Yours truly is now 45

 

Ho, Ho! Christmas is coming and guess what – I just turned a year older! Yup, yours truly is now 45.
Now whether I have been a good boy this past year is up to Monsieur Santa Claus to decide, but as always, my birthday has me going in a bit of self-reflection mode.
I feel like having gained the wisdom of 75-year-old in a body of 25-year-old, thanks to the love and support of my family and friends (of all age groups) who continuously challenge me to do something new every day.
The number ‘75’ stirs up all sorts of emotions and memories because that’s the age that my Dad died. I missed him like hell this past year, but I miss him especially today. I couldn’t do much for him in his last moments, sitting here in the U.S, and that’s something that I’ll live with forever. But I am happy that my mother, who lives in India, is doing well, surrounded by neighbors and extended family.
As someone said, let’s be positive and move forward, so I’m indeed counting all my blessings. For instance, I wasn’t admitted to the hospital or I didn’t run into a car accident although I did get two-speed citations (psst Santa, could you overlook that?).
Keeping myself in the best shape has remained my obsession, but my CrossFit schedule is suspended for a month due to the injury on my left foot. However, I picked up a new habit of indoor cycling which will help in keeping my weight in control during the winter season.
I had mixed feelings this year when our immigration status changed through naturalization. I suddenly realized that my excitement level is not the same about living an American dream as it was 15 years ago when we applied for H1B visa since it gave me a little feeling of guilt somewhere deep in my heart of leaving my country of birth. Although, listening to India News on YouTube during driving back to home on my smartphone is still the part of my regular daily schedule. Indian politics and Bollywood movies still excite me.
Out of all this, it seems I have completely forgotten to mention work. I gained little more popularity on my professional social media accounts in terms of the number of followers and content views. My speaking engagements have gone up this year because I finally figured out a new work mantra – If you can’t do the things yourself then it’s better to inspire someone else who can do it for you!
I think my parents figured out the formula for success and that is if you marry the smartest person on this planet you don’t need to worry about your financial affairs. While I’m busy dreaming about the future, my wife Parul is protecting the present, working hard taking care of the business and our family. Speaking of which, our kids have started showing the signs of adolescence and now preach us on how to behave like responsible parents. Go figure!
Thank you all, who connected with me online and offline to wish me on this special day. My love for you will never change.
If we don’t get to speak before the year ends, I wish you Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Be naughty and nice 😊
God bless us all!
Kunal Jain

How I applied moral ethics in my business which helped it grow without resorting to traditional advertising methods.

I received a business inquiry last week through our website which I responded to quickly and arranged a meeting with the prospective client. Following the conversation, the prospect signed up for our services and paid the Kickstarter Practice Package fee for new physicians of $5,000.  Immediately I began reviewing the credentialing paperwork for the new group Medicare number they were seeking due to a new doctor starting the practice.  Very quickly I noticed something which the client had not previously realized during the hiring of the new physician.  I noticed that the new physician did not have what I thought was the necessary certification needed to sit as Medical Director for the new group per Medicare guidelines. I also was not fully convinced of my feeling so upon returning to my office I asked my assistant to dig deeper into the Medicare requirements. My assistant reported back to me that Medicare said the new physician is qualified and we should not have a problem moving forward.  We deposited the check of $5,000 for the Kickstarter Practice Package, signed the contract and began moving forward with credentialing.  Despite the response from Medicare I was still struggling with the thought that this new physician did not meet Medicare guidelines, so I asked my assistant to ask the same questions to Medicare but in a different manner. Surprisingly, she received a different answer from Medicare this time.  The physician, in fact, did not qualify to be Medical Director based on Medicare guidelines.  My thoughts had been validated. Without hesitation, I called the owner of the group and immediately offered a full refund of his money stating that we cannot undertake the credentialing and that I did not want him to waste his money on an effort that would not lead to their goals being accomplished.  The owner then told me that this is the first time he had met someone who refunded his money based on the principals of ethics and not by contractual obligation.  He then mentioned that he had paid large sums of money on two different occasions to consultants who could not get the job done either but offered no refund.

I have seen this type of scenario play out several times during the past few years where consultants do not pay close enough attention to small, critical details at the time of grabbing a new contract, then later come back with an excuse that due to third party involvement or situation they could not assure the success of the project.  Nothing is new in the situation mentioned above.  The point I want to make here is that by being honest and upfront with this client, I have made a lasting, positive impression about the credibility of myself and my company.

I have another recent example where one of my clients who has been working with me for a long time did not agree on one of the judgment calls I had about their IT situation. As a result, they ended up losing a tremendous amount of clinical data during a hard drive crash, or so they thought.  I have a habit of protecting my client’s interest even if they are not careful enough to do it on their own. While this client had moved their IT support elsewhere and was not using our services at the time of the crash, we were still able to recover the data from a copy of a backup which we had setup previously for him before he moved to the other IT company. The same IT company who failed to step up when he needed them most.

There is one more incident that happened recently which reminded me of how important it is to deal with others in an ethical manner. Another billing company in the area lost many clients recently because of trust issues.  I wrote about them in an earlier blog, but this billing company was siphoning physician’s money into their personal bank account without the physician’s knowledge. They did this by giving their own bank information instead of the physicians to the various insurance companies.  Later on, when one of their physicians moved their medical billing to us, he noticed a huge increase in his revenue which triggered concern in his mind about the previous billing practices of his old billing company. A few phone calls later, and the other billing company was involved in a large-scale federal investigation involving the mishandling of money.

The above personal behavior and professional ethics reaffirm our ability to judge situations correctly and make the right choices for our clients resulting in long-term sustainable trust. This is something we can all do. It is repeatable, and it pays big rewards.

Be honest, transparent, and firm when you deal with your prospects or clients.  Your company culture is nothing but your personal reputation, build it carefully or continue spending money endlessly on your marketing for the rest of the life.

Why Social Entrepreneurship is the Key to open many treasure chests on this planet?

I recently graduated from the University of South Florida School of Business, which is ranked number ten in the United States based on a recent survey. This education was my quest to find validation for my thoughts and principles in life inherited from my father after spending my adolescent years in India. The degree I attained carries a huge meaning for me both professionally and personally.

My favorite subject in this program was Social Entrepreneurship. It is a part of the degree program called “Masters of Applied Science in Entrepreneurship.” This degree equates to having a combined degree in Business, Entrepreneurship, and Science. Along with my inherited learning in social entrepreneurship from India, this makes me a perfect candidate to become someone who creates radical solutions to change the world in a positive manner, or to become a part of the team that reaches this goal.

I also attended an Executive Education program at Harvard this year after realizing that my degree from India, along with my class standing, might render me ineligible for admission into Harvard as a full-time student. Using some of my hard-earned money to attend a short executive program at the school seemed to be the best solution. Harvard provides this type of program to help fund their programs for full-time students, along with using it to fund scholarships that will allow certain recipients to attend the university for free. I consider this a donation to contribute to their education system, and a perfect way of repaying my debt to The United States of America.

I’m not sure how I suddenly developed such a passion for furthering my education in the past year, but it resulted in a lot of fun times! I realized that there were two main factors that contributed to my motivation. The first was a desire to keep myself amongst younger, career-minded people. Secondly, I had a great desire to create a network of friends. This is something I could not have developed by sitting at my home performing the daily household chores, shopping, or even working as management in a mundane office setting.

The main focus of furthering my education was to enhance my knowledge in an effort to find the solution for creating a better world. I could see a clear vision through this particular course on Social Entrepreneurship. This vision is a result of the information I gathered in the course, and led me to the system I began developing. This system addresses the way non-profit endeavors should be run in order to achieve long-lasting success.

We formed a foundation in India last year with the intent of finding a solution to some of the social problems which exist here. We focused on a small place called Jaipur Rajasthan. I visited several non-profit organizations in the past two years during my visit to India and found that the main challenge for each organization was to raise funding for their various projects. On the other hand, I have several friends in corporations who have voiced complaints about not being able to find organizations who are qualified enough to receive their funding.

So what’s the disconnect here? I asked them about the criteria for non-profit organizations receiving their funding, and the answer was simple. They must have two government certificates that include a few pages of a corporate report detailing their mission. I know for a fact that these organizations are working very diligently in locations where it is impossible for these large funding corporations to enter. The high-flying corporate social responsibility (CSR) leaders can’t even travel there, and are even less likely to live under the bleak circumstances where these volunteers are living and working, day and night, in order to complete their mission.

