category (HCC) coding, a risk adjustment model initiated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

What is hierarchical condition category coding?

Hierarchical condition category coding is a payment model initiated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to set a risk adjustment factor (RAF) score for a patient to determine the patient’s reimbursement from the CMS. All medical coding professionals should learn about the HCC methodology that helps predict costs for those inpatients and outpatients that take Medicare Advantage. To decide on the risk adjustment patient demographics and diagnosis codes are used.

People in medical coding jobs have the responsibility of performing post audits also along with coding accurately for HCCs. While accurate diagnosis coding is really important, accurate HCC coding is also essential for correct risk adjustment which plays a critical role in proper reimbursement for the services provided.

How it is done?

For the purpose of hierarchical condition category coding, patient’s conditions and diseases are organized according to body systems and a similar disease process. The CMS risk adjustment model includes about 80 categories of illnesses in HCC and some of the more commonly used categories are diabetes, depression and bipolar diseases, asthma and pulmonary diseases, congestive heart failure etc. Patients are generally assigned more than one categories as the complete information of a patient along with the demographic details and risk factors can predict more than one kind of illness or potential risk for different illnesses. HCC coding relies on ICD-10 codes and each HCC code is mapped to an ICD-10 code. By using the HCC coding model insurance providers can estimate costs for a patient’s illness or ailments, thereby predicting that those patients who are healthy and have fewer ailments could have less medical costs and patients with severe ailments could have higher medical costs.

Medical coding professionals are always valuable and have become even more valuable for the HCC coding and auditing processes. Medical coders play a crucial role in assigning accurate diagnosis codes and HCC codes to estimate future financial resources for patients and ensuring timely and correct reimbursements for the services provided by the physicians. Choosing the right medical coding companies is really vital for a good financial performance of a healthcare facility.

Computers Can’t Strain Your Eyes- If You Do This!

The massive intrusion of digital technology in every field of life has made it inevitable for all of us to work on computers for long hours. Not just work, but many other things like shopping, entertainment, and education are also being done using computers and various mobile devices. Even if we can avoid screen time for other purposes, we can’t avoid computers at work. Working in front of the computer throughout the day and sometimes even at night, takes a toll on our eyes. Staring at screen continuously for long hours results in various troubles ranging from tiredness, dry eyes, and itchy eyes to headaches, blurred vision, and double vision. All these kinds of eye discomforts and vision symptoms associated with the use of computers and other mobile screens are termed as computer vision syndrome.

The number of people complaining of computer vision syndrome is on a rise and when these people consult an eye specialist they are recommended computer glasses, eyes drops, and any other treatment as necessary depending on the complexity of the problem. However, as the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. We can safeguard our eyes from the harsh effects of using digital screens for a long duration by taking some precautions.

Maintain the distance: The first tip to minimize strain on eyes is to maintain enough distance from the computer. Keeping our system at a fair distance from our face will ease the strain on eyes to focus on the screen. Keeping our monitor at a distance around 25 inches from our eyes and just below our eye level will reduce a lot of strain on the eyes.

Adjust the settings: We can minimize the amount of glare on our screens by adjusting the settings in our computer and cleaning the screen regularly. Another option to get rid of glare is using a glare filter on the computer screen.

Get proper lighting: Lighting plays an important role in maintaining our eyesight. As with reading books, while using the computer also we should have appropriate lighting in the room. Another aspect that affects our eyes is the glare on the monitor which we can get rid of by restricting the natural light that falls on the monitor through windows.

Blink often: It is natural for all of us to not blink when we are focused on something. But, forgetting to blink causes strain on eyes which can be avoided by blinking often. We ought to make a conscious effort to blink at least every 20 seconds to give enough rest to our eyes.

Take regular breaks: Taking a short break every 20 minutes really helps a lot to relax our eyes as well as the mind. Getting away from our workstation and taking a small walk, talking to a co-worker, and grabbing a cup of coffee/tea are the simplest ways to take regular breaks.

Use a pair of glasses: Apart from doing all these, another fabulous and fashionable way to keep our eyes relaxed is using a pair of glasses that are suitable for computer use.

