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The Magic Four Step Process to Collecting Patient Balances

12 Mar

This month’s Billing Buddies topic is how to deal effectively with high patient deductibles.  This information is from the NPCC (National Provider Compliance Corporation).  They have released a Four-Step Process to effectively collect the money that’s due to the clinic and more importantly, realize that collecting this money is helpful to your patients.  Your patients want to have clarification on your payment policies and what is expected of them.

To read the full process, click on this link:  The Four-Step Process.

Below is the brief outline of the process.  It outlines the four areas where you should focus on collecting from your patients.  Remembering, the patients want to know your payment policy and what’s expected of them.


1) The first point of contact is when you are scheduling the patient.  Inform them of your payment policy and if possible, let them know up front that you accept credit cards and the other forms of payments you accept.  Part of the patient stress to seeking healthcare is from not knowing the clinics’ policies or how can they pay for their services.


2)  The second point of contact with the patient is at the arrival for the appointment.  Again, inform them of your payment policies and the forms of payments you accept.  It’s a good idea to get a credit card authorization signed by them in advance to automatically cover deductibles, copays, and non-covered services.


3)  The third point of contact to collect from the patient is immediately after their appointment.  Review with them your payment policy and solidify payment either in the form of a deposit at the time of service or a credit card authorization.


4)  Finally, within 15 days of the insurance determining the patients’ liability, you should present the patient with a statement of the balance due.  This will be particularly effective because the patient should have already received an explanation of the balance due from their insurance company.


By implementing this four-step process, you should be well on your way to reducing the number of unpaid balances and increasing your cash flow.





Bonnie J. Flom

Phone:  952.657.7505

Call or Text: 612.432.2366


Schedule Meeting:


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NPPES Outdated?

2 Feb

What is your NPPES?   This is the place where your NPI number(s) are stored and updated.  Insurance companies are starting to deny payment if the address is wrong on one or more of your NPI numbers.  So, what should you do?


1)  Go to and check your individual and group NPI numbers.  Make sure everything looks accurate.


2)  If the information needs to be updated, go to and log in and update your information.  I know… you are thinking… oh great another login I don’t have.  Fortunately, there is a place for those of us who “Forgot Username or Password” and you can have them reset.


If you get stuck, I can do a net meeting and help you. Please give me a call at 952.657.7505.  Thank you and have a great day!

Increase Your Office Efficiency with these Add-On Features

5 Nov

Greetings!   Bonnie Flom from Billing Buddies spent Saturday, November 4th in Irvine, CA at an Office Ally Conference to learn about the newest features (and old features) that can optimize and expedite the cash flow of an office AND save many hours of time.  Below are some add-on products that are integrated in Office Ally as well as a Sample Policy & Procedure manual for your clinic to incorporate these features.   Don’t use Office Ally?  Use this article as a spring board to see what your own software has to offer.  Or, to contemplate the switchover to Office Ally.

If your office uses Billing Buddies for billing services or you have questions on how to implement these time saving features into your practice, please feel free to contact Bonnie directly at 952-657-7505 to implement any of these features.   Billing Buddies does not profit in any of the features listed below.   Our interest is to help our clients become more efficient and save money making the most out of technology.

Add-On Features:

1)  Reminder Mate –   Patient Reminders integrates with the appointment schedule to send appointment reminders to your patients via text, call or email.  Reduce your missed appointments and increase your revenue.

2)  Patient Ally –   Patient Portal allows your patients to complete and fill out their paperwork BEFORE they come into the office.  The paperwork is then saved directly into Office Ally.  (Patient Information Form, HIPAA ‘Forms, Credit Card Authorization Form, Consent to Treat Forms, etc.)

3) Intake ProYour patient didn’t fill out the paperwork at home?  No problem.  This feature gives the office iPads for the patients to complete their forms on iPads and integrate and upload into Office Ally.  No need to enter patient data into Manage Patient anymore.

4) 24/7 EHROffice Ally’s EHR software, 24/7, allows providers to easily document the patients medical records.  It also integrates with the billing process and sends the charges into the billing system, Practice Mate.

5)  AxiaMedAccept, store, process and integrate credit card payments in Office Ally.  You can setup automatic payments via payment plans and have patients pay via their statement all online.  As well as process credit cards in house.  No more waiting for patient checks to arrive via snail mail.

6)  PLDElectronic statements integrate with Office Ally via the service of PLD.  No more printing, stuffing and stamping statements.

7)  TSITSI is the designated collection agency with Office Ally.  (Transworld Systems Inc.) You can send your accounts to them with the click of a button and all the payments post report back to the collection agency automatically.  TSI offers three types of services ranging from pre-collection to collection work.