Here is the disconnect; most CSR funding goes to those over- glorified agencies or organizations who know how to propagate their mission work in the eyes of those corporations providing the funding. It all boils down to one thing, and that is extremely extensive marketing.

This is the reason every charitable organization globally needs a professionally structured social mission, along with a business strategy targeted to execute that plan. You may call this a professional program toward social entrepreneurship, but for me its a vision toward eliminating the surprise factor from the lives of common citizens by engaging them in social change through education and training. We have spent countless hours in the past ten years of our operations in India trying to figure out a way that every individual who comes to work for our organization can have the foundation of fundamental skillsets that are necessary to be further trained on our processes. This is very difficult, especially considering the massive rise in the amount of illegitimate Engineering and MBA colleges.

Degrees are being distributed like groceries, where for the right price you can go buy any type of hybrid degree from the market. The fundamental reason for the lack of quality in the Indian institutions is a total absence of a system for compliance and audits. Many of the leaders don’t feel comfortable in being accountable or transparent to the system. This is just one area where a structured course on social entrepreneurship can be of great help and can provide a massive scope of change.

What we need is honest feedback collection from the students. We need complete freedom of expression at institutions and workplaces alike, along with any other areas where social opportunities exist to the masses. We must achieve honesty and transparency in all areas of society.

I think every MBA college or engineering college in India should require this fundamental course on social entrepreneurship before anyone can start a foundation or charitable organization.

The picture above shows my visit to an orphanage center in Jaipur, where we are trying to help raise funding. Unfortunately, all the administration seems to be focused on is attaining more funding from myself or using my resources whereas I am insisting that they use some of their funds to create a self-sustainable process that won’t require continuous requests for charity in order to achieve the necessary operational funding. With the proper education and training, this self-sufficiency can realistically be attained.

I truly believe that today’s entrepreneurs and CSR Leaders need to encourage and help these organizations transition into much more of a self-sustaining enterprise.

 Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

What if you find Purpose in your First Job?

I had a great privilege of talking to over 300 young brains in my company last week in Jaipur India. My message to them was simple that try to find a “purpose of being here”! Your clients will love you if you provide the value proposition which can match to their purpose of life. This picture was taken by one of our incredible employee who loves photography.

The problem of having a feeling of purpose in life’s an incredibly crucial variable in oneself private and professional development. For many years numerous, from various backgrounds, have studied the problems of a Sense of purpose with the reasons for what makes some of us excel whilst other of us stagnate. This subject matter was evaluated, researched and written by: theology, philosophers, administration experts, the health occupations and the list goes on. Why all the interest? Why though so much written on it we nevertheless appear to know very little about it, i.e. The driving forces of creating a feeling of purpose. A report was recently shown that America is truly agonizing with the problem of obesity in this nation. That, the American individuals are certainly struggling with obesity. Issues of personal improvement are problems individuals are looking for. Challenges are being posed in several communities with high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, domestic violence. Amongst an important population in America you’ll find problems with the assurance to achieve an increased standard of living from the remaining effects of an economics that’s need of the real overhaul. Okay, you should be saying right now, enough of the dismal image Dr. Baiz. What makes you happy and content, where could you be a contributing factor where your participation is valued. Where could you find that spirit which will connect you to a greater power where gratefulness is recognize and thanks is warranted and what’ll it take to grin and whistle around with joy since you have been graciously granted a later date of living. Did you know that staying match, training and eating particular foods may raise your hormones and uplift your serotonin levels, these are two main factors that augment your physiological being. It can take work, as change is a continuous revelation thus is our mental wellness.

Why is that “Last Push” so important?

This is me 3 years ago giving my all to achieve optimum results for my body.  The force behind my motivation was a coach who pushed me hard every time I trained with him. When I hit that wall of exhaustion, he’d tell me that now is the time to push harder, “One last push! That last push is what gives you the best results.”

In first month of my training with him 3 years ago, I lost 20 lbs, and I’ve continued to maintain the same weight for 2 years after. As time passed and my priorities changed to focus on my family, I found that despite devoting the same amount of time at the gym — I couldn’t maintain my motivation, or my weight.

For a while, I couldn’t figure out what was missing. Then one day, it hit me. I was missing the fight, the motivation to power through exhaustion. The last push.

After that, once I reached my limit, I always gave the last push. Finally, I started seeing results. I’ve also taken this lesson beyond my workouts, into the world of business, and I’ve found that it holds true. The last push can give you the best results.

Think about your business. Do you give the last push when serving your clients? If you aren’t, they can feel it. Almost everyone will give their all to gain a client, but once that relationship is secured, do you continue to go above and beyond? Do you really care to maintain the same motivation — the last push — throughout the lifecycle of the contract?

You should because commitment to that last push is the key to lasting success. Companies who have a process to keep their people motivated generate continuous value for their clients because everyone is ready to give that last push when the time is right.

There are many ways to keep that motivation alive for your employees. For me, I find that coaching is the best approach. Medical Billing and Coding can be very detailed work, and we require excellence from our coders — that means constantly going above and beyond to push for client wins. That sort of work can lead to exhaustion and burnout if the employees aren’t supported.

That’s why we support them. Early on in my business, I met a particularly motivated Medical Biller in an induction program. He and I continued to email throughout his career with us — and his motivation never failed. Because he had found a coach in me. His motivation and performance have only improved with time, and he knows that I’m here to support him.

Now, it doesn’t make sense for me to be the coach for every employee. But this initial relationship taught me that every employee should have someone to mentor them for optimum performance. Someone there to coach them and tell them, “One last push! That’s how you get the results you want.” That’s why PracticeForces Supervisors and Managers are trained not to monitor their direct reports, but to MENTOR them. Monitoring someone takes away their freedom to give their best, whereas mentoring fuels someone to give their all, through to the last push.

Look around. If you don’t have a formal mentorship program in place already, you’ll probably notice that your top performers have found someone to coach them along the way. In our business, when a biller fights for a medical practice’s money from the insurance companies and patients, the results of his efforts almost always come from that last push — and the medical billers who are the best at this almost always have the strongest mentorship relationships.

The last push is that extra follow-up call, it’s never dropping the ball, it’s pushing to collect for our clients even when the insurance company or patient are making things difficult, it’s collecting the payment and taking joy in the clients’ wins.

If you’re noticing that your employees are running out of steam before that last push, step up – be their coach. Let them know the last push is the one that gets results. If you’re an employee, but no one there cares about that last push, you don’t have to waste your career there! Push yourself to better opportunities.

Throughout life, this same principal applies. Decide what the goal is, and when you start sweating, when you feel like you’re at the end — just give it one last push.

What does it mean to be an entrepreneur to me?

This above picture is a board meeting conducted by my father in 1980 which is exactly 36 years ago and I know for sure how it changed the lives of thousands of families who were impacted by the floods in India.

I’m an immigrant from India and being an entrepreneur means little different to me than most people who were born in the United States. I grew up in extremely adverse conditions. Our access to resources was limited, and I never received any structured classroom education around running a successful business or becoming an entrepreneur.

After high school, I began working right away selling real estate and earning money in brokerage. Growing up, I watched my father fight for social causes all his life, raising funds to help others throughout his life without making a penny for himself or his family. He was a public figure and a social activist. I respected him, but I did not want to be poor all of my life. At that time, it seemed like I had to choose one or the other — to champion social causes or become an entrepreneur. I did not understand then that I could do both as a social entrepreneur.

I worked hard and continued to attend school, earning my MBA in India. When I arrived here, I had no idea how businesses takes off in United States. I had only one thing with me — the fire, passion, and conviction to succeed. Creativity has always come naturally to me, which helped me in all aspects of my startup. Because I was familiar with the U.S. healthcare system, I began building on that skillset, pulling from my years of experience working with the vendor running back office in India for Henry Ford Hospitals.

Entrepreneurship for me was always converting adversities into opportunities.

Along the way, I have learned that my father wasn’t all wrong. Doing good for society is important, but my path has been different. Through my work, my businesses, and my success, I have the ability and freedom to do good for those in my family, my community, and the greater society at large daily. As a social entrepreneur, my focus is not on simply making money; my focus is on creating large scale wealth, for myself and others.

