How Well Do You Know Medicare Billing?

The biggest request we get for interim billing staff concerns Medicare hospital billing. It makes sense because nationally, 60 to 65% of all inpatient claims concern Medicare patients, and Medicare outpatients can be voluminous as well. That, plus if things are going well Medicare pays fast, and hospitals love any payer that pays their bills fast.

If you’re an interim Medicare biller, your job actually starts at home rather than at a work site. That’s because interim people are often expected to know things and know how to fix claims that every day hospital billers don’t know how to do. That might seem strange, but that’s how it always seems to go. So, a first main step is for interim Medicare billers to check in on at least their local fiscal intermediaries websites and take a look at two things. One pertains to newer Local Medicare Review Policies (LMRPs) to see what types of things might be in them to help hospital bills get paid. The second is going through Medicare bulletins, which come in different ways depending on the intermediary. If you’re going to be traveling to different states, a good thing to do is to subscribe to news bulletins from those intermediaries so you’ll get them in your email.

After that, it’s all about standard Medicare billing rules that, once again, existing billing personnel sometimes don’t know about. Denials is probably the biggest problem a hospital or physician’s office has if they’re having problems with their Medicare billing, so staying on top of those rules will keep you ahead of the game. Understanding the relationship between what codes Medicare wants to see with what also helps a great deal. And of course knowing how to verify MSP issues helps a great deal.

Make yourself valuable by keeping up on Medicare regulations. It can only benefit you long term.


If You’re A Potential Worker, Interview Your Staffing Agency

Most of the time employees and interim consultants are the ones who are being interviewed for possible work assignments. While that’s the norm, what few people do is take the opportunity to interview those same people back.

Why would you do this? There are a couple of good reasons why you should take the time to find out what they’re all about. One, you want to know what the potential is for a staffing agency to get you work. Two, you want to know what their pay structure is, when you’ll get paid, by whom, etc. Three, you want to know if they offer any type of insurance coverage, or have to cover certain aspects for you. Four, you want to know what the possibilities are of getting some money up front if they’re sending you out of town. Five, you want to know if they book your travel arrangements for you, and how flexible they are in accommodating your wishes.

These are important things to know, but there’s one more thing you need to know as well. While staffing agencies will get you assignments, you need to know what they don’t want you to do as well as what they will allow you to do. For instance, there’s not a single staffing agency that wants a potential interim placement to try to renegotiate pay rates. That’s their job, and they’d rather you not bring up the issue of money. On the other end, if a potential client wants your services, sometimes they want to ask you a lot of questions. It behooves you to not only ask some questions back about their needs, but to find out, if you’re consulting, how much leeway you’re going to have in getting things done. Some consultants chafe at having to make recommendations and not follow through on things. Some can work within strict guidelines of an employer, and others can’t. It’s good to know before you go somewhere and find out the working environment isn’t for you.

Take the time to ask questions, because you won’t always get a second chance once you’re in the fold.

Being A Good Candidate In A Social Media World

By now, most people have heard the horror stories of being on the job or interviewing for a job and then learning that your employer or potential employer has found negative things about you from your Facebook page, or somehow tracked down messages you’ve written on Twitter.

The reality in today’s world is that even though it might not be fair that employers will judge you on what you do in your private life, they do. This isn’t a new phenomenon, however. Companies have always had either well known or hidden behavior clauses that give them the right to terminate someone based on bad behavior.

It’s just that these days it’s easier to get information on most people because in this day and age of being more accessible and their being less privacy most people have put their information out on the internet without thinking about it. What’s scarier is that you might not put any information online, yet be inadvertently “outed” by someone else who wants to share something you were a part of.

We like to caution people to never do anything that might harm their reputation in any way unless they’re ready to suffer the consequences. We point out that a few years ago a woman representing New Jersey in the Miss America Pageant had some racy pictures she thought she had protected on her Facebook page, only to have one of the people to whom she’d given access copy those pictures from her page and turn them over to pageant officials. Luckily, the officials decided the pictures didn’t violate the morals clause in the contract, but it should have been an eye opener to the world that nothing is ever safe online, whether you believe you’ve protected it or not.

Unless you have your own business and aren’t worried all that much about what most people think, it’s always a smart thing to try to control what gets out about you. And while you’re at it, make sure no one is taking pictures if you happen to decide you want to let loose and party without reservation.