New Year’s Resolution: Improve Practice Workflow with HMS

Physician practices have become increasingly complex, with data management needs competing with patients for time and attention.  In response, physicians are seeking better, more efficient ways to manage patient data, improve revenue cycles, reduce expenditures, decrease billing errors and streamline day-to-day operations.  That’s where HMS can help.

HMS Healthcare Management Solutions offers revenue cycle improvements, practice management assistance, EHR, as well as consulting and strategic services for physician practices and other health care providers.  We will leverage our knowledge and experience and invest our resources in creating partnerships that fundamentally change how profitability and success are achieved.

HMS believes the best way to help physicians survive and thrive in the ever changing environment is to transform the underlying infrastructure with a comprehensive and flexible system that allows them to take control of their practice.  At HMS, billing and coding is our only focus.  Our investment in the latest technology coupled with an experienced, highly-trained staff will not only improve your revenue and cash flow, it will give you more time to concentrate on what matters most  – caring for your patients.

What does all this mean to your practice? The HMS medical billing team will speeds up your cash flow by reducing error in the claims process for faster reimbursements, improved consistency and increased cash flow giving you a competitive advantage over practices without our resources at their disposal. The end result is a healthy, thriving practice with long term stability.

When you partner with HMS Healthcare Management Solutions, you’re adding a trusted member to your team.  We have over 25 years of in-depth knowledge of the health care business. Many of us started out as providers, so we understand your perspective and know how frustrating it can be to cope with daunting amounts of paperwork while delivering quality care. We understand the difficulties of planning for the future when you need to focus on the here and now.  Let us help you maximize your potential by increasing your financial performance.

Contact HMS Healthcare Management Solutions today!

Tips For Finding The Right Doctor

Finding the right doctor isn’t easy—and it shouldn’t be.  When you trust your health to someone else, you need to feel confident that this is an individual with enough smarts, qualifications and skills to give you the care you deserve.

According to Don Powell, President of the American Institute for Preventive Medicine, you should shop for a doctor “the same way you interview a lawyer or an accountant. Powell says you could be starting one of the most important professional relationships you ever have.  “People know more about how to buy a car than they do about selecting a doctor,” says Powell.

It’s not so much a matter of labeling a doctor as “good” or “bad”—you want to go beyond just weeding out physicians who have gotten themselves into professional or legal hot water. It’s about comfort level; whether a particular doctor is good for you. Smart questions and a little healthy skepticism can help you find Dr. Right.

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27% Medicare Pay Cut Returns March 1 Without A New Deal

The threat of an across-the-board Medicare physician pay cut was defused with just over a week to spare, but the congressional agreement only maintains rates for an additional two months before Congress must act again to avoid a steep reduction.

The House and Senate approved a two-month payroll tax cut extension package that included a two-month doctor pay freeze allowing physicians to continue to receive 2011 rates for Medicare services they provide through the end of February.  But lawmakers, who have only a few weeks of scheduled legislative activity before the across-the-board SGR cut returns, will need to agree on a longer-term patch if they are to prevent the 27.4% cut from taking effect on March 1.

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Connecticut Drops Insurers From Medicaid

In the past decade, most states have turned Medicaid over to private plans with hopes they could control costs and improve care. Nearly half of the 60 million people in the government program for the poor are now in the managed care plans run by insurance giants such as UnitedHealthcare and Aetna.  But Connecticut is bucking the trend.

On January 1, the “insurance capital of the world” will remove its private health plans from Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program. Instead of paying the companies a set monthly fee to cover the health costs of more than 400,000 children and parents, the state will assume financial responsibility.

The move comes after state officials say the firms, including Hartford-based Aetna, did not fulfill their promise of lower costs and better care.

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Top Health Stories of 2011

The most deadly recorded listeria outbreak and concerns about nuclear radiation after Japan’s biggest earthquake made major health headlines this year, along with several notable deaths to cancer and the inspiring recovery of a Congresswoman who suffered brain injuries from a gunshot wound.

Here’s a look back at some of the top stories of 2011, a year that marked major anniversaries in some of the world’s most pernicious diseases — HIV/AIDS and the “war” on cancer.

Click here to read the rest of this story from CNN.

Connecticut Among States Receiving Bonus Payment For Child Health Coverage

Nearly $300 million in bonus payments have been awarded to 23 states for providing health coverage for children, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said on Wednesday.

To qualify for the bonuses, states needed to surpass a specified enrollment target under the Medicaid program for low-income Americans and adopt procedures that make it easier for children to enroll and retain coverage under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The performance bonus payments are designed help offset costs states incur when they enroll lower income children in Medicaid. They are funded under the 2009 Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act.

Since CHIP was reauthorized in 2009, the number of children with insurance has risen by 1.2 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 23 states eligible for performance bonuses are: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

EHR Adoption Could Reach 80% By 2016

According to a recent report, the electronic health records market could be positioned to move from a less than 25% adoption rate in 2009 to over 80% adoption by 2016.

The write-up forecasts that EHRs, including ambulatory EHRs, will grow significantly in the next several years.  This anticipated growth is fueled in part by regulatory provisions and government financial incentives available to healthcare providers and institutions under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, according to the report.
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Connecticut, New England States Among Nation’s Healthiest

The United Health Foundation, a non-profit association, issued America’s Health Ranking, an annual report assessing the nation’s health by evaluating 23 factors, including binge drinking, diabetes, obesity and smoking. The report was published jointly by the United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention, a D.C-based organization that aims to increase use of evidence-based disease prevention to improve health and released earlier this month. Data is collected various sources including the American Medical Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Census Bureau.

Public health officials are concerned that the highest rates of diabetes and obesity largely are confined to one region — the South. In fact, the South is home to the nation’s five least healthy states: Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Alabama.

New England, on the other hand, features four of the five healthiest states: Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

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Paid Sick Leave Goes Into Effect January 1

On January 1, 2012, some Connecticut employers will be required to provide paid sick leave to employees. Connecticut is the first state in the country to mandate paid time off for illness.

S.B. 913, An Act Mandating Employers Provide Paid Sick Leave to Employees requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide paid sick leave to certain employees for use for the employee’s sickness, the employee’s child’s, parents or spouse’s sickness or to deal with sexual assault or family violence issues.

Connecticut’s legislature also made changes to health insurance requirements for businesses which expands coverage of certain medical tests and treatments. Those changes also go into effect on January 1.