If I were to give advice to hopeful entrepreneurs it would be twofold: Never discount the importance of your dreams, and chase after them.

Creativity in your heart plays a vital role in bringing out new ideas. I have followed my passion with the full force of my will, trusting that I will always find a creative way to approach every challenge, and adjust as necessary. When you think about new ideas and dare to share them with the world, consider the execution of those ideas. Start mapping out what you need to accomplish one step at a time. Then complete those steps, learning and creatively shifting along the way. Successful execution isn’t just passion. It takes passion, critical thinking, and a solid structured business plan to succeed in today’s economy.

What truly separates an entrepreneurs from other passionate professionals is the drive to bring their dreams into reality. This is one of the most important gifts any entrepreneur can have, but even this quality must be refined and polished over time. The tools and technologies available today make planning, doing, and optimizing the execution of your dreams more precise than ever before. Consider the meteoric rise of the founders of Google and Facebook. They never expected the exponential success of their work, but to their surprise (and the world’s) they have become iconic figures. Today’s disruptive not-for-profits like @KhanAcademy and @GrameenBank have impacted billions in just a few years, whereas Red Cross took over 100 years to build up its outreach.

What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?

It means to make goals based on your dreams, and to build something concrete from that vision. From there, the variations can be endless. What most entrepreneurs do have in common is the spirit and vision to create their business, the drive to build that business to success, and the tenacity to overcome challenges along the way.

We, as entrepreneurs, are always on a quest to realize our dreams. Whether you are nurturing your one big dream, or working to build them all as a serial entrepreneur, I hope you keep your feeling of restlessness. I hope you continue to create, solve problems, and address challenges — to grow what you have started. This, to me, is the greatest calling in life.

How did my Grandfather and uncles live such long, healthy lives without any medications?

The above picture is approximately 35 years old, and the lean man in the extreme left who is speaking is my grandfather. I don’t remember any other picture of him in my mind of my association of 21 years with him. The guy in the middle is my father’s friend and recently died after reaching the age of 96. If my memory supports correctly? I never found these people falling sick in their lives, not even allergies. What’s the secret?

When I moved to the United States, I was 27. My first few years as I struggled to build my career in America, I began to think of the Indian diet I had grown up with as greasy, full of carbs, and low in proteins, moreover, it was too much work to cook Indian food daily thus we changed our lifestyle and adopted for processed and frozen diet or to be more specific Westernised. I was athletic, I was young, and I came from a long line of people who lived to ripe old ages with little-to-no illness. I took for granted that as long as I was physically fit, I’d enjoy the same long, healthy life.

That all changed when I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pericardial Effusions last year. A chronic and an unknown condition, neither I nor my doctors, could identify why or how this happened to me. I have no family history of such a disorder, and I live a healthy lifestyle — far healthier than many people I know.

There I was, having two liters of fluid removed along with countless other tests and diagnostic procedures. Before that diagnosis, I thought I was the picture of health. However, as the tests, procedures, and stress of the diagnosis piled up, over time I gained weight, felt lethargic and terrible. Today, my wife helps me keep track of my medication schedule, and my entire family feels the emotional and psychological strain of my illness. How could this happen?

When I rewind my memories and recall my childhood in India, my parents and grandparents lived their lives without any of these health issues — and lived a long time. My grandfather was still fit and active 30 years after his retirement from a government job. Every morning, he would walk two hours to climb a small hill in Jaipur called Galta, a holy place. He would have a heavy meal in the morning and light supper in the afternoon. My grandmother cooked meals fresh daily; she would even grind the wheat fresh daily with her hand grinder at home called a “chakki.”

My grandfather was always proud that he was able to maintain his weight throughout his retirement life and never got sick. I’m sure my grandmother’s cooking had a lot to do with that. In fact, he never required a doctor’s care until his death at the age of 87. My grandmother lived the same healthy life, passing away three days after him. They always lived together in life; I like to think they traveled together to heaven as well.

If I compare my lifestyle with theirs, it’s very different. The stress levels, competition in the workplace, ambitions, work, technology, food — even the WAY we eat. No longer are we sitting down to eat slowly, mindful of our bodies’ needs, or spending time with our families at each meal. Everything has changed. Everything except the human body.

The human body still craves the staple diet of our ancestors, and I believe much of the poor health we see is due to not giving the body what it needs. For me, diet was the biggest disparity I could see in my lifestyle when compared to my grandparents and their siblings. It is also the biggest difference between the East and the West.

I visited India recently and spent time with my eldest uncles who are 86 and 83 years old. They are following in the footsteps of my grandfather. They and my aunts enjoy healthy home-cooked meals; they work out and maintain their diet rich in staple nutrition. I could see that history was repeating itself in their lives and health. I believe a staple diet with freshly cooked ingredients is the key here. As children, we used to laugh at my grandfather when he used to tell us to eat raw vegetables and to cook them slowly to preserve the nutritional value. Today, the world’s top dieticians are echoing my grandfather’s advice. Even Bollywood celebrity Shilpa Kundra is returning to her roots, mentioning in her book that she looks to the Indian traditional diet for optimal nutrition — and she’s seeing the benefit of this choice.

The diet of my grandparents was complete, providing whole nutrition with the macro as well as micronutrients the human body needs:

  • Complex carbohydrates (roti, rice, bhakri, etc.)
  • Proteins (vegetarian foods, milk, dairy products, pulses, legumes)
  • Fats (oil, ghee, nuts, seeds)
  • Fibre, vitamins, and minerals (Fruits and vegetables)

Indian cooking involves the daily use of certain spices like turmeric, cumin, mustard seeds, heeng (asafoetida), ginger, garlic, and green chillies, all of which have medicinal properties. When my parents would visit me here in the United States, my mother cooks three times a day and feeds us nutritious, delicious meals. I always thought she did this because she loves us and enjoys cooking. However, I now realize that she is blessing us and our home with health.

Why am I suffering from a disease in spite of having a healthy lifestyle compared to many others?

The answer seems clear to me now. Homemade meals created with fresh, nutritionally dense foods have disappeared from our lives. This is the one thing many people in this country (and globally, as the Western diet is adopted worldwide) due to the busy, non-stop lifestyle we are leading. It’s good to work, to be productive and successfully. But it is equally important to take time for your health. To feed yourself fresh meals rather than processed or frozen dinners.

Don’t Ignore Background Checks When Hiring. The Price Could Be High!

You are hiring a new employee. What if your future employee misuses patient data or their personal information? What if they have a past record? What if they were involved in a scam? If you are not vigilant enough; then your entire practice, your hard-earned reputation can be swept away with one wrong step. Hiring an employee with a dubious background could turn into the worst nightmare for your medical practice. In such situation, even most efficient EHR suffers. Not only should you evaluate the applicant’s knowledge and skills, but conduct a thorough background screening. This is the first part in series of posts on ‘Background Checks For New And Existing Employees’.

Conduct a Background Check. Here is why.

A person’s background speaks a lot. It gives a lucid insight of the person attitude, temperament, and reliability. If a wrong employee with a criminal record gets in touch with your patients and somehow causes any injury; the entire liability will be yours. Even you may lose valuable data for the carelessness of an apathetic employee. In such circumstances, not only you mislay your repute, but money as well. If a painstaking effort to conduct a background check can save your money and reassure your peace of mind, then it is worth taking that initiative.

Consequences of Ignoring Background Check

It is crucial to hire an employee with clean records, or it may lead to many negative consequences that make tear down your hard work. A wrong hire means;

  • Less productivity
  • Unfavorable effect on the team’s morale
  • Adverse impact of patient relations
  • A possible revenue loss

However, if the employee has a past criminal record, consequence are going to be worse.

Thumb Rule of Background Check

There are various checks that you may conduct to draw a sketch of an employee’s overall persona. You may refer to the SBA’s Guideline for further information on what screenings you are permitted to conduct and what is unethical to ask.

However, you can still adapt a few below-mentioned practices to evade any pessimistic corollary.