By following these few tips we can protect our eyes from the effects of using computers for a long time. Further, taking a nutritious diet rich in vitamin A and getting enough sleep are of paramount importance in maintaining a good vision in general.

Things We Need to Quit to Become Successful

In the process of learning how to become successful in life, we usually come across tips that tell the attributes that we need to acquire. We too, often assume that we need to start learning or doing something new to become successful but, seldom do we understand that there are many things that we have already learnt or have been doing on a regular basis and need to be changed or discontinued to be able to tread the path of success. Here are some of the things or habits that we need to quit so that we achieve success like many other successful people.

Renounce the word “can’t”: The first thing that ought to be removed from our lives is the word itself and the negativity associated with “I can’t”. We ought to believe in ourselves and believe that we can bring a change to ourselves and the world. We all have incredible talent that needs to be discovered and we should believe that our talent will do some good to the society as well.

Do not believe in luck: Luck doesn’t play a role in anybody’s success. What is required to be successful is not believing in luck and believing in one’s own capabilities and industry. Instead of lazing around and cursing luck for not being favorable, it is better to keep working and make things work in our favor.

Shun negative people: One of the best mantras to succeed is avoiding the company of pessimistic people. We ought not to listen to the torchbearers of failure and misery and we need to leave them behind to march ahead in the company of successful and optimistic people.

Stop idling: One thing that every person that wants to be successful has to follow is to stop idling away precious time and procrastinating tasks. Successful people never procrastinate or laze around just like that. They believe in finishing tasks on time and utilizing time effectively and productively.

Avoid distractions: To get into the path of success, one has to avoid any distractions that do not serve any purpose. We consume a lot of nonsense on a daily basis from various channels like news, gossips, unnecessary meetings etc. All this nonsense stuff needs to be kept at a safe distance so as to focus on extremely important tasks.

Give up being stuck in failure: Not being stuck in failure and moving ahead for better fortunes is the quintessential success mantra. Failure shouldn’t stop us from reaching our goals and it should be seen as an educational opportunity rather than a hindrance in our way. We should never surrender to failure and quit our task in the mid.

Success doesn’t come easy and one needs to quit quitting for a lifetime to taste success. Nothing should stop us from achieving what we want to and for this we need to adopt the above-mentioned habits and improve our productivity and efficiency.

Medical Transcription Helps Maintain Accurate EMRs

The healthcare industry has been witnessing tremendous progress in the last few years in the areas of healthcare documentation, electronic medical records, and electronic health records that are playing a crucial role in the quality of healthcare being provided by the facilities. Many healthcare documentation companies are providing transcription services that can be integrated with electronic medical records with ease and this is becoming possible due to the optimal use of technology. There is a huge benefit of integrating healthcare documentation services with electronic medical records in the form of patient satisfaction coupled with the increase in healthcare providers’ productivity levels.

An electronic medical record (EMR) is a digital record used by the doctors to maintain and track the health information of their patients. Although the electronic medical records and electronic health records (EHRs) are interchangeably used, there is a difference between the two. The EMRs represent the health records of a patient within a single healthcare facility whereas the EHRs share the health records of a patient across multiple facilities. To comply with the HIPAA and ‘meaningful use’ regulations, the healthcare facilities need to adopt electronic medical records which could prove to be more expensive for the facilities compared to the costs of outsourcing their healthcare documentation jobs. To combat this situation, facilities can integrate the EMRs with medical transcription or healthcare documentation that relies on the dictations of physicians regarding patient visits, diagnoses, and treatments.

The dictated content given by the physicians if tagged appropriately can be used to discreetly fill the various sections in the EMRs thereby reducing the time and efforts of physicians in populating the EMRs themselves. Integrating the EMRs with healthcare documentation reports facilitates in improving the healthcare providers’ productivity because physicians have more time at their disposal to see an increased number of patients and spend more time with the patients. That not only increases patient satisfaction but also results in increased revenues for healthcare providers.

Hiring the right service provider from the numerous healthcare documentation companies in the market is the key to receive accurate transcription reports that are HIPAA compliant and within the required timeframe.