Finally, how would your office work if you integrated all of these features into your daily work flow?   Receive a copy of our Sample Policy and Procedure Manual by emailing   And, if you are a Billing Buddies client and want to utilize any of these features or have us assist in creating your very own Policy and Procedure Manual, please contact Bonnie directly at 952-657-7505.  Thank you and as always, make it an awesome day.


This message is brought to you by: Billing Buddies, a medical billing agency that was established in 1994.  We bring quick tips and tricks to health care providers at no cost. Our goal is to keep providers informed so they are better able to serve their clients. If you ever have any billing questions or are in need of a billing agency, please call or text us at 612.432.2366.   Our packages deals are very cost effective and all of our staff are certified through AMBA.  Billing Buddies Video

Best Practices for Combatting Chiropractic Account Receivable Issues

23 Sep

The financial well-being of any medical clinic depends on billing and claim processing. Unfortunately, chiropractic offices have an especially difficult time settling accounts receivable.

Statistics show that chiropractors lose up to 20 percent of their yearly revenue due to bad debts and pending account receivables. While some chiropractors believe this is just the nature of their business and have resigned themselves to these losses, there are ways to combat these issues.

Chiropractors perform vital health care services and should be compensated fairly for these services. Implementing the following practices will ensure that this happens.

  1. Clean up claims. While getting claims out fast is important, making sure they are clean is even more important. If you have to resubmit a claim any effort to get it out quickly will have been wasted.
  2. Focus of verification. The verification process should begin as soon as an appointment is made. Make sure insurance information and eligibility are always high priorities.
  3. Examine every denied claim. By keeping track of why claims are denied you can begin to see patterns. This will allow you to make any changes to future claims which will decrease their likelihood of being denied.
  4. Check code accuracy. Routinely scrub codes before a claim is submitted.
  5. File claims more often. The longer an account receivable is in your system, the less likely it is that it will be paid. Therefore, the more frequently you file claims, the more likely it is that these claims will be paid.
  6. Keep good records. Every time a claim is touched, make sure to document what occurred and what needs to happen next. If clear and complete notes are not taken, each time the claim comes up for review you will have to begin the process over again which wastes precious time and resources.
  7. Expedite claim inquiries. If an insurance company requests additional documentation relating to things like coding or compliance issues, make sure these questions are answered in a timely manner. Again, the longer it takes to answer these questions, the longer it takes to get paid.
  8. Know when enough is enough. Last, but certainly not least, if your chiropractic office is overwhelmed with billing issues, know when it is time to outsource these tasks. No matter what reason you have for keeping your billing in-house, if you aren’t getting paid, it’s time to make a change.


Need billing services or consulting?  Call or text Billing Buddies at 612-432-2366.  Or, email Bonnie J. Flom at   We have 24 years of medical billing experience.






Overworked, Understaffed Billing Departments Spell Big Trouble for Medical Clinics

10 Sep

Medical billing is a tough job. And while medical billers do not treat patients, their performance is directly tied to the success of any medical clinic.

So why is medical billing such a tough job? To begin with, the rules related to medical billing are constantly changing. New coding systems and compliance regulations can lead to delayed or denied claims that significantly reduce an office’s cash flow.

The number of things that can go wrong when it comes to billing is another never-ending battle. Even if a billing staff is able to keep up with new rules and regulations, there are plenty of other issues to deal with. These include things late payments and rejected claims.

All of these things would be a challenge for a huge medical billing staff but the fact is that most medical offices are not able to hire the amount of staff it would take to handle all of these issues. This leads to another issue: staff turnover. Medical billers are under a great deal of stress and this leads to low morale and high turnover. Hiring new staff is not only expensive and time-consuming, suddenly you have put another task on your medical billing staff’s to-do list: training.

While an under-performing medical billing staff can be detrimental to a clinic’s cash flow, it also can mean the loss of current patients and the inability to attract new ones. Look at reviews of medical clinics on the internet and you are likely to read statements along the lines of: “Love my doctor, nurses were great but the billing department was the worst.”

The fact is, many patients will decide not to come back to a particular clinic solely because of their experience with the billing staff. Further, these patients certainly won’t be referring family and friends.

With the rise in social media and online reviews, one patient disgruntled with your billing practices or staff can be broadcast all over the internet. The cost of these reviews cannot be underestimated. Statistics show that 90 percent of people read online reviews and 88 percent say they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Staff turnover can have huge financial repercussions for a medical clinic. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to hire and retain quality medical billers. In light of the difficulties related to medical billing, it may be in a medical practice’s best interest to outsource these duties. Only then can a medical clinic be sure that the health of their clinic is not being compromised due to an overworked, understaffed billing department.


Need billing services or consulting?  Call or text Billing Buddies at 612-432-2366.  Or, email Bonnie J. Flom at  We have 24 years of medical billing experience.