  • The basic check includes verification of the data and claims given in the resume. It may include past work experience, education, and other activities. Giving a quick look at the internet and social profiles can testify the applicant’s claim as well.
  • If not provided, ask and check for professional references to validate the past work history of the applicant.
  • You need to check further if the interviewee had any involvement in Medicaid or Medicare scam, or patient maltreatment in past. Department of Health and Human Rights had issued a List for Excluded Individuals who cannot contribute in centralized healthcare programs.
  • Check the National State Sex Offender Registry search if you are hiring someone to childcare and other concerned positions.
  • Credit history check often shed light on a person’s fiscal aptitude and honesty. If you are hiring for a position where the person is responsible for sensitive information and duties; it is worth conducting.
  • Driving license search would be essential if the job role involves driving skills.
  • NPDB or National Practitioner Data Bank search will help you verify if there is any past incident of malpractice or abuse filed against the licensed practitioner.
  • See if the candidate got any county and statewide criminal history. Do see your lawyer to find out what your state legislation permits.
  • Finally, a drug test.

Conducting the Detective Work

You can conduct few preliminary searches yourself by calling the universities, or previous employers for verification of the education and work history. Use the internet to learn more about the interests and preferences of the candidate. You never know when you can break through some potential detail.

With so many guidelines and legislation, the background screening can become a multifarious mission for an employee. There are several private background screening firms who perform the entire check staying with the legal constraint. It helps you avoid any legal turmoil in the future. So unless you are curious about every minute detail, hire a professional right away.

Apart from concentrating on the background checks and hiring procedure you need to rule out the policies and operation for the smooth running of the ongoing employment. All of these along with the reports of the background checks should be well documented.

Stay tuned for our next in series – private screening firms that can help you with background checks and, what checks to conduct for existing employees.

Practice Forces provides medical billing outsourcing services for clients around the country and has been partnering with physicians & practices to provide revenue cycle management, across all medical specialties. Call us today for a FREE consultation at 866-634-6327 or, simply email us at sales@practiceforces.com.

If It’s not Intolerance! Is it the problem of Law and order?

My two cents on growing ‪#‎intolerance debate! It is getting heated across India and beyond, but nobody seems to be tolerant enough to digest that the main reason for Indian immigrants fleeing from India in last 40 years is not religious or constitutional freedom? It was indeed the constant hunger for prosperity amongst the middle class. India as a country has been extremely plural, tolerant and secular by any means at large, but, unfortunately, the unfortunate situation of law and order sometimes gives the so called intellectual class an excuse to curse their own nation. This is the same category who controls most power in the country and still not able to use it in a positive way. God bless them!

I have never seen any fear in our lives while growing up in that country for almost three decades. It is disheartening and rather disappointing to see that everybody from all classes is becoming a part of this media hyped controversies. The only way to solve this issue is absolute control over racial profiling over Politics, Media and intellectuals who utter racial remarks to gain free publicity whether it’s about the cast, religion or classes. Indian constitution does not allow racism but Indian politicians or lawmakers themselves play the cast based card during the elections, and the recent‪#‎bihar elections is the biggest example of this filthy game. People like‪ #‎amirkhan and others do control power in this country, and they do an excellent job by raising social issues time to time. They have to understand the sensitivity of their own remarks and rather use that weapon to control the lawmakers then sparking the controversies among poor citizens of the country who only follow them as fans. @sonofindia ‪#‎sonofindia‬

Keep Up The Moral Fiber: Do’s & Don’ts For Your Holiday Party!

With Holiday Season around the corner, creating the holiday party rules for Medical Practice becomes a crucial task for physicians and managers. As a host, you are responsible for the guests’ safety. You have to make sure that your entire staff is fully aware of the “Party Rules” so that you don’t end up calling 911 in an emergency!

To begin with, the holiday party planning, you need to make a checklist like one below-

  • Holiday Celebration Fund – Don’t take the importance of celebrations too lightly. It is a prime tool for employee retention that you may employ in your medical practice. So, make sure you have a separate fund for the holiday celebration.
  • Make It Optional – Don’t make it an MUST-ATTEND event. Don’t banish or reprimand one who couldn’t make it to the party. Circulate the non-compulsory nature of the party both in written and verbal materials.
  • Add “Plus-One” on the Invitations – Long guest-list means higher expenses, but if you invite key employees, then you cannot forget to add “plus-ones.” Your practice is part of their (staff family’s) daily life. They have contributed, albeit indirectly, to many moments and success of your practice. It is time to acknowledge them and treat them as your extended medical practice family.
  • Consider a Venue other than Your Office – You can organize small events inside your medical office, but when you are expecting strangers, consider throwing the party at an outside venue. Less stress, less mess and you are ready to walk-in to a clean practice next morning!
  • Pre-plan Staff Holidays – Plan out the holidays that your staff will get before they start preparing for the party. This way everyone will know the work plan before and after the party is over. With expectations set, everyone can enjoy the get-together.
  • Focus on Code of Conduct – Though it’s a party, it is still an office party. So all the rules and codes mentioned in the employment policy are very much applicable to this event too, and you should remind all staff about this. Inappropriate speech or gestures must be avoided. Proper professional etiquette and mannerism should be maintained at all cost.
  • Fix a Dress Code – Just like any other office event, it is best to set the staff expectations from the very beginning. Set a rule to limit or, better eliminate inappropriate behavior and dressing. Remind your guests that it is an office event, so no revealing or “naughty” outfits.
  • Stick To The Rules – If it is mentioned in the employment policy “No Alcohol allowed in office premises,” stick to it. If anyone receives a gift of this nature, suggest the employee keep it in their car/vehicle outside the office. Certainly no opening or, consuming alcohol inside the practice! All important points from the employment policy about gifts, holiday party, appropriate code of conduct, an event – should be mailed to employees/invitees in advance.
  • Booze Check – Nothing could be better if you can skip on Alcohol entirely as it can lead to several unwanted series of events (accidents, assaults, fight) that may drag you into a lawsuit. Well, for some, alcohol makes the party planning checklist without a second thought. In that scenario, it is your liability to enforce alcohol consuming limits. You can introduce drink coupons or limited ‘bar open’ hours. Make sure someone is watching over the drinking incessantly. With no supervising set of eyes, you are inviting drinkers to take those extra drinks. Instead, serve appetizers and food in time. It will keep them full and drink less.
  • Ensure Safe Return of the Guests – Returning home after consuming alcohol could be intricate not only for the smashed guests but you as well. Arrange for a car drop for those who feel impaired to travel by themselves. Hire Uber, a taxi-on-call service or commercial transport services. Is it getting expensive? Give it a second thought; it is nothing in comparison to expenses for legal proceedings.
  • Confirm with Your Insurance – Verify how much your EPLI insurance policy is going to cover you in an episode of exposure. It is always better to take precautions, rather than regretting and working hard to make up for it.

This checklist is to ensure you and your guests are safe at the end of the day. Remember, this is an event to appreciate your hard-working employees for their valued efforts. So make it a memorable event and enjoy yourself.

Happy Holidays!

Practice Forces provides medical billing outsourcing services for clients around the country and has been partnering with physicians & practices to provide revenue cycle management, across all medical specialties. Call us today for a FREE consultation at 866-634-6327  or, simply email us at sales@practiceforces.com.

6 Critical ICD-10 Challenges Faced By Small Practices and Their Solution

Every healthcare provider – large or small is gearing towards a successful ICD 10 implementation. It’s easier for some and challenging for others to go through all the system upgrades, meet all the training needed and take care of the cost involved in this process. Small practices especially have unique challenges when it comes to adapting to changes during healthcare reforms, given their size and resources limitation.

Here we are address 6 Critical ICD10 challenges faced by small practices and offering their solutions to help you stay on track –

Don’t Get Intimidated. Identify Top 20 Codes

First of all, most small practices are overwhelmed with the fact that there are 1, 40,000+ codes in the ICD10 system. Even though the number is huge, it shouldn’t worry you. For your specific practice, it might pay to invest your time and identify top 20 codes that you use in your practice. Most likely these codes will take care of 90% of the coding work you need. Make this a priority and you have set yourself up for success!

Training vs. Responsibilities

One of the main issues with in-house billing at small practices is that they have limited resource and time. The staff at office have multiple tasks to perform like answering phone calls, related billing tasks, managing office etc. With the additional work load, it gets increasingly difficult to manage billing efficiently. And, it is an additional challenge to find the extra time to do the necessary training required for ICD 10. It will help to create a schedule – an hour or two of ‘focused’ training to fill any gaps.

Communication

Its importance cannot be highlighted enough. Given the busy work schedule at any practitioner’s practice, there might not be daily communication on ICD 10 requirements and road map forward, which can leave gaps in the process. We recommend scheduling weekly meetings to discuss problem areas, gaps, reviewing practice specific ICD 10 codes. This will speed things faster and you will know specific issues to address before the October deadline.

Create Timelines & Follow Through

Resources at small practices are limited and areas to cover are a lot. Identify all the work areas like Testing, Training, Audit, Identifying ICD10 Codes or other specifics that might be needed for your practice. Create a timeline of completion for these in the balance 3 weeks – this will give your staff clarity and focus to complete pending tasks. Include all the team members on these timelines so everyone can follow up on their progress.

Motivate Your Staff

Small practices or, health care providers must focus on motivating their staff especially in the changing environment. Show commitment to them by investing in their training needs. Hire additional manpower to share the workload and, provide stimulating work environment. The last 2 weeks will be immense pressure and race to completion – and everyone will be working hard. Employ creative ways to keep your employees motivated, happy and appreciated. Even a small gesture, sometimes goes a long way like getting some Starbucks coffee for everyone at office and taking a little break with them!

Keep Outsourcing As An Option

Given the limited time and resources that a small practice has, it is best utilized for its patients and their well-being. Not to mention, the physician burnout with the stress of administrative work, ICD changes implementation and patient care. With all these reasons in tow, outsourcing might be a good option for small practices. It will free up the doctors’ time to focus on patients & their well-being. If you do, however, consider outsourcing, the time to act would be now than later. With less than 14 days left for ICD10 implementation, start now with your preferred partner to give them enough time to establish a robust system for your requirements.

Having taken care of these 6 critical steps, you are well on your way to successful ICD 10 Implementation!

We are offering complete audit of your systems for ICD10 + EMR checks + ICD10 Code mapping, if required. See details hereCall us today for a FREE consultation at 866-634-6327 or, simply email us at sales@practiceforces.com to discuss how we can make ICD 10 stress-free for you. Practice Forces provides medical billing outsourcing services for clients around the country, and has been partnering with physicians & practices to provide revenue cycle management, across all medical specialties.

 all the leg work for just $500. 

Managing Patient Wait-Time Woes : A Step To Improve Satisfaction

Wait-time is a serious issue at present. People seem to research online to assess the least of the doctors’ wait-time before making an appointment. No one likes to wait for their turn to see the doctor. It creates distress and frustration among the patients, which involves the risk of losing patients.

To conserve your patients, you need to deal with their wait-time distress efficiently. Before that, it is important to understand what stresses a patient. Here, we would disclose some relaxing techniques that you may employ to minimize your patients’ anguish and perpetuate them.

An Anthology of the Causes of Patient Wait-Time Distress

Not every single of the patients waiting in the doctor’s office experience stress, but many do for a set of reasons. It could be the diagnosis of the previous clinical tests, or the possibility of a serious illness or a just the ‘not well’ feeling. In any scenario, extended wait-time makes it worse for the patient.

In today’s express lifestyle, people are short of time. They are used to things being done instantaneously. When the whole world is running fast everything comes to a standstill in a doctor’s office. Any time spent waiting is regarded as lost time and builds up stress especially when you have to manage your work schedule when an urgent appointment for self or child comes up.

However, there are some people who suffer from Latrophobia, fear of doctors and hospitals. Needless to mention, they experience worse distress visiting a physician.

Techniques to Manage Wait-Time Distress of Patient

There are certain techniques that actually help manage and eventually eliminate patients’ distress. An administrative assistant can easily employ these techniques to minimize the average wait times creating a peaceful ambiance.

Inform Beforehand: According to a survey conducted by Software Advice, 80% of patients had said, they won’t be as anxious if they knew how long they need to wait for their appointment in advance. Administrative assistant can ring them up beforehand and inform about the lined up patients, so that they don’t have to dash in.

Communication by Staff: While waiting, when the Clinic staff communicates about the wait-time, it curtails their distress and anxiety. It is sometimes easier to wait when you know how long it will take before you can get in to the exam room.

Amenities: Adding amenities like a television in the waiting room, stacking some current magazines prove to be a smart technique to decrease the patients’ agony. In fact, I have seen tablets at dentists’ office attached to the console-helps children pass time easily.

Be Empathetic: It helps to understand the other person’s situation. Not feeling well, long wait time and possibly management required at work front – all these could add t patient’s woes. A simple acknowledgement to the patient that they are next in line is usually helpful. Or, sharing if an emergency patient came in and took extra time – people will understand if there is a genuine reason for delay.

Connect With the Patient: Doctors are supposed to lessen their patients’ worry and health issues, not add to it. So, a personal apology from the doctor goes a long in soothing the patient’s frayed and nerves and wait agitation. Around 70% of the patients have acknowledged this.

Do Vitals During the Wait: Nurses and other staff can take care of the regular mid-level tasks like making a note of the patient’s vitals and medical history to speed up the entire process. This helps wait time to get utilized effectively and vitals can be done in a relaxed manner.

Respect Your Patients Time: Lastly, waiting for hours to see the physician looks cruel. It is disrespectful to the patient and his/her time. Don’t assume that everyone can wait a long time to see a doctor. It might be a good idea to offer the patient to reschedule his/her visit, if possible or see another doctor in the group. The patient might be open to the suggestion and it’s a win-win for both.

As a matter of fact, there would be situations when either the doctor or patient is late. Therefore, wait-time would exist. Nothing seems to eliminate them completely, but certain strategies can relax the anxious patients and make it bearable for them. Also, measures should be taken by a practice to actively try to reduce patient wait time as it directly impacts their satisfaction.

Practice Forces provides medical billing outsourcing services for clients around the country, and has been partnering with physicians & practices to provide revenue cycle management, across all medical specialties. We can be reached for any of your medical billing needs at866-634-6327  or, simply e-mail us atsales@practiceforces.com.

The Best Man You Will Ever Need For ICD 10 / Medical Billing

Yes.  We are the best man team you will ever need to help you tide through most important change in your practice – ICD10 Implementation. Now, that’s a loud and proud claim and we will justify it soon. Stay with us.

Should You Outsource For ICD10 Implementation?

Its answer depends on your readiness as a practice to handle all the changes that come with ICD 10 implementation. Close to our heels, effective October1, 2015, it’s high time to understand and review the impact of ICD 10 implementation. If you are a small or medium-sized practice and not prepared adequately to take of your billing & implement the ICD10, your practice could face major revenue hit. Since no ICD9 codes will be acceptable for services rendered by practices/physicians after September 30, 2015, the time is NOW to take stock of the situation.

Let’s start by checking off the following questions to see your readiness for ICD10 Implementation:

  1. Can your office staff handle the increased work load?
    1. There will be claim denials, correct & specific coding required, and many other checks will increase the work load of your in-house billing staff.
    2. Revising any policy or procedure
    3. Coordinating with many touch points
    4. Handle work flow changes
  1. Are you all the staff members/touch points in your practice trained in new ICD 10 coding and transition requirements?
    1. Physicians, nurses, billing and support staff – everyone will need varying degree of training on the changes getting implemented and course of action to take if issues arise.
  1. Ae you prepared to deal with predicted challenges of new ICD10 Implementation, affecting your practice’s cash flow?
    1. Increase in A/R Days
    2. Increase In Claim Errors
    3. Rise In Claim Denial Rates
  1. If you plan to hire a new member for ICD10 Implementation, does it make financial sense?
    1. Outsourcing will probably be a fraction of the cost as compared to hiring a dedicated manager for ICD10 implementation.

If your answer is less than 100% sure in any of the above areas, then you should consider outsourcing medical billing to a vendor who is ready with upgrades to manage ICD10 Implementation flawlessly.

Time To Justify Our Claim:

Practice Forces will be your best chosen medical billing partner for we will bring to the table a host of features, benefits and system upgrades-all this and your peace of mind!

  1. We are ready for ICD 10 changes.
    • Trained ICD10 Coders
    • Code mapping in place
    • Clear Conversion Plan
  1. Comprehensive Safety & Security Protocols
  2. Integrated Systems
  3. Dedicated Account Manager For Your Practice
  4. Our hands-on experience with multiple clients.
  5. Support Options – we are just a call away.