Acupuncture Billing Requires Patience and Discipline

13 Aug

Acupuncture billing poses a unique set of challenges that can frustrate even the most knowledgeable medical billing experts. If you are a clinic that specializes in acupuncture, or one that offers acupuncture in addition to other medical services, you are well aware of the difficulty involved in billing for acupuncture services.

One of the most troublesome aspects of acupuncture billing is the fact that there is such a disparity between what different insurers will cover. While some insurance companies will approve acupuncture to only treat pain, others will cover much more.

Another common problem is that it is difficult to find qualified staff to perform your acupuncture billing. Acupuncture billers must have the patience and discipline to learn the subtleties of acupuncture billing. Unfortunately, when it comes to insurance reimbursements, time is money. If claims are not done correctly and in a timely manner, the result is delayed or denied claims which negatively effects a clinic’s cash flow.

Many acupuncturists decide not to accept insurance for their services. While this is understandable given an overwhelming amount of paperwork and denied claims. In the long run, however, this is can be a mistake.

The complexities of acupuncture billing leads many acupuncturists to decide not to accept insurance for their services. While this is understandable, it can have a negative impact on a clinic. Here are some things to consider about insurance before deciding not to accept it:

  1. More clients will be able to afford your services. When you accept insurance, patients who could not otherwise afford to be treated with acupuncture will be able to get the care they need.
  2. You can make more money. While it’s true that some insurance companies reimburse less than acupuncturists charge, this is not always the case. Further, the number of additional patients you are likely to attract by accepting insurance is likely to offset reduced reimbursements.
  3. It can enhance your marketing efforts. As an in-network provider you will be listed in print and online directories that companies provide to their employees. This will help to attract new patients.

Fortunately, the insurance industry is covering more acupuncture services every day. There are a variety reasons for this including the fact that complementary and alternative medicine is growing in popularity among Americans. According the National Institutes of Health, in the United States, four in 10 adults and one in nine children are being are currently being treated with some form of alternative medicine. Acupuncture also is increasingly being viewed as a cost-effective treatment that consumers are willing to pay for—even if it comes out of their own pocket.

Of course, acupuncture still poses significant challenges when it comes to billing. In light of this fact, it is often in the best interest of patients and providers to outsource this complex task to an experienced medical billing services firm.

Need help with your billing?  Call or Text Billing Buddies at 612.432.2366 or email




Four Reasons to Consider Outsourcing Your Medical Billing

17 Jul

Small medical practices face a number of challenges. Perhaps the greatest challenge is handling medical billing.  Without adequate staff, a medical practice is not able to send out bills and receive payment in a timely fashion. This, in turn, can negatively affect all areas of the practice.

One solution to medical billing issues is outsourcing those tasks to a professional medical billing company. Many physician offices, however, are reluctant to consider outsourcing for a variety of reasons. These include everything from losing control over their billing staff to concerns about patient satisfaction and security.

While all of these are legitimate concerns, they can be alleviated by performing due diligence so as to guarantee hiring the best medical billing company possible. Further, reviewing the length, terms and conditions of any contract signed with a medical billing company will go a long way toward preventing potential problems.

While hiring a medical billing company is an important decision, when you consider the many benefits, it is likely that you will find it to be the right decision. What follows is a list of four of the most important benefits.

1. Superior Patient Care. The principal purpose of any medical clinic is to provide exceptional care to its patients. In smaller offices, the financial side of the practice can be a drain on staff and resources that could go toward a better patient experience. When you outsource billing tasks, all hands can be on deck to improve patient care.

2. Fewer Billing Errors. Smaller medical offices have fewer staff members to handle billing issues. This leads to more errors and a greater number of denied claims. Further, staff members have less time to make sure that they receive the maximum reimbursement on every claim. It also is difficult for small or understaffed billing offices to remain in compliance with constant changes in billing regulations and requirements related to Medicaid, Medicare and third-party payers. Professional billing companies provide ongoing training to their employees so that they are up to date on any and all changes related to compliance. That means claims filed are far less likely to contain errors.

3. Improved Cash Flow. A small medical billing staff means that when one or more staff members are on vacation or sick, claims cannot submitted in a timely manner. This disruption ultimately leads to an irregular flow of money into the practice. With a medical billing company, this will not happen.

4. Dedicated Billing Assistance. Superior patient care is critical to a medical clinic’s success. However, even if a patient gets the best medical care available, if they encounter issues related to billing, they are likely to move to another provider. When you outsource your billing to a quality medical billing company you can be assured that your patients will receive courteous and professional assistance when they have questions or issues related to their bill.

Outsourcing your medical billing can be a difficult decision and it is important that you do your homework and select the company that is best for your particular medical office. Once you do, however,  you may be pleasantly surprised at how much better you are at providing your patients the best care possible.


Need billing services or consulting?   Call or text 612-432-2366.  Or email, Bonnie J. Flom at  We have 24 years of medical billing experience.