At Practice Forces, we are offering our existing clients seamless upgrade from ICD 9 to ICD 10. For physicians & practices that means, getting paid in time for their service with no worries of incorrect coding. And, at NO extra cost. Give us a call today for a FREE consultation at 866-634-6327 or email us atsales@practiceforces.com.

Practice Forces Announces New Delivery Center In India

Practice Forces, a leading medical billing company headquartered in Clearwater, Florida has expanded operations by inaugurating its new delivery center in India called ISYS.TV Media News

Practice Forces has been partnering with physicians in all types of medical specialties since 2003 and has clients nationwide. “In the wake of many healthcare reforms taking place in USA”, said Kunal Jain, CEO Practice Forces, “we have taken this major step to undertake expansion. We will now be able to partner with other medical billing companies too and support them in their offshore medical billing needs.”

ISYS, the India delivery center of Practice Forces, is a quality leader in back office outsourcing for the healthcare industry.  We are industry experts who focus exclusively on providing BPO to healthcare management companies and Management Service Organizations (MSO). When you outsource your business processes to ISYS, your MSO can focus on what it does best – providing practice management and administrative services.

ISYS is committed to delivering high expectations expected from offshore healthcare business outsourcing vendor. Equipped to handle the accounts receivables and medical billing operations for Medical Billing companies, MSO and Anesthesia management companies, its core competency lies in experienced staff, bringing about cost reduction and quick turnaround time –with ability to hire 500+ agents in 2 weeks period.

ISYS offers comprehensive RCM solutions, with a wide range of business process services

  • Data entry of patient demographics using the software of your choice
  • Data entry of patient charges
  • Patient insurance eligibility verification
  • Charge review and approval
  • Claims submission to clearinghouse or medical payers
  • Reduce days in accounts receivables by consistent follow up with insurance companies
  • Accounts receivable and accounts payable reporting and analysis
  • Research of old debts to ensure collection from insurance companies

Founded in 2003, Practice Forces provides medical billing outsourcing services for clients around the country, and helps physicians by providing revenue cycle management, across all medical specialties. The services offered include medical billing outsourcing, EHR, EMR software solutions, transcription, meaningful use incentives, software solutions, coding by our professional certified coders, credentialing, contract negotiations and Medicare PECOS Enrollment.

You Don’t Need ICD 10 Concessions Deal.

And that’s how it should be.

As a practice, whether you are ready or gearing up to meet the ICD 10 deadline, your focus should be to not rely on the concessions.

Healthcare industry has been abuzz with the discussions on ICD 10 for quite some time now and its final implementation date is less than 60 days away at October 1, 2015. And with so much talk over the years and, getting prepared, ideally physicians & their practice should be ready with the new coding system. In a lot of cases, your billing company might be ready with the upgrade, taking away part of the hassle.

We all know ICD 10 coding system is here to stay. We recently published our Top 10 Insights Into ICD 10 Implementation-if you missed out read it here. In fact, with the transition, the Medicare claims processing systems will NOT have the capability to accept ICD-9 codes for services rendered by physicians/medical practitioners after September 30, 2015, nor will they be able to accept claims for both ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes. Knowing this, there are two scenarios that a practitioner or, physician could face –

IF YOU ARE STILL NOT READY, the following concession deal will offer temporary respite. But, important thing is to start taking steps to upgrade your systems now-we have provided the steps below. If you feel your practice does not have enough support staff, don’t shy away from looking at an option to outsource.  Here is the concessions deal as announced by AMA President –

 “ICD 10 implementation is set to begin on October 1, and it is imperative that physician practices take steps beforehand to be ready,” said AMA President Steven J. Stack, MD. “We appreciate that CMS is adopting policies to ease the transition to ICD-10 in response to physicians’ concerns that inadvertent coding errors or system glitches during the transition to ICD-10 may result in audits, claims denials, and penalties under various Medicare reporting programs. The actions CMS is initiating today can help to mitigate potential problems. We will continue to work with the administration in the weeks and months ahead to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible.”

This essentially means that for one year past the Oct. 1, 2015 deadline, physicians would still be reimbursed if wrong code is used in the claim as long as that erroneous code is in the ‘same broad family as the right one.’

IF YOU ARE READY, its good news!

If you are on the path to make the necessary changes, check off the simple steps below over the next few weeks and get yourself 100% ready. And you won’t need the concessions deal.

What Can You Do To Ace The ICD 10 Deadline?

  1. Utilize The Resources Provided By CMS: There are plenty of resources provided by CMS to transition to the new coding system smoothly.  Check out the resources and tools offered here.
  2. Train Your Staff
  3. Identify top Codes: Identify top ICD-9 diagnosis codes that your practice see most often. Target the top 25 to start and it will give you a better focus. Most likely you will not need to use 69000+codes of ICD10.
  4. Use As Specific Codes As Possible During Documentation
  5. Comlete The Final Round Of Testing
    • Make use of and complete final round of Medicare ened-to-end testing for providers.
    • Participate in medicare Acknowledgement testing for providers through September 30th.

At Practice Forces, we are offering our clients seamless upgrade from ICD 9 to ICD 10. For physicians & practices that means, getting paid in time for their service with no worries of incorrect coding. And, at NO extra cost. Should your practice need any help in becoming ICD 10 compliant, we will gladly help you. Call us today for a FREE consultation, 866-634-6327 or email us at sales@practiceforces.com.

Contact Us For FREE Consultation Today!

TOP 10 INSIGHTS INTO ICD 10 IMPLEMENTATION

The clock is ticking and its less than 60 days left to meet the deadline for ICD 10 implementation. You are checking all the touchpoints, taking all the necessary steps, upgrading your systems to meet the deadline and breathe a sigh of relief! Add to that mix our Top 10 Insights  and  you will be on your way to flawless ICD 10 implementation.

Check these out before you call it a day.

TOP 10 INSIGHTS TO ICD 10 IMPLEMENTATION:

  1. More than 69000 Codes? No Problem.

ICD 9 system had 13000 codes, while in ICD 10, the number has increased to 68,000 codes. Now, everyone seems to be concerned with the huge number of codes but tis concern should not be blown out of proportion. For example, if we look at all the ICD 10 CM codes, then around 50% of these codes are just for musculoskeletal system.

Thus the important thing to note here is that though the set of codes has increased dramatically, you will NOT use all the codes. In fact, each practice or, specialty will need to use only a small number of codes. So, it would be worthwhile to identify top 20 or so codes that your practice most often uses.

  1. BETTER PATIENT CARE:

The code set has been expanded from five positions (first one alphanumeric, others numeric) to seven positions. The codes use alphanumeric characters in all positions, not just the first position as in ICD-9. The new set of codes actually allows more information that can be conveyed through the code. And, that requires a significant increase in the specificity of the information that needs to be collected at doctor-patient interaction time.

This will hugely help when the patients come back for treatments –the physician will now have access to greater detail of previous diagnosis/treatments.

  1. ICD 9 & ICD 10 CM Codes Have Similarities:

Having similarities between the two systems makes it easier to learn and implement. Whether its ICD 9 CM or ICD 10 CM, Codes are looked up in the same way. In both these, a code will be invalid if it is missing a character.

  1. NEW ICD 10 CODES MADE AVAILABLE BY CMS:

ICD 10 Code books are available in various formats- electronic, paper and mobile apps. To download a free pdf, click this link https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coding/ICD10/2015-ICD-10-CM-and-GEMs.html

  1. CONDUCT TESTING TO BE READY

All providers can test their system with CMS before the deadline. In fact your practice can conduct acknowledgement testing with their Medical Administrative Contractor.

  1. CANNOT SUBMIT ELECTRONICALLY? YOU STILL HAVE A CHANCE

If you are not ready as a practice to submit claims electronically by the deadline of October 1, 2015-don’t worry. (Though you will be in a better place to get your systems ready in time).  Here are the options if you find yourself in such a situation-

  • You can use a Free Billing Software to submit claims usindgICD10 codes. The billing software can be downloaded from any MAC.
  • You can use the Part B Claim submission portal that is available in about half of all MAC jurisdiction.
  • You can even submit paper claims as long as your practice meets the waiver provisions included in the law.
  1. CLAIMS WILL BE ACCEPTABLE ONLY WITH ICD 10 CODES:

Remember practices must prepare for ICD 10 codes because only those claims using proper ICD 10 codes will be accepted for services provided on or after the implementation deadline, October 1, 2015. It does not matter whether you use electronic submission or submit paper claims, your claims will NOT be accepted unless they are done with valid ICD10 codes( after October 1, 2015. )

  1. OUTPATIENT & OFFICE PROCEDURE CODES NOT CHANGING:

Outpatient and physician office procedures reimbursement will not be determined by ICD10. They will still utilize the CPT codes only, which are not changing.

  1. TRANSITION TO ICD10 A REALITY:

Transition to ICD 10 codes is a reality and its implementation deadline is October 1, 2015. A lot of information is being made available to reach the providers, to ensure that their systems are ready and ICD 10 compliant before the deadline. Non-readiness could prove to be costly severely impact your cash flow. Make sure you are ready and hopefully these insights will help you put things in perspective and prioritize.

  1. ICD 10 CONCESSIONS -LATEST

Recently, CMS announced a concession in transition from ICD 9 to ICD 10 Codes. For one year past the Oct. 1, 2015 deadline, Medicare will not deny Part B claims from physicians or other practitioners considering only the specificity of the ICD-10 diagnosis code, as long as providers use valid codes “from the right family of codes.” This essentially means that you would still be reimbursed if wrong code is used in the claim as long as that erroneous code is in the same broad family as the right one.

WE CAN HELP:

At Practice Forces, we are offering our clients seamless upgrade from ICD 9 to ICD 10. For physicians & practices that means, getting paid in time for their service with no worries of incorrect coding. And, at NO extra cost. Should your practice need any help in becoming ICD 10 compliant, we will gladly help you. Call us today for a FREE consultation, 866-634-6327 or email us at sales@practiceforces.com.

What does TiECon Means for Florida Entrepreneurs ? www.tieconfl.com

TiE Tampa Bay’s journey for past three years has been invigorating keeping with the overall growth of business in the Tampa Bay region and in the State of Florida. A delegation from TiE Tampa Bay that visited Silicon Valley last month quickly came to the realization of how effectively our volunteer work has communicated to the world outside, especially to the west coast, that Brand Florida is a force to be reckoned with. We heard serial entrepreneurs bragging about Tampa Bay’s progress and their eagerness to make a visit to the Tampa Bay region and to Florida in general. This was how I envisioned the path we would carve for Tampa Bay when curating this chapter of TiE. This would simply not have been as successfully executed without the support of the community, friends, volunteers and their families who trusted our instincts and supported us right from the beginning. We thank you for that leap of faith. This would also not have been possible without the support of The Hillsborough County’s leadership and the Economic Development Innovation Initiative.

Now entrepreneurs in the west coast’s Bay Area recognize the fact that there is one more Bay Area in east coast where innovation and entrepreneurship is the norm. Those who visited Tampa Bay from outside Florida in past few years have now become our ambassadors in that region. Kanwal Rekhi, Vish Mishra, Shankar Trivedi and many more who visited Tampa Bay are talking about us amongst the investors as well as community builders on a global platform. The one-minute interview of Silicon Valley VC Dr. Kanwal Rekhi that was posted online by Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Alexis Muellner is a testimony to that fact that there is something special in the air in our region. At TiE Tampa Bay, one of our goals is to shine the light on this undercurrent of entrepreneurial energy that exists in Florida and further help put our city on the world map for innovation and entrepreneurship.

We had three startups from Orlando and Tampa Bay Area showcased in Silicon Valley that received a huge response from investors. To quote Prasad Vemullapalli, the founder of Munchem, “Coming to TiEcon 2015 in Silicon Valley was the best decision for my startup business. I already got connected to several startup investors who are very interested in my solution”.

In the past three years TiE Angel Forum has invested in four different startups, which are doing very well. Florida Funders have been supporting these angel investment initiatives. Feathr, Flexreceipts and PikMyKid.com got funding from TiE Angels. There are many more in pipeline.

TiE 50 in Silicon Valley selected my startup Eatwell.kitchen as one of the the top 100 startups featured at TiEcon Silicon Valley, which gives me huge motivation to pursue this dream of spreading wellness by providing healthy resources.

Opportunities are everywhere when you associate with entrepreneurs through TiE because through events such as TiEcon, they become accessible. Last year, at a local startup founder’s request we facilitated a meeting between this Tampa Bay startup founder and an accomplished speaker from Atlanta who keynoted at last year’s TiEconFL, resulting in an informal mentoring relationship between the two. The planning of TiEconFL 2015 is already underway in Tampa Bay. It is scheduled to be held at The Westin Harbour Island on the waterfront in downtown Tampa Bay on Saturday, October 3rd 2015.

I invite all entrepreneurs (current and future), investors, physicians, scientists, educators and business professionals in and around the Tampa Bay Area to associate with TiE in some form, be it as a mentor, a Charter Member, or a general member. Annual membership is $100 and provides free and subsidized benefits. Charter Membership has other benefits such as access to deal flows through TiE Tampa Angels where various early-stage startup investment opportunities come your way.  TiEcon welcomes all dreamers and prospective entrepreneurs who want to be successful, find your mentors and meet potential investors. Look at TIE as huge resource for funding as well as mentorship by becoming a general member. Membership is available on our website www.tampa.tie.org, where you can click on ‘Join TiE Tampa’.

About TiE Tampa Bay: TiE Tampa Bay is a not-for-profit organization, tax-exempt under Section 501(c) (6), created to foster entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking, and education in Florida. Contributions to TiE Tampa Bay will generally be tax deductible, however we advise contributors to consult a professional tax advisor. TiE Tampa Bay’s Board of Directors is comprised fully of accomplished volunteers with a successful track record in entrepreneurship, and a willingness to help other entrepreneurs. Membership fees and non-dues revenues are channeled entirely towards TiE Tampa Bay’s various programs and events designed to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem through education, mentoring and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs. TiE Tampa Bay is part of the global TiE group that is the largest not-for profit organization promoting entrepreneurship globally. This allows for TiE Tampa Bay to offer unique programs that bring to Florida world-class expertise and thought-leadership from around the globe. TiE is the only entrepreneurship organization led entirely by volunteers, and TiE Tampa Bay is proud to bring the dedication of its volunteers to serve Tampa Bay Area’s and Florida’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Learn more at www.tieconfl.com  Save the date: October 3, 2015 for TiEcon Florida, the largest entrepreneurship conference in Florida.

Did You Check Your Last Backup?

Yesterday I received a call from one of our clients asking if there is any way to retrieve data from a crashed hard drive. I asked her what had happened and she told me she is not aware whether or not their IT team has been backing up the computers or not; it seems they were not. A hard drive crash is very common and can happen on any computer or server.

I have been dealing with computers for the past 20 years. In the last 10 years, I have felt a strong need to do regular backups for home based PC’s and business based PC’s and servers. I have created a manual reminder in my cell phone and computer to check all of my critical data points and to back them up weekly. Regardless of whether I use an outsourced company or automated backups, I still check my own backups. If my memory is correct, I have had 4 or 5 incidents in last 10 years where data suddenly went missing due to either a virus attack or simple hard drive failures. This still happens despite the fact that I have been very diligent in taking the proper precautions in backing up my hard drive and using the latest Windows Patch Management software as well as anti-virus solutions.

We have tried several solutions in our businesses and home based computers. The most impressive and simple solution after the release of Windows 7 and Windows server 2008 is their basic backup utility. Nothing can beat the simplicity of that solution. We have tried Symantec, Acronis and several others in the past and none of them have worked as well. Believe me, the most dependable data recovery I have found is using the standard Windows system, especially when only data is important since applications can be reinstalled.

If you are looking for something more than just backing up data and have a strong IT staff or knowledge, I would definitely say that Acronis rules the data backup and disaster recovery world. One more thing I would mention here is that speed is the critical factor in determining the backup system. If you are looking for fast data backup and recovery, attach an external hard drive to your computer, secure it using BitLocker and use it regularly for Windows hard drive backup. BitLocker will save your data from potential security breaches if the hard drive gets lost or stolen. This simple process is the best measure to take and works on a regular basis. You may swap the external hard drive with an additional hard drive and take the backup home daily if necessary.

Happy Holidays and enjoy backing up your data daily!

10 Super “IT Things” for a Group Medical Practice (Checklist)

I owe a great deal to the following Products and IT solutions used by me personally over a period of last 13 years managing multiple medical group practices and businesses. They are the real, magical solutions for managing or building a great medical practice. This article is written for IT vendors, practice administrators and physicians, these are the tools that make the lives of physicians and patients more comfortable, and this can also be used as a checklist to start your medical group practice.

1. VMware Vsphere 5.5

VMware Vsphere 5.5 ESXI is a free tool for managing up to four virtual servers in any environment. Medical practices should opt for this tool, which sits in between Windows server software and Dell or any hardware, This helps in managing multiple servers with very little space, and provides scalability for the life of your EMR Data.

Even if your office is using a Cloud-based solution for critical applications like EMR, you still need domain servers, fax and phone servers, file servers for managing the daily office work or communicaiton across the different offices and employees. One VMware license for VM center server can also be purchased for large size enterprises.

2. Office 365

Office 365 provides Cloud-based email exchange and office applications. For less than $5 per user, per month, you can enjoy lifetime access to the Office applications and email exchange, which can be synced among multiple devices like your iPhone and desktop.

Office 365 can be purchased online or through your IT vendor. This easy-to-use service also protects the medical practice from unauthorized use of expired email accounts, such as those of terminated employees.

3. 3CX or Fonality Cloud-based/Onsite Phone System

IP Phones are the best option for multiple location, multi-provider offices. 3CX and Fonality phone server applications provide some great Cloud-based solutions that can also be installed on a small server onsite. Our recommendations would be to keep data in-house and use an in-house server. These solutions work with Voicepulse or any IP based telephony service. The cost of IP based telephony services is very cheap compare to analog phone line. these solutions are flexible enough to move without changing the analog line in case your practice location changes.

Internal servers are faster than the cloud , and free-from ongoing subscription charges and data remain in your control. 3CX servers provide multi-location advantages, and a reliable recording facility. You can configure your holiday messages and patient phone calls for better call center service. Supervisors are even able to jump into calls to intervene if required.

Calls can be forwarded to outside locations to save answering service expenses. You may use iPhone apps to make calls using the same network, and run both data and phone traffic on one network wire; this gives iPhones a tremendous edge over traditional, analog phone lines. ALERT if you decide to go to cloud then expect a little delay in your calls.

4. 2008/2012 Windows Servers

Windows Servers 2008 or 2012 are lifelines for IT infrastructure. You can use these servers to connect desktops under one network, and install phone and fax servers, DHCP and file servers. Most EMR or database applications require a Windows server platform. These are the most important IT assets to your organization.

5. Backup Strategy, Including Acronis or Windows backup

Backup storage, onsite and online, provides peace of mind against disastrous failures, such as hard drive crashes and server failures. Windows 2008 and 2012 provide a great backup utility to help in restoring data in real-time; however, if you are looking for restorations that are more flexible and application-based, then we recommend using Acronis.

Acronis is a leading software in backup disaster management that can be installed on every desktop or server. If you are using VMware, then you have a different version of this designed for VMware. NetGear and Dell provide network-based storage solutions that can be used for the whole enterprise.

We also recommend creating an additional storage drive on each server for dedicated backups, which will allow the data to be restored in a much faster way than using network-based storage.

6. Fax Servers Such as RightFax

HIPAA compliant fax servers are essential applications that should be deployed in the entire enterprise. RightFax is a great tool that provides HIPAA complaint solutions for medical groups or business that deal with patient data. Practices should use these software solutions to send faxes with guaranteed security. Most EMR come with their own built-in faxing solutions, which can be used as well.

7. Secure Encrypted Email Exchange Through Globalscape or Appriver

A secure email exchange service is extremely important if you use email in patient communication. Appriver and Globalscape provide secure email solutions that are easy to use, and protect patient confidentiality. Secure communication is extremely important from a compliance perspective.

8. QuickBooks

QuickBooks is a great accounting solution for practice offices large and small. Network-based versions can manage your HR functions, bill pay, self-pay patient invoicing and vendor management very effectively. We recommend keeping the accounting software in-house, and providing remote access to an external accountant using the terminal server.

This gives you total control over your data, and helps you avoid duplicate data entry and errors during the transition of paper-based accounting data to the CPA firm. In the new version of QuickBooks, you can scan invoices and important documents centrally, providing a repository of all important documents in one place. You can also link scanned documents to their respective accounts.

9. Acroprint and Other Fingerprint Readers

Biometric fingerprint readers are a great choice for tracking employee hours; Acroprint provides amazing solutions for this. Depending upon the size of your group, you can pick from different versions of Acroprint, through which data can be exported to QuickBooks as a report, creating accurate payroll for the period.

10. Hootsuit.com

Last but not least, Hootsuit.com is a great tool to market your services by using multiple social medial platforms all in one place. Social media is a great way to connect with new or existing patients, and can help in marketing and patient satisfaction.

Patient Engagement TIPS for Geek Physicians!

Tips for Successful Patient Engagement:

  • Create Your medical Practice Patient Portal and APP, Your Practice management software should create one for you. Eclinicalworks have their own app called “Healow”which you can use.
  • Create your own facebook page and setup twitter account for the practice. Monitor it by yourself and post your practice speciality related care Tips.
  • You may want to setup Hootsuit account to manage your all social accounts at one place. Managing social media should be a routine 30 minutes of your time daily.
  • At check-in hand out a portal brochure to new patients and collect emails from both new and returning patients so that they may be invited to access the patient portal.
  • Remind patients that they may review the dates and results of preventative tests or immunizations online.
  • Suggest the e-consultation service between regularly scheduled office visits to patients.
  • Remind patients to schedule follow-up appointments through their preferred means of communication.
  • monitor your online engagement progress by asking every patient whether they are connected to you through facebook or twitter.
  • last but not least Create a big sign in your reception area with all your social media accounts listed on it. @drabcmd, facebook\drabcmd @practiceforces

Leaders meeting opens the doors of international business opportunties for entrepreneurs

In past few months, I have come across several entrepreneurs and investors who are looking to expand their business, but are unable to do so due to the high cost of local resources. High infrastructure costs, as well as practical challenges in managing people, do not make business-process operations projects viable such as Call centers, BPO, Data entry. Customer service, Software Services

I was watching the joint statement between the Indian Prime Minister and President Barack Obama yesterday, during which they spoke about opening more opportunities in the outsourcing and service sectors. This is a huge opportunity for those who are looking to expand their business, but require extensive manpower to execute labor intensive projects. Buying equity in offshore Indian companies, which offer high quality labor resources, may be a lucrative option for investors that may require this kind of work in the future.

As 100% foreign direct investment is legal in India, the doors are open for growth, expansion and quality service for US-based companies. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently announced the opening of Indian infrastructure markets for foreign firm hire. US-based companies can do so much more, in terms of infrastructure, when sharing services with Indian resources.

India provides the biggest market for international companies, as well as the biggest talent pool those companies can build from. Identifying trusted offshore companies and partners can provide immediate opportunities for growing, US-based firms, particularly in new acquired equities and infrastructure. The Indian market is ripe for the taking, whether it be for social infrastructure or for-profit ideas. Between agriculture, defense, transportation, training, management skills, education and healthcare, there are opportunities everywhere.

India Inc. is also providing several tax break plans to help grow business infrastructures for future expansion. Just an example my company operate from a Special Economy Zone, which is free from taxation throughout the next decade. Our company is, specifically, focused on green initiatives; the new facilities we plan are formulated with modernism and climate responsibility in mind. We openly invite partners or similar companies to come forward with us, and make use of this green infrastructure jointly.

We have space-sharing plans in the US; why not do the same thing in India. Share the infrastructure, share the talent pool, and ultimately grow your business.

This meeting between the leaders of both countries provides hope, inspires the citizens and opens the door of progress for both countries.

TIECON FLORIDA 2014

What a wonderful celebration of entrepreneurship ended at a positive note! Several billionaire super entrepreneurs participated and inspired the audience. More then 300 Executives and entrepreneurs attended, networked and learnt . 3 startup companies got a cash rewards of $5000.00 and a possibility to get funding in the future from TiE charter members. Super entrepreneurship awards were given to those who deserve a community recognition. It you want to see the pictures of this great event click here.

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